23 August 2023

Snowy Hydro contractor fined again for allegedly polluting Kosciuszko National Park river

| Claire Fenwicke
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government compliance officers at river

EPA compliance officers regularly test waterways across the state to ensure pollution regulations are being followed by companies. Photo: NSW EPA.

A Snowy Hydro Limited contractor has copped a $15,000 fine for allegedly allowing about 9000 litres of “sediment-laden water” to run into a Kosciuszko National Park river.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) accused contractor WeBuild S.P.A of leaving a pump at the Snowy 2.0 construction site unattended, which allowed the pollutant to enter the Yarrangobilly River.

Snowy Hydro Ltd has not received a penalty notice about this action.

NSW EPA acting executive director operations Steve Orr said the community expected all licensees and contractors to act responsibly and prevent pollution of waters.

“The state’s environment laws have strict requirements in place to protect delicate ecosystems and waterways from pollution,” he said.

“The environment around these local waterways in the Kosciuszko National Park contains highly specialised plants, animals and microorganisms and is home to a number of endangered species, including the Booroolong frog.”

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It’s not the first time the contractor has been fined over alleged pollution incidents in the park.

Earlier this year, Snowy Hydro Ltd and WeBuild were fined $15,000 each for allegedly not establishing adequate sediment and erosion controls at construction sites, which resulted in pollution of both the Yarrangobilly River and Nungar Creek.

That was despite warnings by EPA officers.

The EPA encourages the community to report potential water pollution incidents to the Environment Line on 131 555.

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