Fitzroy Basin coal mine water releases
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) is responsible for regulating mine water releases into receiving environments and works collaboratively with other government agencies in managing, monitoring and mitigating mine water releases during times of extreme weather events. There are a number of coal mines in Central Queensland that may discharge mine water into receiving environments (rivers and creeks) when stream flows allow it. EHP will work with the relevant mines and companies to ensure these releases are managed and controlled in the best possible way in order to minimise the potential for impacts on the environment.
Details of the mines releasing discharges in accordance with their environmental authorities are listed below and will be updated as releases occur.
Fitzroy Basin coal mine water release pilot
From November 2012 until July 2016, the Queensland Government conducted a pilot of enhanced mine water release as part of a long-term strategy to improve mine water management across the Fitzroy Basin. Participating mines managed mine-affected water through enhanced environmental authority (EA) conditions enabling mines with legacy water issues to manage water releases more proactively and effectively over subsequent wet seasons.
An enhanced environmental monitoring program was implemented for the 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 wet seasons to independently monitor any impacts of the pilot on catchment water quality.
Overall, results show that the pilot conditions increased opportunities for mine water releases with no noticeable impact on water quality for ecosystem health, stock irrigation or domestic use. This demonstrated that well-managed and regulated coal mine water releases can be optimised without affecting environmental values or downstream drinking water quality.
Based on the results of the pilot from 2012–2016, the pilot was concluded in July 2016.
Ongoing real-time water quality monitoring data in the Fitzroy catchment is available at any time on the Queensland Government Water Monitoring Information Portal.
To access environmental authorities for coal mines, search the environmental authorities register for the relevant permit number, e.g. EPMLXXXXXXXX.
Coal mine water releases for the Fitzroy Catchment
Details of the coal mines releasing mine water in accordance with their environmental authorities are shown on the current mine water releases map. The map displays the location of Fitzroy Basin coal mines, the mine water release points and details of current water releases. Mines and release points that are currently releasing water are highlighted.
Details of the coal mines releasing mine-affected water in accordance with their environmental authority will be updated as releases occur.
Note: releases that occur out of business hours will be updated the next business day.