July 21, 2017

Coal company fined $1m for coal slurry spillage – Do you have the Right Safety, Environment and Compliance System in place?

The NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is the state’s primary environmental regulator, which works with businesses, government agencies and the community to manage and reduce environmental impacts.
They are also one of the prosecutors of Clarence Colliery; the joint venture between Centennial Coal and SKA Energy Australia who are responsible for the coal slurry spillage affecting Sydney’s scenic Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park and “negligently causing the escape of coal material in a manner that harmed the environment”. The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) is also having their say in court, prosecuting Clarence Colliery for causing damage to the National Park.
Having to comply with a total penalty charge of $1050,000, a record fine for the EPA, it comes on top of more than 12-months’ worth of work and $2 million Clarence Colliery is required to pay to clean up the damaged areas.
In addition to the negative environmental impacts, hefty fines and penalties, the court also ordered Clarence Colliery to fund five projects proposed by the EPA and OEH, which will benefit the environment around the Blue Mountains National Park conservation activities.
This case just goes to show that organisations, in particular, mining companies which don’t comply with environmental standards and mismanage their stakeholders, will feel the strenuous financial consequences and will have to pay a high price for their actions.
Environmental compliance is not a walk in the park; so don’t get left behind and leave your environmental management to chance.
As the responsibilities for managing health and safety expand and become more complex, and industries become more regulated, the ability to find a way to reduce potential risk, harm and cost heightens.
This can affect the way environmental advisors, environmental consultants, environmental supervisors and environmental managers are tasked with managing and mitigating risks across your business; especially when failure to effectively manage potential risks, serious safety, environmental, societal and economic consequences are likely to follow as well as potentially harm your organisation’s reputation.
By not keeping up with obligations and compliances relevant to issues, permits, approvals, licenses and stakeholders are generally managed through a number of spreadsheets. This approach is extremely time-consuming, prone to human error and lacks the security and clarity to effectively manage complex requirements on an ongoing basis. The INX Compliance & Obligations solution centralises the management of compliances, stakeholders, communications and issues in the one database to simplify the entire process.
This affects how you are able to manage your stakeholders, which is a critical component to successfully carrying out projects and ensuring organisations remain sustainable and socially responsible. Delay or failure to track and document issues, communications and commitments can result in unhappy stakeholders; and no-one wants that.
The INX Environmental Data and Reporting Management solution captures an extensive range of environmental monitoring programs across air, water, soil, climate, waste, emissions, flora and fauna; providing the tools to support ISO 14001 and ISO 26000 certification and attainment.
Our Health and Safety, Risk Management, Environmental Management, Compliance and Obligation, and Stakeholder Management solutions are here to provide you with the right guidance when it comes to ensuring you’re up to date with industry regulations, compliance structures, and EHS practices.

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