Since 1980, gold mining and processing industries in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder area have been operating pyrite roasters to extract gold from sulphide-based ores. These roasters oxidise the sulphide ore, producing large amounts of sulphur dioxide gas which is released from chimneys into the surrounding air. Sulphur dioxide is also released from the nickel smelter situated south of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder townships.
In 1982 a Task Force was established to investigate the extent of sulphur dioxide pollution and to make recommendations to the then Air Pollution Control Council on appropriate measures for controlling this pollution. The Task Force submitted its final report to the Minister for Environment in September 1987, and the report has subsequently been released to the public. The report provides a detailed discussion on the historical and technical aspects of the sulphur dioxide problem in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder area; such information is not repeated here.
In order to address the sulphur dioxide pollution problem and provide an enforceable control mechanism which is appropriate in the context of community dependence on mineral processing for its economic existence, the Environmental Protection Authority has proceeded to develop a draft environmental protection policy entitled "DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION POLICY FOR THE CONTROL OF SULPHUR DIOXIDE IN THE AIR ENVIRONMENT OF THE KALGOORLIE-BOULDER RESIDENTIAL AREAS". The initial draft policy was released for public review on 14 August 1987 with an invitation to interested persons and organisations to submit comments to the Authority by 18 September 1987. A public meeting attended by the Authority Chairman was held in Kalgoorlie on 10 September 1987, for the purpose of informing interested persons about the draft policy and providing them an opportunity to put forward their views. Subsequent to the close of the period for public comments, the draft policy has been reviewed and revised in the light of comment received.
This report accompanies the submission of the draft policy to the Minister for Environment in accordance with Section 28 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986.Release Date:
31 December 1987Status:
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