November 30, 2012

Draft Anglesea Health Risk Assessment

The draft Air Emission Study and Human Health Risk Assessment report for Alcoa’s Anglesea Power Station (draft HRA) was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 29 November 2012.
The draft report was prepared in September 2008 by independent consultants at Alcoa’s request. This was a voluntary initiative by Alcoa and the draft report was provided voluntarily to the Victorian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
The draft report was based on a methodology recommended by the Victorian EPA and used Anglesea power station emission data available at the time. The Health Risk Assessment is currently being updated using new data from both the power station and the mine and Alcoa has committed to making the final report publicly available when it is complete – estimated to be in April 2013.
Alcoa continually monitors ambient sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels in Anglesea and the results of this monitoring have been reported publicly for at least ten years.  Both the EPA and the public were informed if levels of SO2 were recorded above the Victorian State Environmental Protection Policy (SEPP).
In December 2007 Alcoa began developing an improved Air Quality Control System which was implemented in October 2009. No non-compliances with the SEPP have been recorded in the Anglesea township since March 2009.
Alcoa’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael Donoghue, said the draft 2008 HRA used modelling to predict whether SO2 levels from the power station may exceed health acceptance criteria.  It found this was likely only in the unpopulated area of the heath, north of the power station and away from the Anglesea township.
“This work, together with the continuous monitoring of SO2 at six different locations in the Anglesea township, provides high confidence that the power station air emissions are safe for Anglesea residents.”
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Media contact:
Nichola Holgate 0409 036 948