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Weather forecasting system aims to reduce coal dust emissions

Wednesday January 8, 2014 - 07:19 EDT
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'Hazardous' levels of dust on Wybong Road at Muswellbrook in 2012. - ABC

Just a week after the release of data showing high particle pollution levels in the Hunter in 2013, the coal industry will introduce a weather forecasting system aimed at reducing dust emissions from mines.

The figures from the Environment Protection Authority show levels exceeded national standards on more than 170 occasions last year.

During a three month trial, the forecasting system will alert Upper Hunter mines when weather conditions are likely to deteriorate and generate more dust.

New South Wales Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee says while it is not a total solution, it will add to the growing arsenal of tools available to mines to minimise dust.

"It means that mining operations across the Upper Hunter can tailor their approaches and operations to minimise their dust operations and do our bit to improve air quality," he said.

Mr Galilee says the industry is ramping-up efforts to tackle high dust emissions due to community health concerns.

"This will ensure that mining operations are co-ordinating their responses to weather forecasts that predict increased potential dust emissions," he said.

"It will mean actions such as increased water carts and improved responses to dust emissions are introduced, so that the mining industry in the Upper Hunter is doing its bit to reduce dust emissions."


© ABC 2014

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