Managing Air Quality at HVO
Management of air quality
HVO’s Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) outlines how we manage and reduce air quality impacts to ensure that levels do not exceed the specified criteria.
We try to reduce dust created by our operations in the following ways:
- Using water trucks to dampen haul routes
- Automatic activation of sprays at our hoppers when haul trucks dump their loads
- Minimising tip heights
- Restricting the removal of topsoil to ensure that it contains enough moisture
- Enclosing coal processing areas
- Modifying or shutting down mine operations during extreme weather, including windy and dry conditions
- Covering coal conveyors and keeping stockpiles damp
- Stabilising exposed areas through various techniques including aerial seeding
- Rehabilitating mined land as soon as possible to reduce exposed areas
- Restricting blasting during adverse weather conditions
- Implementing overburden dumping restrictions in dust sensitive areas
- Educating employees about minimising the generation of dust when operating heavy machinery
Intergrated Operations Centre (IOC)
Our IOC provides feedback to the mine shift coordinator (OCE) to help them to make changes to mining operations if dust levels are increasing, and to let them know whether the changes are working to reduce dust levels in real time.. They also validate real-time air quality alarms and advise the the mine shift coordinator of any problem dust sources.
Our IOC also ensures that complaints recieved of a night shift are responded to by the OCE. They also capture any changes which have been introduced to help control emissions.
Meteorological data is collected on a continuous basis via the Cheshunt (HVO South) and Hunter Valley (HVO North) meteorological stations. The meteorological station provides real-time data on key weather parameters such as wind speed and direction, allowing the operation to make informed decisions on blasting and dumping operations each day.
In 2010, the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network (UHAQMN) was established to provide reliable, regional air quality monitoring data. Monitoring stations are located throughout the Upper Hunter, including Singleton and Muswellbrook. All of the monitoring sites measure dust particles, such as PM10, wind speed and wind direction. Data from the UHAQMN can be viewed at www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aqms/upperhunter.htm
HVO operates a network of real-time and static monitoring devices to measure compliance with air quality conditions. Real-time monitoring data is reviewed and reported daily through this website, while static monitoring data and more detailed trend information is made available on a monthly basis via the Rio Tinto website.
In 2010, the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network (UHAQMN) was established to provide regional air quality monitoring data. Monitoring stations are located throughout the Upper Hunter, including Singleton and Muswellbrook. All of the monitoring sites measure dust particles, such as PM10, wind speed and wind direction. Data from the UHAQMN can be viewed at www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aqms/upperhunter.htm
Where can I find out more information?
The HVO Annual Environmental Review provides a summary of compliance monitoring data for the previous year. The HVO Air Quality Management Plan describes the measures employed to minimise air quality emissions each day and is available in the document library.