Dust Deposition Monitoring
A dust monitoring program was established in 1991, prior to the Centre opening. Its purpose is to assess background air quality conditions and contribution of site activities to dust amenity once operations commenced.
Dust is measured using dust deposition gauges in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Standard 3580.10.1 – 1991 and air quality method AM-19. The dust deposition rate is measured as the amount of dust deposited on a horizontal surface, and the units for this parameter are grams per square metre per month (g/m2/month).
The program entails continuous collection of settleable dust and monthly testing at nine locations required by the site's EPL. Eight gauges are located around the perimeter of the site, and one is located offsite at a residential receptor. The dust monitoring program was voluntarily expanded in February 2018 to include a second residential receptor to cater for residential encroachment in this direction. The location of the gauges can be viewed on the Environmental Monitoring Location Map.
The gauges are analysed for total insoluble matter, ash content and combustible matter. Results are compared to City of Newcasle's annual average target of 3.9 g/m2/month, and no increase greater than 2 g/m2/month on the previous month rolling annual average. These targets are based on the NSW EPA Approved Methods for the Modelling and Assessment of Air Pollutants in New South Wales. Below is an example of a routine dust monitoring report:
A full weather station has been installed on the premises to provide real-time weather information and assist in targeting dust mitigation measures. Weather data is also used to determine the likely origin and destination of suspended particles.
In August 2017 the EPA enforced a variation to the sites EPL requiring Summerhill to accept lead waste from the Pasminco Lead Abatement Strategy Area. To monitor for the impact of the new activity, Council voluntarily added lead analysis the monitoring program and this will continue for the duration of lead waste receival.
Dust deposition results
The NSW EPA require all licence holders to make publically available the environmental monitoring results required by their EPL. This data must remain visible for a period of four years: