Tags: coal | dust | great barrier reef | leak

Coal Dust: Great Barrier Reef Leak Concerns Environmentalists

Image: Coal Dust: Great Barrier Reef Leak Concerns Environmentalists

A coal dust leak near Australia's Great Barrier Reef is concerning environmentalists. (Andyamamary/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 09 Feb 2017 05:37 AM

Government officials reassured environmentalists that a recent black coal dust leak near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is easily containable, but environmentalists remained concerned about future threats to the reef, which contains some of the most diverse wildlife on Earth.

The leak has caused the coal dust to clump in the water, and it is washing up on the shores near the reef, the Christian Science Monitor reported. An investigation into the leak is ongoing, and while some suspect nearby coal port Hay Point may be the source of the leak, they don’t want to jump to conclusions before testing coal from the leak.

Environment Minister Steven Miles said there are two sources of leakage, "one larger and one smaller source of coal spillage," CSM reported.

Miles felt the leak could be isolated and stopped, then cleaned up.

“The impact on marine life and the reef is likely to be quite localized,” he said, CSM. But environmentalists are skeptical, and don’t want to see even more coal brought to the area, which already ships tens of millions of tons all over the world from the port.

The Christian Science Monitor notes Miles’ job is not an easy one: to balance the possible impact of dust leaks with the surging demand for coal coming from developing China that may see even more coal shipped from the port in the near future.

“I am seeking and receiving regular briefings,” Miles said, ABC Australia reported. “So nobody should doubt that this is being taken very seriously, and when the source is identified then the environment department will take appropriate action.”

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Government officials reassured environmentalists that a recent black coal dust leak near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is easily containable, but environmentalists remained concerned about future threats to the reef, which contains some of the most diverse wildlife on Earth.
coal, dust, great barrier reef, leak
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2017-37-09
Thursday, 09 Feb 2017 05:37 AM
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