The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) is responsible for regulating and monitoring mines water releases into receiving environments and works collaboratively with other government agencies in managing, monitoring and mitigating mines releases during times of extreme weather events.
The Economic Development Act 2012 was passed by the Qld Parliament on 29 November 2012 to enable the State Government to approve the release of water from mines with only 24 hours notice. The Qld Government will extend the Legacy Mine Water program to other coal mines in the Fitzroy River Basin in the next wet season, through changes to the coal mines environmental authorities.
Under a Temporary Emissions License, companies no longer have to test their mine water for contaminants before they release.
Central Queensland coal mines still have an estimated 250 gigalitres of excess water as a result of the recent wet seasons.
The Qld Government is committed to working with industry to address the legacy mine water issue, as an important step to delivering a long-term improvement in Fitzroy basin water quality.