Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Given its record it was inevitable that Adani would wreck a wetland

The foreign-owned multinational, the Adani Group, adds to its record of corporate environmental vandalism……………….

The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 April 2017:

The Queensland government is investigating water spills from the Abbot Point coal terminal into neighbouring wetlands as an expert predicts long-term environmental damage.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection was assessing whether there were any unauthorised water releases from the Adani-operated coal terminal into the wetland after Cyclone Debbie tore through north Queensland late last month.

Satellite images of the Abbot Point coal terminal and neighbouring wetlands. Before Cyclone Debbie on the left and post-cyclone on the right. Photo: Supplied

The EHP and Adani said early indications showed all spills were within guidelines.
But James Cook University professorial research fellow in water quality studies Professor Jon Brodie said coal had clearly spilled into the wetlands and environmental harm was "highly likely".

His comments came in the wake of the release of striking satellite imagery from before and after the storm, appearing to show coal-laden water spilling throughout the sensitive Caley Valley wetlands.

The Mackay Conservation Group said the 5000-hectare wetlands were home to 40,000 shorebirds in the wet season and more than 200 individual species.

The department allowed terminal operator Abbot Point Bulk Coal, owned by Adani, to more than triple its "suspended solids" release limits in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, under what's called a Temporary Emissions Licence.

A department spokeswoman said that licence did not authorise environmental harm but Professor Brodie said it was hard to see how the wetlands could emerge unscathed.

"Obviously wetlands depend on light," he said, calling for a full examination.

"Those plants at the bottom, there won't be too much light there for a while.

"That will settle out of course and it will settle out to the bottom onto the plants that are on the bottom.

"There'll be significant damage from this but that should be quantified."

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