A proposed coal mine on New South Wales Central Coast is potentially dangerous to health, the area director of public health said.
The Wallarah 2 joint venture underground coal mine, run by Kores Australia, could cause air pollution which may lead to respiratory problems; however Wallarah Coal stated that this was unlikely.
The senior public health official for the region, Dr. Peter Lewis, put forward a submission to the NSW Planning Department that the pollution had been underestimated and would ”produce increased respiratory symptoms and morbidity among residents”.
Lewis went on to say that the air quality data from the miner’s environmental assessment was inadequate and even the pollution levels projected would still cause harm.
‘If this proposal were to go ahead, much greater attention is required to prevent the level of contamination of the air that is currently described in the modelling of this section,” he said.
He also put forward that the coal dust would spread well beyond the boundaries of the mine.
Kores responded to the claims, saying that “detailed assessment by air quality specialists concludes that there will be no significant impact on the local air quality, and that the project will meet all current dust emission criteria and the assessment has included cumulative impacts from other dust sources in the region.”
According to the SMH, a spokesman for Planning Minister Tony Kelly said the minister would have the final stay on whether the mine would go ahead.
Earlier this year, Australian Mining spoke to directly to the mine about its environmental initiatives and how its plan to operate would affect the community.
To read the one on one interview, go to http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/going-green-from-greenfields