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MELBOURNE, Aug 31 (Reuters) - New South Wales's planning regulator on Tuesday rejected a plan by a unit of South Korea's POSCO to develop a coking coal mine and rail line in the Australian state, saying that the environmental and social impacts would be too great.
The Independent Planning Commision (IPC) declined to grant planning permission to Hume Coal for the project, citing the potential impact to groundwater stores and Sydney's drinking water catchment.
"The Commission finds the issues relating to the impact on water resources and social impacts significant enough to warrant refusal," it said in a statement explaining the decision.
In an accompanying report, the IPC said the mine's potential greenhouse gas emissions had also been taken into consideration.
"The project's greenhouse gas emissions make it inconsistent with regional objectives for the promotion of sustainable development and, when weighted against the project's relatively minor economic benefits, greenhouse gas emissions contribute to the land-use incompatibility of the project."
The refusal comes as new coal mine approvals in the world's biggest coal exporter face increasing regulatory hurdles.
Australia's federal court ruled in May that its environment minister had an obligation to the next generation to consider the harm caused by climate change when approving the expansion of a new coal mine.
The Australian government has challenged the decision.
This article first appeared on www.nasdaq.com
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