Australian news, and some related international items

12.5b litres of water for Adani coal project – no environmental impact statement needed

Adani plans to draw 12.5b litres of water and there will be no environmental impact statement, ABC By national environment, science and technology reporter Michael Slezak 18 Sept 18  Adani’s plan to take 12.5 billion litres of water from a river in drought-stricken Queensland is a step closer to happening, according to environmental groups, after the Federal Government decided the project did not need a full environmental impact assessment.

Key points:

  • Federal Government decides Adani water plan does not need environmental impact statement
  • Mining giant wants to take 12.5 billion litres of water from Queensland river
  • Environmentalists say the move is “appalling and dangerous”
  • Adani says it will work with Government to “complete the required assessment”

To build and run its proposed Carmichael coal mine, Adani wants to extract water from the Suttor River in central Queensland for up to 60 years, expand a dam there, and build a 60-kilometre pipeline to transport the water to its mine.

Federal law requires that if coal mines are likely to have a significant impact on the country’s water resources, they must undergo a full environmental assessment, which would be scrutinised by an independent scientific committee.

But Adani argued that “water trigger” only applied if the water was used in the extraction of the coal, and that the water they would take from this river would not be used that way, but instead for practices like washing coal and dust management.

Environmental lawyers have previously said that argument does not hold water.

On Monday, the federal Department of the Environment decided the water trigger did not apply to the project and that it did not need to undergo a full assessment with an environmental impact statement………..

Water project will ‘avoid full scrutiny’

“As one of the driest continents on Earth, water is the lifeblood of inland Australia,” anti-Adani campaigner at the Australian Conservation Foundation Christian Slattery said.

“It is disappointing that while Queensland suffers through severe drought, the water infrastructure for Adani’s massive polluting coal mine will avoid full scrutiny under Australia’s national environment laws,” he said.

Anti-mining group Lock The Gate Alliance described the move as “appalling and dangerous”.

“This is another special deal for Adani that puts our water resources at risk during a terrible drought and hangs Queensland graziers and communities out to dry,” spokesperson for Lock the Gate Alliance Carmel Flint said.

Arianne Wilkinson, a lawyer at Environmental Justice Australia, said the decision to submit Adani’s proposal to the weaker form of assessment was disappointing.

“Their proposal should be given the full assessment under federal environmental law,” she said…….


September 19, 2018 - Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland

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