Hunter Valley air quality worsens

A jump in Hunter Valley residents with respiratory problems has brought the focus on effect of mining on the region’s air quality.

A jump in Hunter Valley residents with respiratory problems has brought the focus on effect of mining on the region’s air quality.

Singleton doctor Tuan Au said there has been a noticeable increase in complaints, the Herald reports.

“I’ve been seeing it mostly among children in the last two weeks,” Au said.

Strong winds in the region have also caused concerns.

The Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network issued alerts for poor air quality earlier this week.

A NSW Department of Planning spokesperson said a mine dust complaint we received on Tuesday.

“Officers conducted an inspection and observed that the mine had ceased all mining operations with the exception of activity deep in the pit in an area sheltered from the wind," she said.

No further action was needed.

In its monthly audit in May, the Department inspected eight coal mines and found dust issues across the region due to strong winds, its report saying that significant dust was observed at many sites.

Due to this “a number of mines voluntarily shut down equipment, wet down disturbed soil, brought in additional water carts and postponed blasting until the weather improved.”

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