DEA members John van der Kallen & Ben Ewald at a Senate hearing into the retirement of coal-fired power stations on health grounds
National air quality reporting standards are failing to protect people's health argue DEA members, John Van der Kallen and Ben Ewald, after windy weather whipped up dust from local coal mines in the Hunter Valley last weekend resulting in air pollution for residents that breached regulations. Yet there are no significant consequences for the mining companies for violation of standards.
Dr Van der Kallen and Dr Ewald say that a load-based licensing scheme would make companies pay for their pollution, but mining operations are excluded from existing schemes. A health study to measure the impact of poor air quality on residents health is also needed. Mine operations shut down for hours at a time over the weekend, but failed to reduce high dust levels.
“These are called national reporting standards but they’re failing to protect people’s health. There’s no obligation for air to be better than these standards and the response is very vague."
Doctors for the Environment member Dr John Van Der Kallen
Newcastle Herald Article: Windy weekend weather pushed dust levels in the Hunter above national exceedance levels
DEA Submission to the NSW EPA on the Clean Air for NSW Consultation Paper