Progress Association asks the hard questions

Letters to the editor

[Forum]I write in response to Gary Blaschke’s letter in edition 150 (Mischievous Community Terrorist not satisfied that Delta has our wellbeing at heart). We ask the hard questions in the community’s interest.

The Mannering Park Progress Association has two very able female representatives who attended the Community Access Regional Environment Forum (CARE), and, along with other dedicated community representatives, do ask very deep and probing questions of management. As an example, we have recently asked for more air quality monitors, how much mercury the power station is emitting, what is the cumulative amount in the surrounding areas, what threat does this pose to humans and the aquatic environment, what is world’s best practice, and do they intend meeting these standards?

We are not scientists, but to that end, we do not rely solely only on the information freely provided by the power station management, and are seeking further independent confirmation of the reports regarding heavy metal or other contaminants that may leach from the unlined ash dam. We should have those results in the next few months and will act upon the findings. We sincerely understand Gary’s serious misgivings and wish to understand and be fully informed not only by the gatekeeper.

We know Eraring Power Station is to recycle 85 per cent of its fly ash but has only managed to recycle 37 per cent, so how is the rest dealt with, unhealthier landfill? As to the repast delivered, every social function from the local CWA to high level government meetings normally provide refreshments for the participants to be polite, and as a small thank you for giving up their time and attending these meetings so they can report back in full to their particular associations. This is purely social etiquette. Coal-fi red power stations emit more than 30 toxic substances that have serious impacts on the communities that live near them, including heart attack, stroke, asthma, lung cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, choking and coughing, headache, general discomfort and anxiety, wheezing, colds, fl u and bronchitis, coughing, shortness of breath, tiredness and nausea (source, Environment Justice Australia).

The NSW Government is currently reviewing the pollution licenses for the Vales Point and Eraring Power Stations. We have a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity, as community members, to put in submissions to the NSW Environment Protection Authority, by December 24, in relation to the Environment Protection Licenses (EPLs), and to let them know what we demand as a society if the power stations are going to continue to operate in our ever growing communities with a social license. To that end, Mannering Park Progress Association has invited Dr James Whelan, Environment Justice Australia, to attend our next meeting on November 13, at 7pm, in the Mannering Park Community Hall Library, Dunvegan St, Mannering Park, so that he can outline all of the issues and remedies which will enable the power stations to cut the pollution they emit by up to 95 per cent. We cordially invite all interested community members to attend. We hope this allays Gary’s fears somewhat to have confidence that all of our communities are trying to obtain the same goal; clean air and a healthy environment for all.

Email, Oct 14 Kel Wynn, Mannering Park Progress

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