The Victorian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has completed an independent risk assessment of the environmental harm caused to the Latrobe River and Gippsland Lakes from the flooded TRUenergy mine pit water discharges.


The assessment comes after the EPA granted TRUenergy an emergency discharge approval to pump floodwater from its inundated Yalloourn mine pit.


EPA Gippsland Manager Dieter Melzer said that the monitoring results to date  and the risk assessment confirm that turbidity (which is the cloudiness of the water due to the silt) from the discharge of mine water poses a moderate risk,  but is not likely to cause long term water quality issues downstream.


“The water is muddy, but we expect the river to recover over time,” Mr Melzer  said. “Indications from the assessment are that there will be no long term  impacts on aquatic life, such as fish, insects and plants, because the river  bed is naturally made up of silt and sand and also due to the natural tolerance of the existing aquatic life to these sort of conditions.”


“Substances showing-up in monitoring are well below required limits and are thoroughly diluted within two kilometres of the discharge point, meaning that  risks to the river and Lake Wellington are low.

“The mix of Morwell River and discharge water flowing into Lake Wellington  represents a very small proportion, less than five per cent, of total inflows 
into the lakes system.”