PRESS RELEASEThe Environment Protection Authority has fined Origin Energy Eraring Pty Ltd $15,000 over alleged dust emissions from the Eraring Power Station at Lake Macquarie in October last year.EPA Regional Director Metro Operations North Adam Gilligan said the EPA alleges that the operator breached its environment protection licence due to excessive dust emissions from the station’s ash dam.
“The EPA received complaints alleging excessive dust being generated and blown from the station’s ash dam on the afternoon of 17 October 2019.
“The dust was witnessed from several kilometres away and had the potential to impact local air quality and disturb the amenity of residents.“The EPA investigated this incident and alleges that the ash dam was not being operated in a manner which would have minimised the dust emissions, in contravention of their licence conditions and an offence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act,” Mr Gilligan said.
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The licensee ceased ash dam operations at the time and is undertaking several actions in response to the incident.The EPA has issued an Official Caution and two previous penalty notices in the past three years and will continue to monitor the management of the ash dam.For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm
A spokesperson for the Australian Energy Market Operator told RenewEconomy that it would continue to monitor the bushfire situation, including the approach of fires to the Mount Piper power station.“AEMO is working closely with generators, network service providers and the New South Wales government to monitor and manage the power system during this period of bushfire activity within the state,” an AEMO spokesperson said.