Study into dust from coal trains delayed

THE much-anticipated results of a study into dust emissions from the Hunter’s coal trains have been delayed for a month.

The Environment Protection Authority previously said it expected the results of the study, undertaken by the Australian Rail Track Corporation, to be publicly available by the end of August.

A spokeswoman said last night that the final report would now not be available until the end of September.

‘‘The EPA has undertaken a technical review of the report and requires the ARTC to verify the data,” she said.

The study aimed to determine if loaded coal trains made a significant contribution of particle emission concentrations and whether they were a larger source of particle emissions than other types of trains.

Monitors measured concentrations of total suspended particles, particulate matter of less than 10 microns and particulate matter of less than 2.5 microns.

The results were analysed against the type of train scheduled to pass by testing locations at Scholey Street Junction, Mayfield, and Raymond Terrace Drive, Metford.

The study coincides with the Newcastle Herald’s Great Cover Up campaign, which is seeking to have  chemical or physical covers introduced on the Hunter’s  coal wagons.

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann sought last week to have the study’s results and other information about coal train emissions tabled in state parliament.

The government defeated the motion.

Ms Faehrmann said last night the delay was unacceptable.

‘‘The Hunter deserves access to this information right now,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s unacceptable that the government continues to delay the release of critical information about potential risks to people’s health."

To sign The Herald's petition to have coal trains covered in the Hunter, follow the link below: 

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide