Ecology & Environment

Over 250% offset.

Each step of the Terminal 4 Project considers impacts on the environment, establishing offsets for the entire master plan.

This includes a 238 ha addition to the Hunter Wetlands National Park region at Tomago for shore birds, saltmarsh and other estuary wildlife and 410 ha of land at Ellalong to preserve important wetland communities and linking surrounding national parks and reserves. This site was previously earmarked for subdivision and allows for connectivity with surrounding national parks and reserves.

Green and Golden Bell Frog

At Brundee Port Waratah has set aside 204 ha of land for Green and Golden Bell Frog habitats and wetlands. This will help create an important home in a native environment and offset any potential impact on frog habitat from construction of the terminal.

In fact, Port Waratah has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NSW State Government under the Saving our Species framework regarding the conservation monitoring of the Green and Golden Bell frogs on Terminal 4 land. Port Waratah is looking forward to continuing this work with partners such as the University of Newcastle to ensure a positive legacy is established for the environment and the community. Port Waratah is committed to protecting the Green and Golden Bell Frog population. We are constructing a series of ponds to provide additional habitat for the Green and Golden Bell Frog population, and enhance linkage from the T4 site to the Hunter Estuary Wetlands RAMSAR site, prior to construction. The habitat monitoring and ongoing work with the University will help inform this.

Cleaning Up Past Industries’ Legacies

Past industry didn’t operate under the stringent guidelines of today. The Terminal 4 site has been used as an industrial waste site since the 1970s. As part of the Terminal 4 Project, Port Waratah will manage and contain the contaminants on the site – a task that will cost over $100 million.

Port Waratah strives to operate to best practice and is a proud world-leader in coal handling. The Terminal 4 Project provides a unique opportunity to clean up past industries’ legacies on Kooragang Island and create many benefits to our community, economy and environment.

As part of the Site Management Plan works, we will take the first steps to contain and treat a contaminated area to prevent further degradation of the site.

Air Quality

Port Waratah is proud of our award winning intelligent dust management system based on predictive meteorology and real time feedback and can automatically instigate water suppression sprays on key transfer points and stockyards.

This system will be extended throughout the Terminal 4 Project and will examine the type of coal being handled, weather patterns, wind and humidity and then activate dust management systems across the site.

In addition, this system is complemented by a range of other dust suppression tools and techniques. Other initiatives include; enclosing conveyors, transfer houses, train unloading stations where possible, and engineering the machines to reduce the drop height of coal onto the stockpiles.

Experts have undertaken complex modelling of Terminal 4, including cumulative impacts, and it is predicted that the air quality in surrounding suburbs will stay within government standards – including standards for health.

Port Waratah’s many innovations including enclosed conveyors, predictive monitoring and dust suppression sprays helps to keep air pollution below levels of concern.

Interesting fact: Samples of fine particles (PM2.5) analysed from Stockton show that coal makes up less than 2%, on average, of the fine particles. SOURCE: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/aqms/lower-hunter-particle-characterisation-study-quantifying-coal-particle-component-airborne-particulate-matter-stockton.pdf

Noise Reduction

Port Waratah has a proud history of pioneering solutions to reduce impact on the communities around us. Over the years this has included re-engineered machinery to continuously reduce noise such as installing low-noise idlers and gearboxes on conveyor systems. Where noise from machinery cannot be reduced, Port Waratah has created noise barriers and sound suppression within machinery and conveyors.

This and other technology will be continued at the Terminal 4 site. Potential noise from the Terminal 4 site has been modelled and is predicted to comply with the NSW Industrial Noise Policy (EPA, 2000) in residential areas. When assessed cumulatively, it is expected to comply with current Kooragang Terminal compliance levels.

Continuously improving

Learn more about how we manage and monitor our impacts on the environment.