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Whitehaven Coal Limited : Annual Report 2013
46 Whitehaven Coal Limited Annual Report 2013 5 Environment 5.5 NOISE Managing noise makes a tangible di erence in the quality of living for our neighbours -- particularly where we are operating in close proximity to towns. Whitehaven continuously seeks to ensure that noise is within acceptable limits by implementing appropriate management practices and/or providing noise mitigation measures. Overview Noise Impact Assessments are carried out routinely on all of Whitehaven's operations and projects. Given the recent approvals (or re-approvals) of most of our sites, the Company is operating under the most stringent noise guidelines set down for mining projects in New South Wales. As part of their approvals, each site also has a State Government approved Noise Management Plan under which noise reduction initiatives are put in place, monitoring conducted and noise levels reported to the appropriate agencies and stakeholder groups. Real-time noise monitoring is now in place at all of our active mine sites, allowing our site-based environmental sta and management to manage noise impacts based on weather forecasts and atmospheric conditions. This real-time monitoring is also a key component of the cumulative impacts management in the Boggabri Tarrawonga Maules Creek mining precinct (see more detail page 47). Any noise breaches are immediately reported to the relevant government departments including the Environmental Protection Authority. Our Werris Creek mine is the only operation we have which is in close proximity (4km) to a town. During FY2013, Whitehaven has undertaken signi cant investment in noise reduction practices at the Werris Creek operation. This has included the employment of Noise Control Operators at site, whose role is to monitor real time noise levels as recorded by our real time noise units in Werris Creek and the Quipolly area. The Noise Control Operators then provide advice to the mining supervisors in relation to noise levels from the mine, and if it is necessary, they then relocate equipment or stand equipment down. Our real time noise monitoring within the town limits has shown that these initiatives have made a signi cant di erence. In addition to this, Whitehaven undertook an extensive program of retro tting a Cat785 dump truck (in operation at Werris Creek) with sound attenuation equipment comprising modi ed exhaust, radiator enclosure and engine bay cover, to determine the level of noise reduction that could be achieved on the Cat785 eet. As a consequence of this work, a further four Cat785 dump trucks will be retro tted with sound attenuation equipment during FY2014. At the same time we are gradually replacing some of our Cat785 eet at Werris Creek with Cat793XQ trucks. These trucks are factory tted with sound suppression technology and operate at substantially lower noise levels compared to the Cat785 trucks as evidenced by on site noise measurement tests by acoustic consultants. Noise management is a critical component of all our operations, and learnings from the works undertaken at our Werris Creek site will provide valuable information relative to equipment type and noise mitigation should this be necessary at any of Whitehaven's other operations. Case Study Werris Creek -- Noise management
Annual Report 2012