Leading dust suppression specialists Global Road Technology are calling for more stringent air pollution controls for mine sites with recent data showcasing how mining sites in the Hunter Valley are risking people’s health by breaching standards.
With air quality standards closely linked to rainfall, the risk is that climate change-induced drought and bushfires, coupled with the existing pollution caused by coal mining activity will drive high levels of particulate pollution in the area that is home to 41 coal mines in total – along with coal-fired power stations.
Those in the medical community are warning that pollution can negatively impact the human body and that any rise in particulate pollution will bring health consequences for the entire community.
Respiratory and cardiovascular health are not the only areas of people’s health impacted through air pollution. It is now believed that it contributes to cognitive decline (incl. dementia), negatively effect foetal growth and increases the risk of heart disease.
According to Global Road Technology Managing Director Troy Adams prioritisation needs to be given to dust suppression strategies in regions like the Hunter Valley to protect the local communities over the short, medium and long-term.
“Over the past two years the La Nina weather pattern has improved air quality in the region as rainfall has helped to settle particulate dust caused by mining activities,” said Mr Adams.
“What is challenging going forward is that we will enter drought conditions again over the coming decade and this will again see an increase in dust pollution that for an area like the Hunter Valley with such a high concentration of mines can lead to adverse community effects. That’s why we as a company are advocating for an industry-led approach where whole-of-site dust suppression programs are implemented that stop particulate pollution from spreading beyond the mining site – this approach combines dust suppression technology and processes to deliver outcomes that protect people living nearby mines.”
As an international, engineering technology company focussing on providing innovative products and solutions for the mining, civil, agricultural, resources, land development, and environmental management sectors, GRT is investing significantly in R&D and innovation to make it a leader in air pollution reduction.
Its specialisations in dust control, soil stabilisation, erosion control, and water management and investments in innovation have helped to build its reputation as a global leader in dust suppression and reducing particulate pollution caused by mining and construction activity.