THE NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined the mining giant Glencore's Bulga Coal Management Pty Ltd $15,000 for an alleged pollution discharge into a creek in September this year.
The incident was triggered when sediment-laden saline water was discharged into Nine Mile Creek, near Bulga through two pipes under a culvert from an active mining area.
The creek was dry at the time the discharge occurred and the water contained very high concentrations of sediments.
The company sandbagged the creek to capture the polluted water, and the pipes have now been capped to prevent the risk of future discharges.
EPA director Hunter Karen Marler said the organisation treated all water pollution incidents seriously.
She added the fine was a reminder about the importance of considering and protecting the surrounding environment.
"Even though it was determined there was minimal harm to the creek, it is timely to remind all mines that water management systems must be checked regularly," Ms Marler said.
"Polluted water must remain on the premises so it does not impact our waterways and can be appropriately reused in coal handling operations or to suppress dust."
Penalty notices are one of several tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions.