Pollution Data highlights the need to shut Eraring

Nature Conservation Council

April, 2024

Analysis of the National Pollution Inventory by Environmental Justice Australia has shone a light on the profound and worsening health impacts of Australia’s largest coal-fired power plant.

Eraring Power Station recorded an increase in all five major toxic pollutants, including a whopping 130% increase in mercury pollution.

“We know there is no safe exposure level to these toxic pollutants, which can and has caused serious health problems like cancer, asthma and lung disease.”

“This data highlights the need for NSW to mandate basic pollution controls like those required in the US, UK and China, which can reduce toxic pollution up to 85%” NCC CEO Jacqui Mumford said today.

It also shows that the NSW Government shouldn’t be putting public money into propping up coal power stations, when they’re damaging our health and our environment”.

“There is absolutely no excuse for these for-profit, polluting companies to not invest in technologies that reduce air pollution”.

“If they were outside of Australia, they would have to safeguard community health by following basic pollution controls. Yet here in NSW, they do nothing and then ask for government handouts.”

“The analysis also shows that pollution from NSW coal-fired plants has increased across the board despite a 20% reduction in power produced by coal plants since 2019.”

“It also revealed that mercury pollution from Vales Point Power Plant has increased by 10%, alongside a 47% increase in sulfur dioxide pollution, which is linked to inflammation of the respiratory tract, wheezing and lung damage.”

Despite this damaging impact, Vales Point remains currently exempt from NSW’s clean air laws.

Its owner, Delta Electricity, is due to face criminal proceedings in the NSW Land and Environment Court on Friday over an alleged mass fish kill that killed thousands of fish in Lake Macquarie.

/Public Release. View in full here.