Recycler Suez says herbicides in contaminated compost came from Melbourne council waste. Recycling giant Suez says the powerful herbicides that contaminated a batch of compost produced at its Melbourne facility late last year, killing hundreds of home vegetable gardens, came from council green waste.
Key points: California banned similar herbicides from urban and commercial use in 2001The contaminated compost falls within Australian standardsAn environmental scientist says the standards are inadequate "Feedstock obtained from municipal sources contained traces of the agricultural herbicides dicamba, 2,4-D, MCPA, triclopyr and picloram," a Suez spokesperson told the ABC. "These are herbicides that would not normally be expected to be found and are therefore not ones for which testing is required. "We continue to work at determining their source. " Chris Williams, who lectures in Urban Horticulture at Melbourne University, said he was shocked to find out the herbicides came from a council. Ipswich's Bremer River is polluted, oxygen starved and capable of killing wildlife and risking public safety, study finds. The Bremer River, which runs through Ipswich, accepts contaminants from four sewage treatment plants, a defunct coal mine, an abattoir and power station, and is so heavily polluted and oxygen starved it is capable of killing wildlife and risking public safety, an independent study has found.
Key points: The water quality of Ipswich's Bremer River has not improved in 20 yearsData found seven Environmental Authorities were exceeding national guidelinesCouncil says for the first time in history it's working with the government on guidelines The water quality of the Bremer River Catchment has not improved in 20 years, with the level of pollutants allowed into the river over that time exceeding national water quality guidelines, the research revealed. The Bremer is also a tributary of the Brisbane River. The former head of the Northern Territory's Environmental Protection Authority, Dr Bill Freeland, has collated freely available data, which measures the health of the river. White swan in UK left with black feathers after swimming in 'contaminated' pond.
A white swan has reportedly been stained black by printer ink while swimming in a UK pond.
"This poor mute swan came into the centre over the weekend, contaminated from head to tail," staff at the West Hatch Wildlife RSPCA centre wrote on Facebook. "Staff are busy with the job of washing the substance off right now. " The BBC reported that the swan was seen trying to clean itself in a pond in Wiltshire, before being rescued and taken to be cleaned by volunteers over the weekend. "I was horrified because it looked like a black swan," RSPCA Inspector Steph Daly said. Bee deaths spark investigation after traces of chemical Fipronil found in hives. A southern Queensland beekeeper is desperate for answers after losing up to 600,000 honeybees to suspected poisoning by a controversial agricultural chemical.
Key points: Biosecurity Queensland is investigating the cause of bee deaths at Dalby on the Western Downs Beekeeper Peter Donohoe says traces of the insecticide Fipronil were found on his dead bees and hivesHe's now joined other keepers in calling for a ban on the chemical's use. Dead, sick baby turtles wash up on central Queensland beaches after eating plastic. Dead and sick baby turtles are washing up on Capricorn Coast beaches in numbers never seen before by researchers, after swallowing plastic.
Key points: Several sick and dead turtles have been found on beaches near Yeppoon after eating plasticThe Department of Environment is working with international researchers to study the impact of plastic on marine lifeDr Col Limpus says breeding numbers will be affected in decades to come The Department of Environment (DES) said an "unusually large number" of weeks old flatback turtles have been found on the west coast of Keppel Bay. Discovery of ancient Bogong moth remains at Cloggs Cave gives insight into Indigenous food practices. Cloggs Cave near Buchan, in eastern Victoria's alpine region, has long been known by the Gunaikurnai people, but a recent archaeological discovery has opened up a dusty window into more of its history.
Key points: Researchers have discovered ancient Bogong moth remains on a grindstone tool believed to be up to 2,000 years old inside a cave at eastern VictoriaIt is the first conclusive archaeological evidence of insect food remains found on a stone tool anywhere in the worldTraditional owners say the remains provide insight into historic Gunaikurnai food practices Researchers from Monash University collaborated with traditional owners from the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Corporation (GLaWAC), to excavate the cave for the first time in 50 years, and found microscopic remains of Bogong moth on a small grinding stone tool believed to be up to 2,000 years old.
