The Community Environment Network’s (CEN) submission to the EPA Licensing Review Committee on the Eraring and Vales Point Power Stations, has called for their pollution controls to be upgraded to match world standards.
“Existing mandatory technology in Europe, United States and Japan, for instance, comprise FGD (Flue Gas Desulfurisation) and SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction),” said CEN Executive Member, Mike Campbell.
“Neither of these modern technologies are employed in NSW power stations, despite these effective controls existing for many decades,” Campbell said.
“The cost of installation of these technologies can be easily absorbed by the private entities for both Vales Point and Eraring, based on known profits recorded in recent years,” he said.
“The impact of pollution upon communities in NSW has been aired for over three decades, but successive governments have failed to connect this pollution with public or environmental health.
“Environmental Justice Australia have, in the last 18 months, publicly aired statistics which are alarming, to say the least, that link power station pollution with health effects upon communities, even in the Sydney basin.
“Health authorities to date have not responded.
“Due to the long standing failure of state authorities, or government itself, to open up studies in this area, Dr Ben Ewald, has just released a statistical epidemiological study after 18 months’ research into all available data.
“Based on estimations of likely death and disease emanating from power station pollution, Dr Ewald, has, at least, opened debate which now requires EPA and health authorities to respond.
“Simple refutation of Dr Ewald’s study will not suffice in the public domain.
“We are asking that this study be taken seriously and that community, EPA, health authorities and government play out the issue in public view,” Campbell said.
Recommendations made to the licence review panel by CEN, included that Eraring and Vales Point pollution licences should be amended to set stack emission limits consistent with world best practice.
“Vales Point and Eraring (and Mt. Piper) should install SCR and FGD technology to dramatically reduce pollution,” the submission said.
“An additional public air quality monitor must be placed in the region of Eraring and Vales Point stations, probably near Wyee, as was discussed in 2015.
“Continuous stack monitoring and real time monitoring must be introduced and be publicly available.
“Due to the release of Dr Ewald’s study, EPA and NSW health authorities must open up public debate as to these findings to enable true correlation between pollution and public and environmental health to prevail.
Submission, Dec 1
Mike Campbell, Community Environment Network