On 16 January 2019, AGL suspended coal ash sales from Bayswater and Liddell power stations as a precautionary measure. This step was taken after a number of test results identified elevated levels of metals including chromium and copper. These levels could exceed limits set by the EPA.
Our highest priority is, and will continue to be, the health and safety of individuals and minimising impacts on the environment.
AGL notified the EPA, SafeWork and NSW Health and the four companies in the Upper Hunter that buy and use the coal ash, predominantly in engineering applications for concrete based products.
AGL has also been made aware that one of these companies on-sells some of its ash, and that the on-sold ash may have been added to products used for land-based applications. We have been advised that this may include products used for bagged applications including potting soil, landscape gardens and green wall applications. Investigations to confirm this are continuing, including the extent and detail of these potential uses.
Upon receiving this information AGL has shared it with the EPA. In addition, AGL has sought further advice from its external expert who has confirmed their initial advice that, based on AGL’s current coal ash sample test results, the use of the coal ash for bagged horticultural applications including potting soil and green wall applications does not pose a risk to human health.
This is being confirmed through a comprehensive human health and ecological risk assessment.
Further testing of the coal ash is also being undertaken, with initial sample results below levels set out in the EPA Coal Ash Order 2014.
We are continuing to work with the EPA and other key stakeholders including the businesses involved.
All updates and disclosures on this issue will be provided at www.agl.com.au/about-agl/media-centre
AGL is committed to helping shape a sustainable energy future for Australia. We operate the country’s largest electricity generation portfolio, we’re its largest ASX-listed investor in renewable energy, and we have more than 3.6 million customer accounts. Proudly Australian, with more than 180 years of experience, we have a responsibility to provide sustainable, secure and affordable energy for our customers. Our aim is to prosper in a carbon-constrained world and build customer advocacy as our industry transforms. That’s why we have committed to exiting our coal-fired generation by 2050 and why we will continue to develop innovative solutions for our customers.