It is the first conclusive archaeological evidence of insect food remains found on a stone artefact anywhere in the world. Hundreds of Victorian home gardeners angry and out of pocket after using toxic compost from major recycler Suez. Some time in October last year, a batch of commercial compost left a Suez recycling facility in Melbourne, bound for garden centres in central Victoria and Melbourne.
Key points: More than 200 Victorian gardeners noticed they lost vegetable crops after compostingThey claim commercial compost from a Suez recycling facility is the culpritThe Environment Protection Authority has investigated and passed the matter onto Consumer Affairs Victoria. Legal action launched against NT Government over McArthur River Mine security bond. Traditional owners near the Gulf of Carpentaria have launched legal action against the Northern Territory Government over its decision to slash the security bond paid by a massive lead and zinc mine.
Court documents allege a decision to reduce the mine's environmental security bond is unlawfulThe security bond was reduced from $519 million to $400 million late in 2020Environmental groups are concerned it could leave taxpayers liable for potential long-term environmental damage The legal proceedings, brought by the Environmental Defenders Officer (EDO) on behalf of Borroloola residents and the Environment Centre NT, relate to the environmental security bond paid by the McArthur River Mine. The mine is situated about 45 kilometres from the Aboriginal community and some residents have repeatedly raised health, environmental and cultural concerns about the project — including when waste rock combusted and smouldered for several months from 2013.
'Ecocide' proposal aiming to make environmental destruction an international crime. A group of leading international law experts has defined a new super-crime.
They're calling it "ecocide". They plan to submit a draft of their new law to the governing body of the International Criminal Court, in the hope that the ICC will adopt it for future prosecutions. If successful, ecocide will become the court's fifth jurisdictional responsibility, alongside genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. The group behind the proposal, Stop Ecocide, argues that climate change knows no borders and the destruction of local ecosystems can have huge global consequences. Queensland asked to consult traditional owners, scientists before examining Channel Country fracking plans. Traditional owners and environmental groups in Queensland's Channel Country are imploring the State Government to pause consideration of applications for petroleum leases in the region until independent scientific assessments and stakeholder consultation are conducted.
Key points: The State Government in considering 11 applications for petroleum leases in Origin Energy's nameThe leases cover more than 250,000 hectares of environmentally sensitive land in Queensland's Channel CountryTraditional owners and environmental groups want a moratorium on considering the application until stakeholder consultation is done Eleven applications for petroleum leases across more than 250,000 hectares of land in the Channel Country bioregion of the Lake Eyre Basin are before the Government for approval.
The applications were made in July by gas company Blue Energy but listed Origin Energy as the authorised holder. Fish, yabbies and aquatic life dead after 'toxic' herbicide treatment in irrigation channel. Mal Johnson is not happy. The Cohuna farmer has spent the past few days cleaning up dead fish and plants from an irrigation channel on his property in northern Victoria. Key points: The herbicide Acrolein was put into the water to kill weeds blocking the channelCohuna farmer Mal Johnson said it has caused a major fish killMurray Goulburn Water said it had no other option but to use herbicide "I walked up onto the channel bank, looked into the water and there was just a foot-wide stream of fish, all dead," Mr Johnson said.
The Torrumbarry Irrigation Channel was injected this week with the toxic herbicide Acrolein to get rid of weeds that are blocking up the system that provides water to more than 100 farming properties in the region. Clive Palmer coal mine poses 'significant risks' to Great Barrier Reef, scientists say. Businessman Clive Palmer's plan to mine coal near the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area has been condemned by Commonwealth-appointed experts who say they see no way to remove the proposal's threat to the reef.
