The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) was right to highlight issues with the Cadia Valley Operations (CVO), according to Cadia’s general manager.
“The EPA has quite rightly pulled us into line on the lack of compliance because there’s too much dust coming from the vent rise,” CVO general manager Mick Dewar said.
The comments come after it was discovered that Cadia’s main vent was releasing an “unacceptable” amount of dust.
NSW Health reported that the water was safe to drink, with contaminants below the dangerous threshold. In addition, Dewar said that CVO had participated in studies into whether there has been a health impact on the community, and moved to assure nearby people that the air is safe to breathe.
One such report conducted by the Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation (ANSTO) found that Cadia contributed a small percentage of air pollution.
“It doesn’t absolve us from being non-compliant,” Dewar said. “What it seeks to do is to provide some assurance to the people around Cadia that the dust is not impacting their health and the air they’re breathing is safe.”
In a letter to the EPA, Cadia management indicated it had taken interim action in line with the EPA’s notice, including reducing dust production levels, installing additional dust and curtain sprays, installing filters, and reconfigured extraction systems.
The EPA is offering water testing for residential properties which are rainwater dependant, as part of a broader monitoring program.
The EPA is also considering its options for continuing air quality monitoring.