Operation Dust Patrol Gets Underway In Hunter Valley

Operation Dust Patrol Gets Underway In Hunter Valley

New South Wales Minister for Environment Gabrielle Upton

Mine Dust Crackdown In Hunter Valley

Victor P Taffa

A crackdown on coal mine dust has been launched in the Hunter Valley, to ensure mines comply with strict operating conditions.

“Operation Dust Patrol is underway, and inspectors from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) are on the alert.” Minister for Environment Gabrielle Upton said.

“All mines operate under strict licensing conditions and they are required to minimise dust levels. Making sure mines do this is a priority for the New South Wales Government.”

“Strict operating conditions are there to protect and safeguard the community and the environment and any mine that does not properly control its dust can face fines of up to $1 Million.” Minister Upton said.

“People living near mines should be protected by tough regulations and mine operators have a duty at law to improve their environmental performance.”

“During Operation Dust Patrol EPA Officers will inspect mines to check that, in addition to best practice dust controls, extra precautions are in place on days when there is a higher risk of dust.” Minister Upton said.

“In particular, mines must take extra care during harsh dry weather conditions to prevent dust affecting the surrounding communities.”

“Current dry drought conditions, especially on windy days, mean that mines should be taking extra precautions to control the amount of dust generated on site.” Minister Upton said.

“These precautions could include not transporting or dumping as much earth, watering exposed stockpiles, delaying blasting until calmer weather or ceasing operations altogether.”

“If mines are caught out breaching regulations or not taking extra care on windy days, the EPA will take action.” Minister Upton said.