Key points: The IESC "cannot envisage" mitigation measures that could safeguard the Great Barrier ReefIt says the mine risks causing "significant and irreversible damage"CQC says its own draft EIS finds no significant impact to the reef The Independent Expert Scientific Committee (IESC) has expressed "extreme concern" about the proposed Central Queensland Coal (CQC) project, which it said posed "very significant risks" to reef waters and other "internationally recognised assets". CQC wants to build a mine of up to 10 million tonnes of coal a year — as big as Adani's Carmichael project — 10 kilometres from the World Heritage Area. Nine US officials including Michigan ex-governor charged over Flint water crisis deaths.
Nine US officials — including former Michigan governor Rick Snyder and key members of his administration — have been charged following a new investigation into the Flint water disaster that contaminated the US city with lead and left 12 people dead. Key points: A lengthy criminal investigation ran parallel to civil litigation over the health crisisIt's alleged Flint residents who became sick from the water were failed by 'all levels of government' Officials face a variety of charges including manslaughter, misconduct and perjury The 12 residents of the predominately African-American community died after city officials implemented a cost-cutting plan in 2014 to switch the water supply to the contaminated Flint River.
Coronavirus lockdown coincides with rise in fatbergs in sewers. During the months Western Australia was forced into lockdown by the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a noticeable spike in drain blockages, including more massive "fatbergs" which cost authorities $3.3 million to clear. Key points: Wastewater drain blockages spiked during COVID-19 stay at home ordersMassive "fatbergs" were pulled from sewers to unclog the networkAuthorities urge people to only flush loo paper, as everything else clogs the system "Fatbergs" accumulate when foreign objects flushed down toilets bind together, and during the months the state was locked down there was a noticeable spike in drain blockages. Fears for wildlife after bean bag bursts on Bruny Island and leaves polystyrene mess. A clean-up effort is underway on Tasmania's Bruny Island after reports of a bean bag bursting on a beach which could pose a risk to local marine life. Key points: A Parks and Wildlife ranger says the bean bag has left thousands, "if not millions", of tiny polystyrene balls on a beach in Bruny IslandThe balls can be mistaken for food by marine life, and cause them to feel full and starveIslanders say littering is a common occurrence and have appealed to visitors and residents alike to be mindful of the environment The tiny balls were scattered throughout a stretch of the sand at Adventure Bay, along with some in the adjoining bushland.
Discovery Ranger Claire Mason from the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) found out about the litter on Friday and understood the balls came from a burst bean bag. "On the beach and a bit of the bush alongside the beach there are thousands, if not millions, of tiny little polystyrene balls," she said. WA Government to review BHP's environmental licences in dusty Pilbara town of Newman. The WA Government will review the environmental licences of two BHP mines in the Pilbara amid concerns around rising dust levels. Gundjeihmi and ERA enter negotiations to extend Ranger Uranium Mine rehabilitation. An Aboriginal group in Kakadu National Park says the rehabilitation plan for a decommissioned uranium mine is "woefully inadequate", calling for a 26-year extension to the process.
Mining at the Ranger Uranium Mine wound up yesterday after more than 40 yearsTraditional owners in Kakadu are now calling for an extension of the project's rehabilitation phaseThe company that runs the mine has signalled its support for the move Production at the Ranger Uranium Mine, on the outskirts of the national park, drew to a close yesterday after more than 40 years of operation. Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, which represents Mirarr traditional owners, has used the closure to demand owner Energy Resources Australia (ERA) rehabilitate the site beyond its current lease expiry in 2026. Victorian Planning Minister approves controversial lead battery recycling plant in Latrobe Valley. Residents of a Gippsland farming community are angry and some say they are considering moving after the Victorian Planning Minister stepped in to approve a secondary lead smelter before a tribunal had the opportunity to review the project.
Call for urgent action to prevent further dieback of Adelaide's St Kilda mangroves. Environmentalists are calling for urgent action to prevent further dieback of a popular mangrove forest north of Adelaide, saying extremely salty water is killing the sensitive plants. Queensland set to ban single-use plastics from September, but environment advocates want action now. Single-use plastic products, such as takeaway containers, have been important tools in the fight against the spread of coronavirus but they are set to be banned in Queensland.
