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Discharge EventsTemporary Emissions License Report
Developed: April 2014
Abbot Point Temporary Emissions License Report – April 2014 2 of 18
1.0 Introduction
Abbot Point Bulkcoal Pty Ltd (APB) manages and is contracted to operate and maintain
Abbot Point Coal Terminal #1, which is leased by Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty Ltd
(AAPT) (a subsidiary of Mundra Ports), under a 99 year term. Coal is railed to the port and
shipped from the Bowen basin to various international locations.
APB, being the operator of the site, has the environmental authority (EPR00577113), issued by
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP). This allows APB to undertake
relevant operational and maintenance Environmental Relevant Activities (ERA’s). APB is
responsible for abiding by the conditions of the environmental authority, or in lieu of
conditions, the previous development approval conditions for the Port (DA05/076 and IPDE
00856508).
ERA’s relevant to APB are:
ERA 8-3(a) Chemical Storage– crude oil or petroleum product in tanks or containers
having a combined total storage capacity of 10,000L or more but less than 500,000L.
ERA 50 Bulk handling– commercially loading, unloading or stockpiling materials or
goods
ERA 63 (2) (b) - Sewage Treatment Plant – daily peak design above 100 to 1500EP.
2.0 Cyclone Ita
Cyclone Ita made landfall as a Category 4 cyclone near Cape Flattery on the 11th April 2014.
Cyclone Ita then followed the coast down as a Category 1 throughout 12-13th April 2014. The
cyclone then headed out to ocean around Proserpine on the 13th April 2014.
The track of Cyclone Ita, as documented through the ABC website, is highlighted below.
(http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-09/cyclone-tracker-map-ita/5377332 as of 22nd April 2014)
weather conditions. These actions intend to reduce the potential for discharges and include:
1) Installation of a diversion drain at the surge bin sump, to reduce the water
catchment for this sump. This allows unaffected hill water to be diverted away
from the sump. This therefore reduces the water load on the surge bin sump. As
the surge bin sump also pumps into main substation sump, the load on the main
substation sump is reduced as well.
2) Installation of the Emergency Sump Pump which will automatically start up when there
is a high level reached in the sump. It operated for 3 hours during Cyclone Ita.
3) As part of the cyclone preparation, all sumps around site are cleaned out to
reduce the sumps sediment load and maximise capacity.
4) The site also tries to maintain electricity for as long as is safe. This means that the
sump pumps are operating as long as they can prior to the isolation of the site.
5) APB has recently signed a contract with the Bureau of Meteorology which allows
specific Abbot Point Coal Terminal 1 forecasts to be developed in future. In lieu
of the website being established, APB undertook teleconferences with the Bureau
to obtain the most up to date site specific information. APB site actions were
based on this APBCT relevant information
3.1 Temporary Emissions License
APB had teleconferences with the Bureau of Meteorology on the 11th April 2014, where it was predicted that Cyclone Ita would affect Abbot Point Coal Terminal #1 as a low depression
bringing between 200-300mm of rain. This rain was expected as intense rainfall events via
thunderstorms.
Due to the predicted rain intensity, and the uncertainty in relation to cyclone behaviour, APB
contacted DEHP on the 11th April 2014, to discuss applying for a Temporary Emissions
License (TEL).
It was discussed that the application needed to be a pending event, so on the 12th April 2014,
APB applied for the TEL. The TEL was granted (TEL Number – AR056901) by DEHP on the
12th April to cover period 12-14th April 2014. This is contained in Appendix A.
On the 13th April 2014, Cyclone Ita had not lost cyclone status and APB consequently
implemented its cyclone procedure. The site was isolated at approximately 13:17hrs, after
DEHP was notified. The site was then evacuated until 6:30am 14th April 2014, with power re-
instated shortly after this time.
4.0 Events of 13th April 2014
Cyclone Ita crossed Abbot Point Coal Terminal on the 13th April 2014, as indicated below in
the barograph graph 1.
Graph 1: Barograph and wind speed on the 13th April 2013, as measured at Bald Hill
Cyclone Ita brought with it significant rainfall through high storm activity. Over 200mm fell
between the evening of 11th April til 16:00 13th April. The majority of this rainfall occurred in
association with the Cyclone, with 134.6 mm falling from 11:00 – 14:00hrs, as highlighted in
Graph 2 below.
