Statements from EPA and NSW Minerals Council.

Statements regarding our story on the impact of coal on the Hunter Valley on 18th October 2019.



“Air quality in NSW is generally good by international standards and has been steadily improving. There has been a long-term trend of declining emissions from industry over the past decade.

Particulate pollution in the Hunter Valley is caused by a range of factors including dust storms associated with the current drought, bush fires and hazard reduction burns and in winter, wood heaters, as well as industry.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is committed to working with the community and other stakeholders to improve understanding about air quality issues. The EPA leads business and the community to improve their environmental performance and employs regulatory tools, education, partnerships and economic mechanisms to achieve environmental outcomes.

The EPA regulates operating coal mines and power stations through an environment protection licence which includes legally enforceable controls for emissions and require mines to operate and maintain equipment to minimise the emission of air pollutants to safeguard the community and environment.

The EPA has a range of measures to ensure coal mines comply with licence conditions. These include regular inspections, real time air quality monitoring and targeted campaigns such as “Bust the Dust” which monitors compliance and requires mines to implement actions to minimise dust emissions, especially in dry and windy conditions.  

If mines are caught doing the wrong thing, the EPA takes action, which can include shutting down operations.

In 2018 the EPA completed a review of air emissions and reporting from power stations and overall found extensive compliance with air emissions limits and monitoring requirements.”


“Air quality in the Hunter is an important issue for our industry, particularly given thousands of our miners and their families live in the communities near where mining takes place. 

As in other parts of NSW, the Hunter is experiencing dry and windy conditions, presenting a challenge for the industry. Our mining operations are working hard to minimise their impact. 

Mining operations do have an impact on air quality in the Hunter region, however there are other significant contributors to air quality levels, including transport, agriculture, and wood smoke from home heating.”