Friday, 3 August 2018

Greens call on Government to block new coal mine in Sydney drinking water catchment after WaterNSW raises serious concerns

The Greens NSW energy and resources spokesman Jeremy Buckingham today called on the NSW Government to step in and end the uncertainty over the Hume Coal project at Berrima in the Southern Highlands after WaterNSW raised numerous serious concerns about the impacts on Sydney’s drinking water catchment.
In a submission to the Planning Department, WaterNSW said that “the Hume coal project may significantly reduce the quantity of water in the Sydney catchment area and available for WaterNSW’s supply requirements.” 
WaterNSW also highlighted “several shortcomings in the EIS” including hydrogeological models which “likely underestimate the reduction in groundwater levels and baseflows”, “inappropriate” assessment of the neutral or beneficial test, “a lack of conservatism in predictions”, and concerns about coal dust emissions which are “likely to deteriorate water quality”.
“WaterNSW has made it clear that building a new coal mine is incompatible with ensuring the security of the drinking water supply for millions of people in Sydney and it is time for the Berejiklian Government to step in and stop this crazy project,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.
“The submission from WaterNSW is damning. The age of coal is over and we should not be putting digging up even more coal ahead of Sydney’s drinking water supply.
“It is clear that any genuine application of the ‘neutral or beneficial effect’ test, which is supposed to apply to all developments in the catchment, precludes the development of this coal mine. That should be the end of the story.
“The community are sick of the uncertainty and of a planning system which has no red lights so it is now up to the NSW Government to show some ticker and say no to Hume Coal,” Mr Buckingham said

3 August 2018

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