EPA to investigate as Nyrstar admits Port Pirie smelter will exceed annual lead emissions limit. South Australia's single-use plastics ban to start in March after coronavirus delay. South Australia will push ahead with a ban on some single-use plastics including straws and cutlery, after the implementation was put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. Most single-use plastic products will be banned from March 1There will be exemptions for people with a disability who need themThere will be an education campaign for businesses and the public Legislation banning the sale, supply and distribution of the products was introduced in April this year and passed State Parliament in September. The SA Government had originally intended to stop sales of the products by the middle of this year, but the policy was delayed to allow restaurants and cafes to continue using disposable items to improve hygiene amid the pandemic. Japanese ship company behind oil spill that led to environmental disaster in Mauritius caused by 'human error'
The Japanese operator of a bulk carrier that struck a coral reef and caused an extensive oil spill off the coast of Mauritius has said the accident occurred after the ship shifted its course closer to shore than planned so its crewmembers could get mobile phone signals. The ship ran aground in late July and began leaking oil on August 6 Leaked fuel polluted protected wetlands and a wildlife sanctuaryThe captain and crewmembers were using their mobile phones while on duty Mitsui OSK Lines said its investigation showed the accident was caused by human error, including inadequate nautical charts, navigation systems and risk awareness, and a lack of supervision and safety monitoring.
Native title holders seek compensation from NT Government over McArthur River Mine. The Aboriginal land council representing traditional owners in the Top End has filed a compensation claim against the Northern Territory Government over the effects of the McArthur River Mine on their native title rights and alleged damage to sacred sites. Recycling warehouse engulfed by massive blaze at Hemmant in Brisbane's east - ABC News. Numerous fire crews have mounted an aerial battle against a major fire at an industrial site at Hemmant, near the mouth of the Brisbane River. AGL issued $1 million penalty by Environment Protection Authority after ash waste pollutes Hunter Valley creek - ABC News.
Australia's Future Fund 'in bed with Adani' after freedom of information request reveals $3.2 million investment - ABC News. Plastic bags and food packages killing Australia's marine animals - ABC News. Wollongong Coal gets approval to expand Russell Vale coal mine above Sydney's water catchment - ABC News. EPA reverses approval of Bacchus Marsh toxic soil dump linked to West Gate Tunnel project - ABC News. It might be the world's biggest ocean, but the mighty Pacific is in peril - ABC News. Controversial contaminated soil dump proposed for Bacchus Marsh may be blocked - ABC News. Sydney Harbour underwater garden to mimic marine habitats destroyed by pollution - ABC News.
This tropical glacier is rare, revered, and could be gone by next year - ABC News. Tim Flannery warns of adverse climate impacts if South32 coal mine expansion approved - ABC News. Adelaide Festival art installation The Plastic Bag Store plays to the absurdity of heavily packaged groceries - ABC News. Darwin Harbour to face more industrialisation under Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission plan - ABC News. Mining company ordered to cease pumping in Adelaide mangrove dieback investigation - ABC News. Microplastics discovered near the peak of Mount Everest - ABC News. NT Government approves McArthur River Mine expansion against advice of sacred sites authority - ABC News. NSW coal ash dams need better regulation, say environment groups - ABC News. Mining industry hid issues with dust monitoring in Port Hedland from regulator - ABC News.
Turtles could solve the Murray-Darling's carp problem, research shows - ABC News. Angus Taylor says Australia has the world's largest carbon capture and storage project. Here's what he's not saying - ABC News. Port Hedland covered by dust from iron ore mining, residents resist buyout. NT business groups warn Gunner Government against chasing 'fanciful' economic recovery projects - ABC News. Landfill site sparks community anger as operations expand without Ipswich City Council approval - ABC News.
