16 May, 2014

Centennial Airly Mine complaint/Non Compliance

Complaint - Visual Impact Centennial Airly Mine.

CVA Inc. lodged an official complaint at the Special Monitoring Committee meeting yesterday 15th May 21014 under DA 162/91. Visual Impact.

Complaint- Coal stock piled  and seen from Glen Davis Road.
CVA will lodge the complaint with the EPA as well. 

Resident complained of alarm going off on Easter Weekend, this was due to Air-Conditioner, ventilation fan failure. Workers not there on weekends.
Non Compliance issues - Discharge of water from Dams into Airly Creek on two separate occasions, February and March 2014.

A discharge of water with high total suspended solids was reported and non- compliance occurred 29/1/2013 as well. The EPA requested what action taken or that will be taken to prevent a re-occurrence of the non-compliance, the response from Airly was that an appropriate engineering system to prevent the discharge of water that would be practically feasible to install at the Train Loader Dam (LDP3) is currently being considered.
Well it happened again this year twice  Feb and March and they only started production on 17/3/2014.
Mining is approved until October 2014.
The EIS for the Airly Extension Project was submitted to Dept of Planning on 28/4/2014.
Agriculture Impact Statement - Airly Mine states  that -   "the Director General's Requirements issued on February 2014 for the Airly Mine project do not require a separate Agriculture Impact Assessment to be prepared. Projects that are usually required to produce a separate Agricultural  Impact Statement (as per DGR) are projects that directly undermine agricultural land which Airly |Mine does not.That said, agricultural impact has been considered via the Agricultural and Land Use Impact Assessment which has assessed the impact of the project on agriculture as part of a broader impact assessment on land resources along with soils and land capability, landforms and topography, forestry conservation and recreation use". "Reports such as the Social Impact Assessment and the Ground Water and Surface Water Impact Assessment refer to each report's findings to determine the extent of potential change. The Agriculture and Land Use Impact Assessment found that there was no impact on agricultural land resources within or adjacent to the project application area". Quote from an email to CVA Inc. David King Project Manager Airly Mine Extension Project.

It was stated at the meeting dated 15 May 2014 that  Capertee Valley is fed water from the Devonian aquifer from the west and Airly Mine will be extracting water from a different aquifer!

Questions from participants at the February 2014 meeting "which if any of the existing test bore hole penetrate into  the second aquifer?
 Response;    ARP01 02, 03, 07 and 08 monitor piezometric height in the Narrabeen (Triassic) Sandstone, Irondale and Lithgow seams. Permian).
ARP07 monitors water quality in the Narrabeen (Triassic) Sandstone next to the Grotto. (I have been told that the spring from the Grotto comes out at Tayan Pic)?
ARPO7 monitors water quality in the Narrabeen (Triassic) sandstone next to the Grotto.
ARPO8 monitors water quality in the Lithgow Seam (Permian)
ARPO4 monitors the Devonian (peizometric height only)
There has been no information on ARPO5 as to its purpose despite requests for this information.
CVA has asked for monitoring results on these bores prior to the Extension Project being granted.
Question: In the event of a property owner who accesses bore water and or surface water becoming concerned about any or all of the following: - quality, quantity, drawdown of their water source, what section should they take and who does the onus of proof fall upon, the property owner or Airly Mine?
Response from Airly Mine - There are numerous reasons for change in surface and ground water quality, quantity, levels and flows. These include weather conditions, usage by the individual, extraction by other land holders or industry. Any impact to water resources from activities at Airly would NEED TO BE CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED outside these natural and man-made influences".
There we are, residents if you suddenly find your bore supply has changed you need to go to a lot of expense to prove that it was the cause of draw down on the aquifers because of Airly Mine!
Quote fron Airly Mine "Airly mine is not predicted to have any impact on the Devonian aquifer used by the residents of the Capertee Valley".
My understanding is that the aquifers have crossed over due to exploration, if this is not correct than residents have mis-read Airly's community consultation meetings.
"Centennial has noted the concerns of local residents and requests for bore monitoring.
Centennial is formulating a response as part of the Statement of Commitments to be submitted with the EIS".
Residents of the Capertee Valley - in the current Development Consent No. 162/91, it was stated that Airly Mine would truck the water in for cattle but only in the immediate area of the mine boundary. what does that mean? a minimum of 6000 head of cattle leave this valley every year, let alone sheep, alpacas, pigs and goats as well farms like Capertee Valley Saffron Farm.
Important Bird Area which brings tourism from all around the world and Festivals for several thousand people - what will this mine do to the existing economics?
Question: Is it possible for Airly Mine to provide an estimate of the quantity of water held in the 1st aquifer and also 2nd aquifer under both Mt Airly and Genowlan? if so, could a copy of the estimates be made available?
Response: yes it is possible however Airly Mine and including Councillor Col Hunter (Lithgow City Council) who Chair's the Special Monitoring Committee questions whether it is worthwhile and has no value in the ground water dynamics being modelled.
participants have requested that this be done.

CVA wonders what impacts there will be if Airly Mine Extension Project is granted a new Development Consent on the Surface Water and Ground Water in the Capertee Valley, perhaps the answer to this is we will know only when it happens.
What Next;
Airly Mine submitted the EIS to Planning 28/4. for adequacy.
It could take 4-6 weeks for Planning's internal review to be completed.
Airly will have to respond to the adequacy comments and Airly say that may take some time! (Coal prices may go up by then)
Only then is the EIS placed on exhibition for public comment.

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