The New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Bulga Coal Management Pty Ltd $15,000 for pollution discharge into Nine Mile Creek, near Bulga, in September this year.
The incident was triggered when high concentrates of sediment laden, saline water was discharged through two pipes under a culvert from an active mining area into the dry creek bed.
The company sandbagged the creek to capture the polluted water, and the pipes have now been capped to prevent the risk of future discharges.
EPA Director Hunter Karen Marler said the EPA treats all water pollution incidents seriously and the fine was a reminder about the importance of considering and protecting the surrounding environment.
“Even though it was determined there was minimal harm to the creek, it is timely to remind all mines that water management systems must be checked regularly," Ms Marler said.
“Polluted water must remain on the premises so it does not impact our waterways and can be appropriately reused in coal handling operations or to suppress dust."
Penalty notices are one of several tools the EPA use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions.