On August 8 and 9 heavy rainfall caused pockets of flooding around the Illawarra. But at the Dendrobium coal mine, owned by South32 and located abeet Mount Kembla, the heavy rain "led to a release of water from the sediment pond … containing fine coal particles," a company spokesman said in a statement.
There has bee some cleaning up, but local residents still have questions around what went into the creek, in what quantities, and how much was removed in the clean up.
Not satisfied with answers provided in the last three weeks since the spill occurred, with neither South32 or the NSW Environmental Protection Agency providing media interviews, Wollongong Greens councillor Cath Blakey is calling for clear answers.
Cr Blakey has submitted a motion calling on her council to write to the Environment Minister and appeal for a robust and comprehensive investigation into the Dendrobrium water discharge licence breach.
See the report from ABC Illawarra by Nick McClaren, 1 September 2020