Managing Noise at MTW
We regularly measure noise generated by our operations to assess our performance against regulatory conditions and the effectiveness of our noise management strategies. We measure noise using a combination of attended noise monitoring (hand held units) and real time noise monitoring.
Where noise levels are measured in excess of the specified criteria, our operations are required to take action to ensure that noise is reduced to or below the criteria within 75 minutes from the time of the reading. Modifications to operations are generally undertaken according to a hierarchy of control, and include:
- Re-arranging fleet types*
- Changing haul routes
- Changing dump locations
- Reducing fleet numbers
- Shutting down tasks/mine site
*The MTW fleet are fitted with sound attenuation packages reducing their noise levels. Some HVO Trucks are also fitted with the attenuation package. Some types and styles of Trucks are louder than others, these are assigned to work areas further away from receptors.
Community Response Officers - MTW
MTW's Community Response Officers (CRO's) undertake a range of environmental management activities. Through handheld (attended) noise monitoring, the CROs investigate and validate real time noise alarms, and verify the effectiveness of any changes made in response to elevated noise levels.
The CRO's carry out routine attended noise monitoring at several locations surrounding MTW, including the Bulga and Long Point areas.
Our CROs communicate regularly with the mine shift coordinator (OCE) to help the site make changes to its operations if noise levels are rising, and to let them know whether the changes are working to reduce the noise levels in real time.
Our CROs also speak with community members who raise concerns about mine noise. They receive and respond to complaints and inform community members of current noise levels, and (if applicable) any changes that have been implemented at site to minimise noise.
Compliance assessments are undertaken by specialist consultants on a routine basis. Monitoring is completed on a random basis, once per month at a number of locations surrounding MTW. The results of compliance monitoring are reported publically each month via the Rio Tinto website. For more information on compliance assessment, please refer to the MTW Noise Management Plan.
Is mining noise regulated?
Noise emissions from open-cut mines are regulated regulated through the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (NSW). The NSW Industrial Noise Policy sets out the framework for the assessment and regulation of noise in NSW. Noise limits applicable to individual private residences are defined in the relevant Planning Approval, which also sets out the requirements for monitoring performance and reporting.
Where can I find out more information?
You can find out more about NSW noise legislation and regulations, industrial noise policy and the Australian and New Zealand Environmental Council’s guidelines for blasting at www.epa.nsw.gov.au
You can find out more about how we manage noise impacts to ensure that levels do not exceed the specified criteria in the following documents: