It’s your right to breathe clean air – right? Sadly you can’t always ‘breathe easy’ with coal-fired power stations in use. The fine particles they emit can travel hundreds of kms and enter your bloodstream, potentially causing significant health problems. Fortunately this polluting situation is being challenged.

A legal challenge has been launched against the renewal of pollution licences for Vales Point, Eraring and Mt Piper coal-fired power stations. The NSW Nature Conservation Council (NCC) is behind the action against the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

“We are taking legal action to protect communities and the environment in the Hunter, Central Coast and Lithgow from toxic pollution from coal-fired power stations and to make the EPA act lawfully,” NCC CEO Kate Smolski said.

“Coal-fired power stations are among the most toxic industrial facilities in the state, yet the EPA allows NSW power stations to emit air pollution at levels that would not be allowed in the United States. People in NSW deserve better.”

“When renewing pollution licences, the EPA is legally required to consider measures available to prevent or control pollution, protect the environment and honour the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

“The EPA appears to have failed to meet this requirement because it did not strengthen emissions standards or require the use of harm-reduction technologies used in other countries.

Ms Smolski said if the owners and operators of these coal-fired power stations were required to adopt available pollution control measures, sulphur dioxide emissions could be reduced by up to 99%.

“It shouldn’t be left to coal companies to decide whether they want to implement this technology – the EPA must require it.”

The NCC is being represented in this action by public interest environmental lawyers Environmental Justice Australia. More at:

There are almost 160 member groups of NCC which has been fighting for Nature since 1955. Mudgee District Environment Group is a member of NCC.