Indian mining giant Adani has been hit with a $12,000 over an environmental breach at its Abbot Point coal terminal in north Queensland.

Queensland's Environment Department fined the operators of the facility for releasing sediment-filled stormwater during Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

The release was at a level more than eight times higher than allowed by a temporary emissions licence (TEL) issued during the rain event.

“This stormwater was discharged to the surrounding marine waters,” the department said in a statement.

“Temporary emissions licences and environmental authorities are not taken lightly by the department and there can be harsh penalties for companies that breach their approvals.”

The $12,000 fine is far less than the millions of dollars that non-compliance could otherwise cost.

Adani-owned company Abbot Point Bulk Coal (APB) has strongly rejected claims “it allowed contaminated floodwater to flow into abutting marine environment during severe Tropic Cyclone Debbie in March 2017”.

“APB notes the State Government has imposed a fine of $12,190 for the alleged breach and the company is now considering its options.

“APB is disappointed that Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has released details of the fine to media but did not detail the fine notices issued to other parties following Cyclone Debbie.”

Mackay Conservation Group coordinator Peter McCallum said the fine was woefully inadequate.

“It is hard to see how this fine can act as a deterrent. Adani made over $250 million in revenue at Abbot Point in the last financial year, with this fine representing a miniscule 0.005 per cent,” he said.

“Without sufficient penalties for breaching environmental conditions there's little point in having them.”