NEWCASTLE now has access to an air quality monitoring network that will provide rolling information about pollution levels across the city. The network, based on the successful Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring network, was launched in Carrington this morning. In addition to existing monitors at Newcastle, Wallsend and Beresfield, the network has three new sites at Mayfield, Carrington and Stockton.
Domestic coal production has grown in New South Wales over the past year, in spite of weak commodity prices. According to new statistics released by Coal Services, saleable coal production has increased by 5.7 per cent over the 2013/14 period, growing from 185 million tonnes to more than 196 million tonnes
Newcastle committee welcomes EPA investigation of diesel fumes - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
A committee looking at solutions to Newcastle's air pollution problems has welcomed the Environment Protection Authority's (EPA) investigation of diesel fumes from coal ships. Former Newcastle lord mayor John Tate who chairs the Community Consultative Committee says many coal ships use low grade diesel fuel that emit fumes with potential health impacts
But spontaneous combustion of stockpiled coal, Peabody’s ‘‘aggressive’’ land purchase strategy to reduce noise and odour complaints from surrounding areas, the ‘‘unacceptable’’ use of industrial noise standards in a tiny rural area, and other issues left Mid-Western Regional Council expressing ‘‘real concerns about Wollar’s future existence’’, in a submission to the department last week.
The authors of the health study found that long-time Sydney residents would have their lives reduced by an estimated 72 days for men and 65 days for women by ongoing inhalation of fine particle pollution. Residents in Melbourne, Perth and south-east Queensland faced the same risks as well as a higher rate of asthma and cardiovascular-related hospitalisations.
Proposed new non-binding air pollution limits are like voluntary speed limits - but air pollution causes twice as many deaths as road accidents
the most interesting finding is that the plan will reduce social costs related to air pollution and climate change by about $150 billion per year in 2050
Commissioned by the federal Department of the Environment and now published on its website, the pilot study measured emissions around 43 coal seam gas production wells – six in New South Wales and 37 in Queensland – out of the more than 5000 wells currently operating around Australia.
Mayfield residents want action take against coal hauliers - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The Correct Planning and Consultation for Mayfield group lodged a complaint with the EPA in October last year over coal dust residue escaping from empty rail wagons. Spokesman John Hayes says the group has taken photos of coal falling from fully loaded wagons, but so far no action's been taken.
The EPA hopes to have a diesel emission management strategy in place by the end of the year. The authority is also working with the Commonwealth government to develop national measures to reduce diesel emissions. This includes the development of a national clean air agreement by 2016.
The NSW Planning Assessment Commission has been advised to approve the $4.8billion expansion at ‘‘T4’’. In 2012-13 Newcastle Port exported 150 million tonnes of coal. To further expand the Port of Newcastle’s coal capacity from the current 211 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) by an additional 30per cent or 70Mtpa at ‘‘T4’’ should be seriously questioned.
Planning authority says Government mining policy 'technically flawed' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
the State Environmental Planning Policy for Mining now prioritises the economic significance of mineral resources when determining mining proposals. Critics of the amendments say it diminishes social and environmental concerns, and the Planning Assessment Commission recently said the policy 'doesn't necessarily sit comfortably with the consent authority's task'.
The Federal Council of the Liberal Party, Federal Ministers, Coalition MPs, the Minerals Council of Australia and representatives from the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) are targeting the advocacy role of Australia’s environmental NGOs. In recent weeks, there have been calls for the removal of tax deductible status for these NGOs, and for changes to the Competition and Consumer Act and the Corporations Act to restrict their advocacy.
Environment Protection Authority chief regulator Mark Gifford said the fines were a ‘‘significant penalty’’ and a ‘‘good result’’ Orica had changed its attitude in how it ran the Kooragang plant, he said, and laws had been tightened for pollution incidents.
Talks to continue over T4 developer levy for Newcastle Council - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Newcastle Council and Port Waratah Coal Services are continuing to work towards a compromise deal in response to a dispute over a government calculated levy for the city's fourth coal loader.
THE NSW Labor party has been urged to adopt a policy of opposing new Newcastle coal-loader developments - by some of its own Hunter branches.
Here is a tough question – what are the limits of legitimate protest? As Lord Keynes is famously reputed to have said, everything depends on everything else. What is protest? What is legitimate?
key features of the new coal haulage 88 Class locomotives include an MTU turbocharged diesel engine with Stage IIIA emissions compliance;
Even if PWCS gets approval for its T4 project, it is not expected to proceed anytime soon.
citizen volunteers in Seward, Alaska conducted a year-long air quality monitoring project with assistance and training from Global Community Monitor (GCM), Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT), and Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance (RBCA). The goal of the project was to measure how much of the dust blowing around town is coal from the stockpiles and coal loading facility, and to analyze the potential toxicity of this coal dust.