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Amid Uproar, Aussies Tweak Barrier Reef Dumping Plan

Sediment could now be placed on land
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2014 8:29 AM CDT
Amid Uproar, Aussies Tweak Barrier Reef Dumping Plan
In this September 2001 file photo provided by Queensland Tourism, the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's Queensland state is shown in an aerial view.   (AP Photo/Queensland Tourism, File)

(Newser) – Environmental advocates were deeply concerned when officials at Australia's Great Barrier Reef approved the dumping of a vast quantity of sediment in the area. Now, a new plan aims to satisfy both those concerned about environmental impact and companies seeking to enlarge a coal terminal in the area, the BBC reports. The new idea: to dump 106 million cubic feet of dredged mud on land, the AP reports.

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It's "a win-win situation," says the premier of Queensland. "It will protect the unique values of the Great Barrier Reef and allow for the staged development of the important port of Abbot Point." The state has asked the federal government to OK the new plan, which would see the dredged sediment reused, the AP reports. But environmental concerns remain. The planned 455-acre dredging project could raise the danger of oil spills, for instance, environmentalists say, and the UN has warned that developing ports could threaten the park. (Read more Great Barrier Reef stories.)

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