The New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined marine contractor Coastwide Civil AU$15,000 (US$11,647) for an alleged water pollution incident that occurred while the latter was conducting dredging works at Shell Cove Boat Harbour.
The EPA said Coastwide Civil was permitted to dredge the harbour for development of a marina. A cut was made in a protective sand bund, which opened the harbour to the ocean and resulted in a large visible plume of muddy water discharging from the entrance channel in March this year.
EPA Director Regulatory Operations Jacinta Hanemann said an EPA officer observed the incident, which resulted in a significant change in the colour of the ocean water for several hundred metres.
After being contacted by the EPA, Coastwide Civil closed the opening to stop the discharge, Ms Hanemann said.
The EPA said the environmental harm from this incident was short-term as the dredging was being carried out in an area that is not known to contain any pollutants that might have flowed out through the channel.
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