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EPA responds to complaint about Rosebery tailings dam and drinking water

03 May 2017

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has responded to a complaint about the alleged leakage from a Rosebery tailings dam into the Stitt River, impacting town drinking water supply.

The EPA received an anonymous letter from a concerned resident of Rosebery on 28 April 2017, which alleged that the new tailings dam being constructed by MMG Australia Ltd in Rosebery was leaking into the Stitt River and impacting the township drinking supply.

EPA Director, Mr Wes Ford advised that the EPA commenced investigating the complaint prior to the matter being raised in State Parliament yesterday by Greens Leader Cassie O’Connor. He said that EPA staff liaised with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regarding the allegation and impact on the township drinking water on Monday 1 May in response to the anonymous letter.

“EPA staff contacted MMG management on Tuesday 2 May, requesting the company undertake a site inspection to assess any leakage from the newly constructed tailings dam,” he said.

“They conducted an inspection of the dam straight away but observed no signs of leakage.

“MMG is responsible for routine monitoring of the Stitt River and submits regular reports to the EPA.

“The EPA is following up the complaint by collecting its own water samples for testing,” he said.

“We will investigate the matter further and continue to liaise closely with DHHS as the monitoring of drinking water quality is a concern for Public Health,” said Mr Ford.

Mr Ford explained that a number of investigations of water quality in Rosebery had been conducted by the EPA and DHHS over the past decade.