Wind Speed Barometric Pressure (hPa)
Graph 2: Cumulative Rainfall on the 13th April 2013, as measured at Bald Hill
APB environmental licenses require the site to contain a 1:2, 24 hour rainfall
intensity. The rains that fell due to Cyclone Ita, were of a much higher intensity with
the maximum intensity reaching 63.2 mm/hr, as highlighted in the graph below.
Graph 3: Rainfall Intensity on the 13th April 2013, as measured at Bald Hill
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
13th April 2014 Rainfall Intensity During Cyclone Ita
5.0 Discharges from Licensed Sumps
The site has three sumps which potentially discharge offsite. These are:
W2- Sample plant sump, which discharges to the water
W3 – Surge bin sump, which discharges to the land
W4 – Main substation sump, which discharge to land
The location of these discharge sumps are highlighted below.
The site was isolated at 13:17hrs on the 13th April 2014, and at this time the pumps
ceased to function.
The discharge pumps had already experienced intense rainfall events and had
started discharging from approximately 12:15hrs at the surge bin and main
substation sumps, and at approximately 12:45 at the sample plant. This discharge
would have continued periodically until the rains completely ceased at 15:32hrs.
The field pH measurements and total suspended solids of the discharges are
highlighted below. The pH ranged between 7.08-8.28 and the total suspended solids
ranged between 433 and 779 mg/L (Appendix B).
Location
(mg/L)
Sample
(3) 8.28 536
Table 1: Total Suspended Solids and Visual Composition Assessment of Discharge Samples
** Laboratory pH is above license condition of 8, but this was outside the holding time.
5.1 Assessment of Sump Discharges
Samples were collected at 9:50am on 14th April 2014. Visual monitoring of the
discharge areas were also undertaken at the same time.
5.1.1 Sample Plant Sump (W2)
The discharge filled the higher of the two rising stage sample bottles. It is suspected
that something was blocking the nozzle of the lower rising stage sample bottle,
stopping a discharge sample from being collected by the first rising stage sampler.
Photographs of the discharge location after the discharge are highlighted below.
Photograph 1, 2, 3 and 4: Discharge location of W2 after discharge
There was no maximum flow indication on the sample plant height meter, indicating
low flows in this area.
Photograph 5: flow height indicator for sample plant did not register due to low flow
The photographs below show the discharge location at the Sample Plant sump on the
23rd April 2014. There is minimal evidence of coal in the sediment controls outside
the fence. At the end of the sediment controls there is no evidence of an accumulation
of coal.
Photograph 6, 7, 8 & 9 is the discharge location on 23rd April 2014.
5.1.2 Surge Bin Sump (W3)
The discharge filled the first two rising stage sample bottles. Photographs of the
discharge location after the discharge are highlighted below.
Photograph 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14: Discharge location of W3 after discharge
There was no maximum flow indication on the surge bin height meter, indicating
low flows in this area. This is also supported by the third rising stage sample bottle
not filling up during the discharge.
Photograph 15: flow height indicator for surge bin did not register due to low flow
The photographs below from 23rd April 2014 indicate no accumulation of coal outside
the sump.
Photograph 16, 17 & 18: Offsite discharge location of W3 on 23rd April 2014, no coal accumulation
5.1.3 Main Substation Sump (W4)
A discharge occurred which filled all three rising stage sample bottles. Photographs
of the discharge location after the discharge are highlighted below. There was no
indication of an accumulation of coal caused by the discharge.
Photograph 19, 20, 21 & 22: Discharge location of W4 after discharge
The maximum flow indication height at the main substation sump was 2cm, as
indicated in the photograph below.
Photograph 23: flow height indicator for main substation sump registered the flow
The photographs taken on the 23rd April 2014 highlight no major accumulation of
coal outside the sump.
Photograph 24, 25, 26: Offsite discharge location of W4 on 23rd April 2014, no coal accumulation
6.0 Conclusion
Discharges occurred from three discharge sumps for a short period time, during the
Cyclone Ita rains.
There is no evidence of an accumulation of coal, or adverse effect, resulting from the
sump discharges that occurred on the 13th April 2014.
APB will continue to undertake proactive actions to ensure that future adverse
weather conditions are recognised and any potential impacts from the Terminal are
minimised. These actions include:
1. APB personnel will continue to clean out sumps when there is adverse pending
weather.
2. The cyclone procedure will continue to be implemented when there is a
predicted cyclone and event management effectiveness reviewed post cyclone.
3. APB will have access to a customised Abbot Point Coal Terminal 1 forecast
website due to a new contract with the Bureau of Meteorology. APB will manage
its preventive actions in accordance with the information provided in advance by
this service.
Appendix A
Appendix B