Claims of dust monitor tampering in the Hunter

Concerns have been raised over the veracity of air quality monitors in the Hunter Valley, with claims that some have been covered.

Gloucester residents have voiced their fears over Gloucester Coal’s Duralie and Stratford coal mines and their emissions, the ABC reports.

There are also concerns over the effects of blasting in the regions.

Keith Whittall told the ABC that it is causing his house to fall apart.

“There’s not wall on my lower level of the house that has not got a crack in it,” he said.

“I’ve even noticed another six foot one in my front patio.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do now like I am emotionally and physically and mentally just about at the end of my tether.”

Fellow local Amanda Albury also claims to have seen dust and noise monitors covered or obscured.

“You see dust monitors that are completely bound up in shade cloth and chain," she said.

These claims come after the announcement of an additional four new air quality monitors in the Hunter Valley, to provide real time data on dust emissions.

Gloucester Coal has refuted these claims, stating that it is carrying out monitoring in accordance with its approval conditions.

Its Stratford mine is one of nine in New South Wales that have been placed on legally binding dust restriction programs, called the ‘dust stop’ program.

The program evolved from an independent report last year comparing NSW mines to global best practices; the report stated that increased dust particulate control measures would reduce emissions by 49%.

Gloucester went on to say that it is also complying with blasting conditions and monitoring.

The miner’s figures show that it has had non compliance issues with blast condition only three times at its Duralie mine since 2009.


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