Environmental News

Dust pollution to be monitored in real time

Cleary Bros, the owners of the Albion Park quarry, wish to expand the basalt quarry further to the east, retaining an extraction limit of 900,000 tonnes of “blue metal” per year.

As previously reported in Quarry, the New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment gave the Port Kembla-based business Cleary Bros the green light to expand its Albion Park quarry in 2015.

However, towards the end of 2016, the quarry’s application to further expand was denied, after the Department of Planning and Environment said there was not enough information provided to make an informed decision.

According to reports, the environmental assessment lacked sufficient details on how the company would handle explosive blasting and noise pollution, as well as details on how the quarry would affect agriculture and Aboriginal heritage.

Cleary Bros has signalled that if its expansion bid is approved, it will be willing to commit to the new “modernised” approach of real time dust monitoring.

“This direction is based on a change from a reactive management approach, where changes are made in response to measurements that may have been sampled over a month ago, to one where the site is able to respond almost immediately to elevated emissions,” a Cleary Bros statement said.

Quarry understands that PM10 would be monitored at the quarry, one of the larger particulate matters regarded as a threat to human health.

The Illawarra quarry was established more than 40 years ago, and initially operated at a production rate of 400,000 tonnes per annum (tpa). In June 2009, Cleary Bros received approval to increase production to 600,000 tpa, and in mid-2015, the quarry’s consent was modified a second time to allow for production of up to 900,000 tpa.

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