ACARP ACARP ACARP ACARP
Open Cut

Dust in the Hunter Valley - An Evaluation of Concentration Distributions, Meteorological Associations and Community Response

Open Cut » Environment

Published: September 99Project Number: C6006

Get ReportAuthor: Nigel Holmes | Holmes Air Sciences

This project investigated the distribution of dust in the Hunter Valley and the relationship between community attitudes to air quality and concentrations of dust to which they are exposed. From anecdotal evidence derived from submissions to Public Inquiry's associated with the opening of mines it is clear that the community is concerned about potential health impacts from dust emissions and from nuisance impacts. Air quality standards for the protection of human health have been developed from a wide basis of scientific knowledge developed over the last 10 - 20 years. This database has allowed the development of air quality goals which are believed to protect human health.

The potential for dust to cause nuisance impacts is rather less well studied. One of the purposes of this study was to attempt to correlate community attitudes to air quality with objective measurements of dust concentrations. To do this it was necessary to have concentration measurements with good time resolutions so that short-term high concentrations of dust could be detected. This was considered necessary because the assessment as to whether a dust concentration is at a nuisance level, or not, would appear to be related to the presence of high concentrations of visible dust, rather than the more moderate concentrations of invisible dust which may give rise to health impacts. Given this background a study was designed to measure short-term concentrations of dust and to determine community attitudes to these exposures.

In summary, the objectives of this study were to develop air quality goals which could be used to objectively assess the level of nuisance created by short-term exposures to dust such as those that might be experienced by communities living in mining areas. The conduct of this study resulted in the development of a very detailed database, which included measurements of dust at three locations as well as a measure of the community assessment of air quality at the same time. This database in fact answers many more questions than were originally envisaged when the research study was designed. The database has been particularly relevant in providing data on the relationship between PM2.5 and PM10 particles. This has become a particularly important issue since the time the study was commenced. During this time air quality goals in the United States have been developed for PM2.5 concentrations based on the health effects. The levels selected for the goals have been set after reviewing the findings of epidemiological studies in urban areas comprising large numbers of people, of the order of millions of people.

The report adopts the following structure.

Section 2 provides a description of an approach to the study and describes the monitoring program and the community survey.

Section 3 provides some background information on the performance of the GRIMM monitors that were used to provide continuous measurement of dust concentrations. These measuring devices are a relatively new technology. To provide some reference with conventional measurement techniques, two studies were conducted. In these, measurements made by the GRIMM monitors were compared with measurements made by standard high-volume samplers and by the TEOM technology which can also provide short-term concentrations of dust.

Section 4 describes the results of the community survey.

Section 5 presents an analysis of the air quality monitoring results without reference to the community survey data.

Section 6 discusses the relationships between community response to dust at different concentrations. It examines the response to long-term exposures and to short-term episodic exposures.

Section 7 summarises the major findings of the study.

Underground

Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C27039True Triaxial Strength Of Coal Measure Rocks And Its Impact On Roadway Stability And Coal Burst Assessment

Rocks in the ground are subject to a range of stresses. The stresses...

C3063Underground Vehicle Design Standards And Statutory Implications

The Australian underground diesel vehicle fleet has evolved since di...

C3064Conveyor Belting And Lagging Shear Characteristics - Drive Drum Slip

The primary aim of this project was to investigate the relationsh...

Underground

Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C29021Assessing The Impact Of Consecutive Night Shifts On Night-Time Alertness, Daytime Sleep And Timing Of The Circadian System

In the Australian coal mining industry, most guidelines for managing...

C33037Quantifying Recharge To Groundwater Systems In The NSW Coalfields (Sydney, Gunnedah And Gloucester Basins)

The purpose of this project was to estimate the rate of diffuse rec...

C26029Geological Controls On Fluorine And Phosphorus In Bowen Basin Coals

Increasing global restrictions on fluorine in product coal prompted ...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27064Dry Beneficiation Using FGX And X-Ray Sorters

Conventional dry processing methods engage a single beneficiation de...

C26010Multi-Sloped Screening Efficiency With Changing Strokes, Frequencies, Feed Solids And Feed Rates-Pilot Plant Study

Optimising multi-sloped screens is often described as an art and the...

C28059Impact Of Water Quality In Coal Handling And Preparations Plants

The objective of this project was to deliver a concise reference do...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

C27054Optimisation Of A Thermal Flow Reversal Reactor For Ventilation Air Methane Mitigation

Ventilation air methane (VAM) generally accounts for 50-85% of the t...

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL) - Phase 2 Demonstration In A Packed Bed Reactor

An alternative approach to high temperature oxidation of ventilation...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community

NERDDC

National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook

NERDDC