21 June 2017
Motor vehicles on local roads (esp. diesel), including the Hume Highway, and smoke generated by wood fires have a far greater impact on the Southern Highlands’ air quality than the proposed Hume Coal underground mine.
Hume Coal undertook an extensive air quality assessment as part of the company’s environmental impact statement for the proposed mine, which quantified the dust emissions and dispersion under all weather conditions.
Company spokesperson Ben Fitzsimmons said the results showed the proposed mine would have minimal impact on existing air quality in the Highlands and “the predicted dust concentrations are well below the relevant EPA impact assessment criteria …at all surrounding residences”.
“This means negligible impact on Burradoo and Bowral, Moss Vale and Mittagong and all towns and villages in between” he said.
“The single biggest factor is that the mine is underground, with the majority of mining operations occurring well below the surface. Of far greater impact on the local air quality are particle emissions from combustion engines in vehicles and smoke from wood fires.”
A health assessment of the project’s potential air quality impacts found it “would be so small as to be immeasurable and well below the regulatory criteria”.
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