Dead dolphins blamed on oil spill, thousands protest against government inaction in Mauritius - ABC News. AGL says floating gas project won't hurt wetlands on Mornington Peninsula - ABC News. Japanese operators of bulk carrier leaking oil off Mauritius apologise for causing environmental disaster - ABC News. Santos coal-seam gas project at Narrabri not worth the risk, scientist says - ABC News. Antarctic biodiversity increasingly under threat as human activity spreads across continent - ABC News. CSIRO fracking research 'doesn't pass the pub test', expert says - ABC News. Residents fear proposed waste-to-energy plant could 'decimate' recycling industry - ABC News. Orange plume prompts calls for research into environmental, health impacts of mining blasts - ABC News.
Tahmoor mine polluting water in Bargo and Nepean rivers with 'cocktail of metals' - ABC News. Ranger Mine locked in stoush over funding for Kakadu uranium rehabilitation monitoring - ABC News. Gas fracking in Channel Country should stop, leaked department report told Queensland Government - ABC News. Asbestos-tainted waste illegally dumped near South Australian town to be removed. Microplastics found in Antarctic ice core sample taken 10 years ago. To avoid a return to pre-coronavirus traffic congestion, experts want to talk about change right now. Farmer trials attracting bugs to protect his vegetable crops rather than relying on pesticides. Yoda the green sea turtle released, months after washing up on remote Queensland beach. Gas exploration green light during coronavirus emergency 'sneaky', Victorian farmers say.
Cars that eat paradise. Farmer says report shows CSG company gave incorrect groundwater data to regulator. Residents fight proposal to store contaminated West Gate Tunnel soil near Bacchus Marsh school. What was actually in the air you were breathing during the bushfire haze? 'No-one is providing transparency': Audit questions compliance in Qld CSG regulation. Linc Energy's former executives committed to stand trial over failed coal gasification plant. Whistleblower drama Dark Waters offers damning account of DuPont's toxic behaviour.
Gippsland farmer says PFAS exposure from military base caused his cancer, demands Government action - ABC Rural - ABC News. Contamination concerns after Santos given extended gas exploration rights over Queensland's Channel Country. Big businesses set to commit to combating plastics at first national waste summit. Coronavirus lockdown in China has air pollution levels tumbling, NASA satellites reveal. How the Beetaloo gas field could jeopardise Australia's emissions target. PFAS class actions over groundwater contaminated by toxic firefighting foam settled by Federal Government. India's cities have the world's worst air quality for 2019, but Bangladesh is worst overall country. Booming Australian gas exports countering efforts to cut emissions in Australia and globally - Politics. Australia the next legal battleground over claims Monsanto weedkiller Roundup causes cancer. Labor's Anthony Albanese recommits party to net zero carbon emissions target for 2050.
Green turtle's death led to a $2.5 million grant to help rid the ocean of plastic. Germany is shutting down its coal industry for good, so far without sacking a single worker. Major airlines say they're acting on climate change, but research reveals they're way off course. Rio Tinto's mining operations in Gove will be done by 2030 — but the next part may take 100 years. Cheap gas, really? Why gas — from coal seams or ships — may not mean low power prices. Federal Labor critical of Coalition's coal study, while not ruling out blocking mines and power plants - Politics. YM Efficiency sister ship 'arrested' over shipping container clean-up debt. Communities call for transparency on future of contaminated soil from the West Gate Tunnel. New Acland Coal pursues Oakey Coal Action Alliance for legal costs ahead of possible High Court appeal. NSW strikes 'landmark' energy deal with Federal Government, Greens MP calls it 'climate criminality'
Lansdown Industrial Precinct zoning gets go-ahead despite fears for drinking water - ABC Rural - ABC News. River health monitored through grunting fish, rasping snails and even farting riverbeds. Victorian Liberals urge federal colleagues to adopt long-term emission reduction targets. Dangerous fumes from peat fire in Gippsland cause health risk for pregnant women, firefighters. Uranium miner flags restart at Honeymoon within a year if prices jump, others aren't so sure. Great Australian Bight oil drilling approval to be challenged in Federal Court. Every sixpack of beer contributes to climate change. Brewers hope algae is the solution. Melbourne air quality drops to 'hazardous' levels as bushfire smoke lingers over Victoria. Victorian bushfire smoke to cause 'poor' air quality across the state.