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Upper Hunter residents shouldn’t have to hold their breath for missing air quality data

Revelations major inadequacies have been uncovered in air quality assessments for the Rix’s Creek mine expansion in the Hunter Valley will only heighten existing concerns over the impact of coal mines on the health of residents, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.

The inadequacies were outlined in a letter from the Department of Planning, Industry and the Environment to the Independent Planning Commission, which currently plans to hold a public meeting on the impacts of the mine expansion this Monday 29th July.

Lock the Gate Alliance Hunter Valley spokesperson David Burgess said it would be bizarre for the IPC to continue with its planned public meeting when there was clearly a lack of critical information available.

“The Department found mine owner Bloomfield Group’s air quality impacts provided to date had not considered a number of sensitive air quality receivers,” he said.

“The department doesn’t expect this will be remedied before August 9, yet people in the Hunter Valley, particularly around Singleton, are being expected to dutifully head along to a public meeting that lacks crucial detail.

“We are already suffering the health impacts of poor quality air caused due in large part to the expansion of coal mining, yet companies cannot even get basic data before trying to proceed with yet another mine expansion.

“This is outrageous behaviour from Bloomfield, and the missing data must be made public as soon as possible.”

Members of the Upper Hunter community will stage a protest outside the IPC’s public meeting this Monday, should it go ahead as planned. 

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