The Dalby Magistrates Court, Queensland, has fined a coal seam gas company $60,000 for the unauthorised release of coal seam gas water from a pump station.
On 11 June 2020, 1.1 megalitres of coal seam gas water was released from the company’s pump station to the surrounding land.
The release was not authorised under the conditions of its environmental authority (EA).
Following an investigation by officers from the Department of Environment and Science (DES), the company was charged with one offence contrary to section 430(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 for contravening a condition of its EA and releasing contaminants to land.
In addition to the fine, the company was ordered to pay $1,750 in legal costs and $2,292.90 in investigation costs. No conviction was recorded.
As Queensland’s environmental regulator, DES welcomes the fine handed down by the court, and will take strong enforcement action.