Jul 19 2012
Do it yourself noise and dust monitoring
The Planning Assessment Commission is approving projects based on monitoring. Well thanks to new technoclogy, two can play the monitoring game.
For local communities it is important to get control of the data and really drive the “monitoring” by increasing the level of detail. Here are some cheap ideas to get you underway.
Noise Monitoring – Iphone App
Basic iphone Apps such as “Sound Level” are available for only 99 cents. Turns out most of the apps are 99 cents although they do ratchet up in feature and price. Soundmeter for example Is $29.99 and it can do sharing of data via email or twitter. All it needs is a back end server to collect and collate the data. This would be a great activity for the eco nerd.
There are plenty of others
Apparently these apps are good for anything under 90 decibels so that is fine for mining as 40 db is the threshhold. It is possible to add an external microphone for better monitoring although the inbuilt mic should be OK for our purposes
What we would really like is something that logs the noise unattended and emails the file every “x” minutes, we could then gather the data and put into Excel, a web page and copy the EPA or whoever. It must be out there… or maybe we could request a modification to an existing app.
Air Quality Monitoring
Air Quality can also be monitored at a slightly higher charge. Take a look at these hand held air quality monitors starting from $6,500. Something the MCCC is considering. We could have our own air quality monitoring network, slightly manual but they do measure PM2.5’s.
Jul 20 2012
PAC, determined to approve Boggabri Coal Mine
Dr Neil Sheppard and David Johnson commissioners on the final Planning Assessment Commission for the Boggabri Coal Mine has “determined to approve the project, subject to amended conditions”. MCCC Media Release
Conditions of approval 11 MB, 66 pages
Much of the determination report revolved around noise standards, dust standards and acquisition rights for affected parties.
The project conditions have been heavily modified from the original EA undertakings by the company and the requirements of the Department of Planning. The commission takes great pains to establish its reasoning for these conditions and at times the commission seems to be admonishing the Department for its attempts to thwart the concerns of the community.
The MCCC is pleased that some of its concerns have been addressed and that the project outcomes will be improved.
However, there are still 2 major issues to be resolved and we are evaluating our options;
Firstly that the cumulative affects are yet to be assessed. There is certainty for the company but not for the community as a strategy for monitoring means that no one knows to what extent that they will be impacted. Farm and familiy plans may be put on hold as the only real option for those in the impact zone is acquisition. This is not good enough for those who have called Maules Creek home for a number of generations and whose options may be not realistically include acquisition.
Also the size and scope of the project and its impacts are unknown because the project has been approved subject to a wide range of management reports, management strategies and adaptive management plans. The final project could be markedly different to what was placed on exhibition and there is no facility for the community to participate in the development of these plans.
For the Leard State Forest, the impact will be devastating and given the recent debate in farming circles regarding the Native Veg laws, it is inexplicable that this development was proposed in the first place.
By MCCC • Uncategorized •