Stratford mine considers water release

STRATFORD Coal has applied to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to release water from its mine operations into the Avon River at the request of local landholders.

Cr Jim Henderson said landholders had approached Stratford Coal six months ago about the possibility of releasing water from its Stratford East Dam to provide relief for farmers from the drought gripping the district. 

The dam was originally used to store mine waste water from the main Stratford pit. When the pit closed, all mine water from other pits was directed into the main diggings and the water from the dam was used to irrigate rehabilitated land. 

Cr Tony Tersteeg, who is council’s representative on the Stratford Coal Consultative Committee, said testing of the water in the dam would determine whether the EPA approved any application.

“I’m not saying I’ve got any huge concerns about it,” he said.

“It’s been a few years since any water from the mine was directed into the dam.”

Cr Tersteeg said Stratford had commenced the applications process for an EPA licence to release water into the river at the request of landholders some years ago but soaking rains meant the request had never been approved.