PWCS must release all documents on coal operation health issues: Greens

Newcastle Greens today called on Port Waratah Coal Services to publicly release all documentation it has related to health effects on workers or anyone else associated with its Newcastle coal operations.

Newcastle Greens Lord Mayoral and Ward 4 candidate, John Sutton, said that the University of Newcastle health study released yesterday mentioned the possibility of leachate-contaminated process water as a suspected cause of the accelerated cancer risk it identified among PWCS Kooragang Island workers.

The study also refers to a 2008 PWCS water-quality study, but makes no reference to its findings.

“It was very disturbing to read today that PWCS has stated that it is ‘not in a position to release’ its 2008 review of water quality on the former Kooragang Island industrial dump site, given that leachate-polluted water is currently the prime suspect behind accelerated cancer rates among its Kooragang Island workers,” Mr Sutton said.

Citing a PWCS spokesperson, a Newcastle Herald report today said that a 2008 review of water quality on the site found it was acceptable, ‘but the company was not in a position to provide a copy of that review’ [“Wetland to wasteland”, Newcastle Herald, p.7].

“Why is PWCS not in a position to publicly release this water quality review, to substantiate its claim that it found the water quality was acceptable? Mr Sutton asked.

“What other information does PWCS have that could shed light on the cause of the accelerated cancer risks identified in the new health study?

“PWCS has previously refused other calls to publicly release important documentation associated with its proposed T4 development, including basic information required to substantiate its own justification for the development.

“It’s time for PWCS to fully disclose all the relevant and important information it has on this and other key aspects of its current and planned coal loading operations,” Mr Sutton said.

For more information or comment contact:

John Sutton (Greens candidate for Newcastle Lord Mayor and Ward 4), on 0411 154 004.

The Newcastle Greens website is at: http://www.newcastlegreens.org.au ‎

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