Coal dust data gathering across Hunter
Environmentalists have launched another community-run survey about coal dust from trains, hoping to force companies to cover their wagons.
The Hunter Community Environment Centre has launched a new round of checks into the complaint, saying it will assess local attitudes towards coal dust in the door-to-door ‘Dust Free Streets Project’.
The survey was launched this week.
Organiser Zane Alcorn has told ABC reporters that previous surveys have shown many are opposed to coal dust in the air.
Other questions will surround the equipment used to load the trains.
“They've been asking residents, what's their position on T4 - the proposed fourth coal loader,” Mr Alcorn said.
“And also, do they think that it's time for the coal wagons and the coal stock piles to be fully enclosed and regularly washed to cut down dust pollution.”
Meanwhile, a NSW Minerals Council project to assess similar risks continues.
The Council’s investigations have reached a high-tech phase.
A wind tunnel will be used to test miniature coal wagons, looking for dust emissions from several Hunter Valley coal types under worst-case conditions.
A survey undertaken at Tighes Hill last year found 85 per cent of respondents wanted wagons washed and covered.
“Certainly those sort of numbers, as we were getting results in from Tighes Hill, kept being repeated from street to street,” Mr Alcorn said.
“The take home message from Tighes Hill was that there is overwhelming support for covering coal wagons, getting a lid on all this dust pollution from coal.
“That's likely to be repeated in these other suburbs.”