State Labor calls for independent research on Hunter coal dust pollution

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The NSW Labor Opposition has called on the O’Farrell Government to use the delay on the proposed T4 coal loading facility at Newcastle to commission independent research on air particle pollution in the Hunter.

Port Waratah Coal Services chief executive Hennie du Plooy last week indicated the T4 proposal will be delayed or possibly even shelved due to falling demand.

“We need to get beyond the claims and counter claims, and establish exactly how much of the air particle pollution in the Hunter’s coal corridor is coal dust,” Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley said.

“We know coal dust has serious health impacts and we need to understand exactly the nature of coal dust pollution in the Hunter and its concentrations.

“Furthermore we need to establish the precise sources of coal dust, that is, how much comes from the mines, from uncovered wagons, from stockpiles, from coal handling and so on.

“Proper independent research will give government the necessary information to act to protect community health.”