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Whitehaven Coal Limited : Annual Report 2013
47 Whitehaven Coal Limited Annual Report 2013 5 Environment With the recent State and Federal approvals to extensions at the existing Boggabri Coal mine (owned and operated by Idemitsu Resources) and Tarrawonga mine, and the impending construction of the Maules Creek mine, it is a requirement in each project's approval to work cooperatively in the establishment of a cumulative impact monitoring and management program. Cumulative impact management programs are speci cally required in relation to noise, air quality, water management, biodiversity and cultural heritage. Works have already commenced on the establishment of these programs, which will include the acquisition and operation of equipment to measure cumulative impacts, particularly in terms of noise, air quality and water management. In fact, the operations have been working together on cumulative impact initiatives since late 2011, well before their approvals were received. The intent of these programs is to be able to identify the source of impact prior to exceeding compliance levels, and for an appropriate response at the source of impact to ensure compliance. The three projects have agreed to the use of a single monitoring network and data sharing arrangements to ensure cumulative impacts can be managed appropriately. It is expected that cumulative monitoring plans for air, noise and water will be established and operational during FY2014. It is also expected that the Regional Cultural Heritage Strategy, and Stage 2 of the required Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the precinct will be completed during FY2014. The Cultural Heritage Strategy will guide the Company's interaction with indigenous groups and cultural heritage values. Case Study Boggabri Tarrawonga Maules Creek (BTM) cumulative impacts monitoring During the year we exceeded our noise criteria on four occasions -- two of these exceedences occurred at our Gunnedah CHPP, one at our Narrabri mine and one at our Rocglen mine (for further detail of these exceedances please see the table on page 39 of this report). All of these incidents have been reported to the EPA and discussions have been underway with a ected landholders to ensure the most appropriate solution is reached. At Narrabri, we have undertaken preliminary discussions with the a ected landholder in terms of determining an appropriate resolution and to minimise our impacts. This includes the re-deployment of our real time noise monitor to a location in close proximity to the residence to verify ongoing noise performance and appropriate management actions at site. Over the past two months, Narrabri has been operating in compliance with the noise criteria following noise surveys undertaken by acoustical consultants. At Rocglen, the noise impacts were discussed with the a ected landholder, utilising the results from real time monitoring. In addition, improved practices at site, with the initiation of in-pit dumping at night, has signi cantly reduced noise impacts, with no further exceedances reported since this initial event. At our CHPP, works were initiated under a Pollution Reduction Program with the EPA to mitigate the noise impacts at a nearby a ected property. However, following completion of the rst stage of the PRP, it was identi ed with the a ected landholder that acquisition was the preferred outcome. As a consequence, this property was purchased by the Company, and as a result, is now project related and not subject to the noise criteria.
Annual Report 2012