Landmark Hearing – Doctors vs Coal
This week, medical group Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA), were at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal arguing against the EPA’s approval of a new coal power station for Victoria on health grounds.
This is the first time a medical organisation has challenged the EPA on its granting of a permit to a coal power plant. The national Doctors group are concerned that the air pollution emitted by HRL’s coal- fueled plant, will cause sickness.
“Burning coal results in the release of a toxic cocktail of air pollutants that can cause death and disease. This mixture includes sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, fine soot like particulates and mercury. Exposure to these chemicals has been shown to result in increased hospital admissions, worsening of lung and heart diseases and even sudden death” said Dr Eugenie Kayak, an anaesthetist and Victorian DEA spokesperson.
“The health of people living in the Latrobe Valley will be risked if this coal plant proceeds because they will be breathing these toxins every day. By contributing to climate change this coal plant will also harm health globally by increasing the frequency of severe weather events like heat waves and storms” continued Dr Kayak.
Last Friday, the Federal Government delayed their decision as to whether a $100 million grant of public funds should be handed to this project. DEA hopes this will allow time for VCAT, Federal and State Governments to make a decision about our energy future that ensures a healthy climate and good local air quality is achievable in all parts of Victoria.
Full details of DEA’s submission can be found on the EPA’s website
Morris Blackburn is acting ‘pro bono’ for Doctors for the Environment Australia.
An article published online yesterday relating to the case is online at ABC’s the Drum.
For more information:
Dr Eugenie Kayak ph: 0419 685 574