Add your name to our open letter to the EPA!

Read our full letter to the NSW EPA, which been co-signed by leading environment and health groups in NSW. In the letter, we are calling on the NSW EPA to immediately investigate the concerning increases in dangerous pollution from coal-fired power stations. Will you join our calls by signing the open letter below? Add your name now to show the EPA that there is widespread concern about this!   

Dear Director, Regulatory Operations Metro North; Director, Regulatory Operations Regional West at the Environment Protection Authority 

RE: National Pollutant Inventory data 2020-2021 – unexplained increases in pollution at NSW coal-fired power stations 

A letter has been sent to you asking you to urgently investigate unexplained increases in pollution at NSW coal-fired power stations based on an analysis of the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) data 2020-2021. 

The letter is written on behalf of a coalition of leading health and environment groups, including: Environmental Justice Australia, Doctors for the Environment Australia, Healthy Futures and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.  

I am adding my name to this letter because as a member of the NSW community, I deserve to breathe clean air that is free of harmful pollution. 

I am concerned that the increases in pollution are putting the health of our community in danger and threatening the environment. I am also concerned that the increases may indicate that the operators of the power stations are failing to operate and/or maintain the power stations in a proper and efficient condition and manner – which I believe warrants an investigation by the EPA. 

The letter sent to you refers to the NPI data for the reporting period 2020-2021, released on 31 March 2022. Analysis of the data has identified a number of increases in certain pollutants for some NSW coal-fired power stations, despite four out of five of the coal-fired power stations generating less electricity than in 2019-2020.   

For example, Vales Point power station, operated by Delta Electricity, saw major increases in particulate pollution. It more than doubled its coarse particle pollution (PM10) and tripled its fine particle pollution (PM2.5) since the 2019-2020 reporting period. This was despite generating 8% less electricity in 2020-2021 than in 2019-2020. Similarly, AGL’s NSW power stations Liddell and Bayswater, both pumped more toxic pollution into the air in 2020-21 than the year prior, despite a 31% and 9% drop in generation respectively. Liddell more than doubled its particle PM2.5 pollution and almost doubled its particle PM10 pollution from 2019-20. 

Particle pollution is an incredibly dangerous pollutant that can cause adverse health outcomes and even increase the risk of early death. 

Mercury pollution also sharply increased at NSW coal-fired power stations. Mercury pollution rose by 81% at Bayswater, 93% at Eraring, 100% at Vales Point and 135% at Mount Piper in 2020-2021, compared to the previous reporting year.  

Mercury is highly toxic and accumulates in both the environment and organisms. Any release of mercury is significant. As a member of the NSW community, I am incredibly concerned about this huge increase in toxic pollution. There is no safe level of exposure to these pollutants, and the community deserves to know what is causing the increases. 

One of the objectives of the EPA is to reduce the risks to human health and prevent the degradation of the environment by reducing air pollution. I ask that you fulfil the objectives of the EPA by investigating the increases in toxic air pollution from NSW’s coal-fired power stations. 

I further request that the EPA respond to the letter and, once it has completed its investigation, provide a written explanation for the increases and an outline of what regulatory action it intends to take.  


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