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Environment
AGL Energy Limited 80
Environmental Risk
Environmental incidents and licence compliance
AGL is subject to a range of environmental laws
and policies as well as site-specific environmental
permits and approvals issued at federal, state and
local government levels. The table below sets out
environmental issues and non-compliances against
these requirements that occurred during the
reporting period.
During FY2012, there were no fines, infringement notices,
or formal warnings applied to sites that AGL operates.
A total of 59 environmental incidents and near misses at AGL
operated sites, or sites where AGL was undertaking operational
activities, were recorded in AGL’s corporate incident reporting
systems during FY2012, compared with 53 recorded in FY2011.
The number and quality of incident and near-miss reports reflects
continued improvement in incident reporting and management.
The majority of incidents reported in FY2012 were low risk
spills and leaks.
Two incidents were rated as having a high potential environmental
risk, and both of these related to noise issues at operational wind
farms. These issues are discussed further on page 83.
A non-compliance with the Environment Protection Licence for the
Camden Gas Project was identified at the end of FY2012. Following
an internal review of operational procedures for the project, AGL
realised that it had not performed continuous monitoring of air
emissions as required by its licence. Continuous air monitoring is
used to ensure the exhaust gases of natural gas compressors meet
the allowable annual licence emission load limits, and do not exceed
the emission limit at any point in time. While independent quarterly
air emissions monitoring, which has always been performed at the
Camden Gas Project, confirms AGL is well below its emission limits,
AGL acknowledges that monitoring should have been performed
on a continuous basis. AGL is taking immediate steps to address
the issue, including the appointment of technical experts PAE
Holmes to review the emission monitoring program, conducting
monthly independent emission monitoring replacing the continuous
air monitoring equipment at Camden and keeping government,
community and other interested stakeholders informed of
air monitoring.
In addition to environmental incidents at AGL operated sites, during
FY2012 a release of saline water occurred at the Moranbah Gas
Project Joint Venture where Arrow Energy is the operator. Further
information can be found in the 2012 Annual Report available
at 2012annualreport.agk.com.au.
Environmental incidents and non-compliance summary
Site
Comment
Torrens Island Power Station, SA
Voluntary sampling of soil and ground water at Torrens Island Power Station in 2010 and 2011 detected notifiable levels of
petroleum hydrocarbons and trichlorethene at a number of separate locations. In line with EPA requirements, groundwater
monitoring and investigations are continuing to determine the extent and nature of the impact, and the development of a
management plan.
Torrens Island Power Station, SA
In July 2011, approximately 2 litres of oil was spilt into the Port River from a cooling water screen gearbox. The oil was promptly
contained and cleaned up, and the EPA and Port Authority were notified in accordance with the site EPA licence.
Hallett 2 (Hallett Hill) Wind Farm, SA A permanent acoustic treatment to the turbines at the Hallett Hill wind farm was implemented in late 2011 to address an audible
tone that AGL detected at a nearby residence during certain wind conditions. Comprehensive noise testing was undertaken in early
2012 to confirm that the tone was no longer audible at the residence. AGL kept the resident and the EPA informed of the steps that
we took in relation to this issue.
Hallett 4 (North Brown Hill)
Wind Farm, SA
Post-construction noise testing was undertaken in late 2011 during which an occasional audible tone was detected at a
neighbouring residence during certain wind conditions. This occasional audible tone resulted in a non-compliance with the noise
criteria during the particular wind conditions. A permanent acoustic treatment is being implemented at the wind farm. We have
communicated developments to the resident and the EPA.
Yarrawonga Power Station, Vic
In April 2012, an oil leak at Yarrawonga Power Station resulted in a small volume of oil entering the tail bay waterway immediately
downstream of the station. The oil did not enter the flowing Murray River. The spill was contained and cleaned up. The release was
reported to the NSW EPA and other agencies in accordance with the NSW EPA Incident Notification Protocol.
Werribee Biogas Facility, Vic
In June 2012, a non-compliance with EPA licence air emission limits was identified on one of the nine generators located at
the Werribee biogas facility following routine stack testing. Upon identification of the non-compliance, EPA was notified, and
investigations are underway to determine the root cause and implement necessary corrective actions.
Camden Gas Project, NSW
An independent environmental compliance audit completed in September 2011 found that compliance with NSW Government
requirements under the various approvals and licences for the Camden Gas Project was of a high standard, although some minor
non-compliances were identified. The audit report was submitted to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure, and together
with AGL’s corrective action plan can be viewed at www.agk.com.au/camden.
A non-compliance with the Environment Protection Licence for the Camden Gas Project was also identified at the end of FY2012
when, following an internal review of operational procedures for the project, AGL realised that it had not performed continuous
monitoring of air emissions as required by licence. AGL is taking immediate steps to address this issue, including replacing the
continuous air monitoring equipment at Camden.
Silver Springs Oil and Gas Project, Qld In September 2011, approximately 1000 litres of hydrocarbon was released as a result of equipment failure on a well pump.
Clear up and isolation of the spill occurred as soon as it was identified. The incident was reported to the (then) Department
of Environment and Resource Management.