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Dr Steve Robinson is a retired medical practitioner who now lives at Barrington Tops, but takes a keen interest in the health impacts of coal mining, especially the effects of coal dust, at the micro-particle level. He is a member of the local community/environment group as well of RiverSOS. Caroline Graham would be able to confirm his expertise is genuine.
Obviously the finer the particle size, the more the dust is able to penetrate the lungs, etc.
Currently there are very few dust monitors, and only 3 out of 14 are capable of monitoring the most dangerous (finest) particles.
Subject: Re: [CoalCommunities] Media Release on Camberwell report, FYI
The plight of the people living in Camberwell village is indeed very serious. The problem of health damage from coal mining and power generation however is far more more extensive:- The annual average level of PM2.5 for 2009 at the only community based PM2.5 monitor in the Upper Hunter (located in Muswellbrook town) showed a level 28% above the governments upper permitted upper limit. The health implications are for an increase in cardio-pulmonary mortality and morbidity last year in Muswellbrook township. Regretably No similar measure was done in Singleton township. The NSW must consult with both communities to site monitors at multiple community based locations e.g. every school, every elderly persons nursing home, every hospital etc. EVERY MONITOR MUST MEASURE PM2.5 levels. For the NSW Govt to dictate there will only be 14 monitors and only 3 of those will measure PM2.5 is ridiculous. The Govt also need to specify how they will reduce the current excessive particle levels.
Greens MP and mining spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on the Minister for Planning to reject three new mining proposals for the Integra, Ashton and Ravensworth mines in the face of today's findings of the Camberwell Cumulative Impact Review which show unacceptable health impacts. The Greens have renewed their calls for an independent, cumulative study across the Upper Hunter to examine the health impacts of the rapidly expanding coal and power industries.
"Despite Minister Kelly's attempt to dress up the Camberwell review as revealing no major problems, it shows air and noise pollution levels are high and will only increase if the three new proposals are approved," Ms Rhiannon said.
"The Camberwell Village has been ravaged by mining, with residents trapped by mining developments on three fronts. This review should see the three new mining applications rejected, not be spun as a reason for them to now proceed.
"The government's response to the review is largely limited to strictly monitoring conditions of consent designed to limit pollution. This is what should have been done for years.
"Minister Kelly's pledge to establish a cabinet mining sub-committee is old news and is yet to be activated. The community would understandably view this as window dressing.
"This review reveals the results of the government's unrelenting expansion of mining, blind to community voices raising the alarm about dust and noise pollution.
"One of the air quality reports show ultra fine particulates, what scientists claim as the new asbestos, exceed national goals. Fine particulate standards are breached on up to 9 percent of days a year, and predicted to rise in future.
"The government admits breaches of air quality standards will have adverse health impacts, particularly on asthmatics and people with heart conditions.
"Cumulative mining noise levels at Camberwell Village are high and expected to rise.
"The additional air quality report, paid for by mining applicants, admits that in some areas results could not be provided because no air quality monitors have been in place, despite a long community campaign for better monitoring.
"The government has sat on several of these reports since June last year and it appears only media pressure saw their release. The appropriate response is to reject new applications for the area," Ms Rhiannon said.