Carbon Energy strikes DEHP deal

CSG player Carbon Energy has reached an agreed outcome with the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection over three charges relating to the alleged release of process water in August 2009.

Staff Reporter

The company has pleaded guilty to three charges, even though it says there was no environmental harm caused.

The first charge relates to a release of process water to Bloodwood Creek, which was contained in a ponded section of the creek in contravention of an environmental authority.

The company says the release caused no environmental harm because the creek was not flowing at the time. It also says no process water reached past the isolated ponded areas.

The second charge relates to the irrigation of process water within the flare compound in contravention of an environmental authority. It was accepted a junior employee acted inappropriately and without the knowledge or authority of the company, or its directors or executives.

The third charge relates to the failure to give written notification to DEHP of the event.

The Brisbane Magistrate’s Court accepted the company relied upon advice from Carbon Energy’s then general manager of operations that DEHP had been notified only to later discover it had not.

A fourth charge was dismissed.

The company has been ordered to pay a total fine of $60,000 as well as investigation costs of $12,000 and legal costs of $28,000. No conviction has been recorded.

Carbon Energy managing director Andrew Dash also pleaded guilty to failure to ensure written notification was given to DEHP and was fined $2000. No conviction was recorded.

The court accepted Dash had relied on advice from the then GM operations that the notifications had been made, when in fact, they had not.

The affected area was remediated immediately in 2009 and a subsequent environmental evaluation conducted by Carbon Energy demonstrated there was no environmental harm.

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