Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Keeping an eye on dust from the sky

Media release: 4 July 2016

Officers from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) recently took to the sky to undertake unannounced aerial inspections of coal mine operations in the Hunter Valley and observe dust emissions from the mining operations.

 EPA Acting Regional Manager for the Hunter, Karen Marler said the EPA has been continuing to monitor dust emissions and is actively working with the industry to reduce dust generated by mining operations in the Hunter Valley.

“The EPA inspected sixteen licensed coal mines across the Hunter Valley during the flight on 29 June 2016,” Ms Marler said.

“It was good to see that mines are controlling wheel-generated dust which was the focus of the EPA’s Dust Stop Pollution Reduction Program because it is the major source of dust emissions at coal mines.

“Under the Dust Stop Program, all open cut coal mines are required to implement best practice measures to achieve 80 per cent control of dust on their haul roads. 

“The aerial survey also identified two Upper Hunter mines near Muswellbrook, where excessive dust was being emitted from drill rigs.  The EPA will be following up on these sites.”

Ms Marler said reducing dust from coal mines in the Hunter Valley continues to be a key priority for the NSW EPA as part of the Upper Hunter Particles Action Plan.

“The EPA will continue to conduct announced and unannounced inspections, including aerial surveillance, of coal mines to check compliance with their licence conditions.”

For more information about dust and air quality in the Hunter region visit the EPA website.



Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 04 July 2016