Support the call for a Special Commission of Inquiry into coal dust in the Hunter

Coal trainThe Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) recently released a report concluding that coal trains are not associated with elevated particle pollution in the Hunter. The Environment Protection Authority has used this report to argue that covering coal trains to protect the community from coal dust should not be required.

A leaked version of the ARTC report, dated just six days before the version that was released to the public, reaches the opposite conclusion, stating that coal trains are, in fact, associated with increased particle pollution.

Please support the call for a Special Commission of Inquiry to get to the bottom of this issue.

Background information

As you may have heard in the media, on the 30th May the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) released a report concluding that:

“Loaded coal trains were not associated with a statistically significant difference in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations when compared with the concentrations recorded when no train was passing the monitoring station.“

The Hunter Community Environment Centre has received a leaked copy of the report dated 24 May (just six days before the final report) that concludes that:

“Loaded coal trains and unloaded coal trains were associated with a statistically significant elevation in particulate matter concentrations when compared with the concentrations recorded when no train was passing the monitoring station.”

Many other conclusions have been altered and data apparently reclassified. The effect of these alterations is to mislead the Government and the people of NSW into believing that coal trains do not cause coal dust emissions when the opposite is true.

In light of this, an independent Special Commission of Inquiry should be established to investigate the issue of coal dust in the Hunter. Furthermore, the planning process for any infrastructure projects that may contribute to elevated airborne dust levels in the Hunter, including the proposed fourth coal terminal, should be suspended pending the recommendations of the Special Commission of Inquiry.

For this issue to be resolved we need your help.

Please send an email to the Premier to show him you support the call for a Special Commission of Inquiry into the issue of coal dust in the Hunter.

Regards

Zane Alcorn

HCEC community organiser

m: 0401 466 831

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