Q. What are the results of the review of the mining equipment fleet?
A. The mine plan optimization review has proposed a reduction in the equipment fleet for the Project by utilising fewer and larger trucks. This will further reduce dust emissions from the Project and ensures further conservatism of the emissions presented in the EIS
Q. Is the meteorological data used in the air quality dispersion modelling suitable?
A. The baseline meteorological data used in the air quality dispersion modelling utilises 12 months of hourly data which accurately captures all wind directions and their occurrence. The data used in the EIS and air quality dispersion modelling is consistent with the predominant winds recorded within 50 km of the Project.
Q. What baseline air quality data has been obtained?
A. Shenhua Watermark has collected baseline air quality monitoring data since 2010 for the Project Boundary and immediate surrounds, Breeza village and Gunnedah. This monitoring program will continue for the Project. All baseline monitoring data will be publicly available for the community and government departments.
Q. What was the air quality assessment approach?
A. Air quality dispersion modelling for the Project was conducted in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Approved Methods for the Modelling and Assessment of Air Pollutants in NSW, as specified in the DGRs. The assessment approach is valid and has been endorsed by the EPA
Q. What are the predicted air quality concentrations?
A. It should be reiterated that the results from the air quality dispersion modelling of the EIS presented below are based on the truck fleet described in the EIS. Shenhua Watermark has optimised the indicative equipment fleet for the Project by proposing to utilise fewer and larger trucks. An analysis of the Year 25 emissions for the Project with the revised equipment fleet indicates a 15% reduction in air quality emissions. Therefore, the air quality impact modelling completed for the EIS should be considered conservative.
The Project is not predicted to contribute to exceedances of the annual average assessment criteria for TSP, dust deposition, PM10 and PM2.5 at any receivers, as shown in the EIS. Six receivers may experience exceedances of the 24-hour PM10 criteria at some stages throughout the life of the Project; however proactive management will result in modifications to operations so that this does not occur. In addition, the mine plan optimisation review will further reduce any air quality impacts.
Q. What will be the level of control on wheel-generated dust on haul roads?
A. Shenhua Watermark has committed to achieving an 85% dust control on haul roads, utilising speed control signage, water carts and/or dust suppressants. Shenhua Watermark will conduct the relevant monitoring throughout the life of the Project to ensure the haul roads are being effectively managed to reduce dust emissions.
Q. What is Shenhua proposing to do to minimise dust impacts during loading of trains and unloading of trains?
A. Washed coal from Shenhua Watermark will have low concentrations of fine coal and dust. Shenhua will utilise a water spray / dust suppressant system at the train load out facility as deemed necessary throughout the life of the Project to assist in minimising dust impacts. Unloading of coal at the coal terminal will be carried out in facilities with dust control systems in place.
Q. How will the management of dust emissions from the site be managed?
A. Shenhua Watermark has implemented a variety of best practice air quality management measures for the Project as recommended by the EPA. These include:
• Use of water carts/trucks to control emissions from haul roads;
• Control of the speed of trucks;
• Progressive rehabilitation;
• Application of water at the crusher and on conveyor transfer points;
• Watering of trafficked areas for bulldozing;
• Minimisation of travel speed and distance travelled for bulldozing;
• Delay of blasts if unfavourable weather prevails;
• Installation of a spray bar with dust suppressants for loading product coal to trains for use as deemed necessary; and
• Use of water sprays and dust aprons for drilling.
In addition, Shenhua Watermark will develop and install a real-time air quality monitoring network, with a predictive meteorological forecasting system, for the day to day management of air quality throughout the life of the Project.
Q. What are the predicted impacts of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) from blasting emissions?
A. Shenhua Watermark will implement a variety of mitigation and management measures to minimise the formation of NO2 emissions from blasting and will utilise the predictive meteorological monitoring system to ensure blasting does not occur under conditions identified to potentially cause exceedances at sensitive receivers of the relevant criteria.