Skip navigation

Public get a chance to have their say on Vales Point’s emissions of asthma-causing pollution

The Nature Conservation Council is encouraging everyone concerned about the respiratory health of Central Coast children to make a submission to the review of Vales Point coal-fired power station’s exemption to the NSW Clean Air laws. 

Vales Point’s special exemption lets it emit toxic NO2 gas at twice the rate set out in the NSW clean air laws, which is due to expire. Last December, the company applied to renew that exemption for another five years. 

In the intervening months, community group Future Sooner and the Nature Conservation Council have campaigned hard to convince the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to give those most affected a say in whether or not the licence is renewed. 

The EPA last week agreed to seek public comments and has given people until Wednesday, November 10, to have their say. [1] 

The EPA has done the right thing by giving people who live in the shadow of this industrial facility a chance to have their voices heard,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said. 

Vales Point is one of the state’s biggest polluters and should not be granted another five-year exemption from the Clean Air Regulation. 

This massively polluting business makes mega-profits for its billionaire owners because the NSW Government and the EPA keeps letting it off the hook. 

“This power station is not only fueling climate change, it is harming the health of hundreds of kids on the Central Coast. The free ride has to end.” 

Vales Point’s current Environmental Protection Licence allows up to 1500 milligrams of nitrogen dioxide to be emitted per cubic metre of exhaust, while under the NSW Clean Air Regulation, polluting facilities of the same age must emit around half as much pollution, at 800 milligrams per cubic metre. [2] 

Nitrogen dioxide from coal power stations causes respiratory diseases and is responsible for hundreds of kids in the local area developing asthma. 

“Coal power stations should not be above the law when it comes to polluting our air,” Mr Gambian said.  

“It’s time Vales and all power stations in NSW stopped polluting the air we breathe and the EPA protected the health of people who live around Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast. 

“For 10 years, the Vales Point coal power station has been exempted from the Clean Air Regulation. Enough is enough. We call on the EPA to reject this latest application. 

“Installing low-NOx burners would halve the nitrogen dioxide pollution that the plant releases into the community, at a cost which is just a fraction of its annual profit. 

EPA Vales Point consultation page 

Here is the link where people can make a submission.  

REFERENCES 

 

Continue Reading

Read More

Transition to plantation timber would be a win for the nature and industry

September 16, 2022

NSW’s peak conservation group supports the expansion of timber plantations in NSW as recommended by the Upper House timber inquiry as the best way to guarantee timber supply while avoiding further extinctions of forest-dwelling wildlife.  The expansion of plantations was a key recommendation of...

Read more