Hot on the heels of the United Nations (UN) visit, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), CEO Tony Chappel, is meeting with Future Sooner and the Central Coast community on Friday, 1 December 12.30pm-3pm at the Chain Valley Bay Community Hall.
“The UN visit packed quite an environmental punch,” said Future Sooner spokesperson Gary Blaschke OAM.
“We’re pleased that Tony Chappel is coming to the Central Coast to listen and answer the questions the community has long had on dealing with the health problems associated with coal-fired power stations like Vales Point and Eraring.
“We’ll be asking what the EPA is doing about the six recommendations from the March 2021 ‘Costs for Remediation of Sites Containing Coal Ash Repositories Inquiry’ that it’s directly responsible for.
“The recent UN’s Draft End of Mission Statement determined that ‘ambient air quality standards in Australia are less protective than in other member countries…’ that ‘ash dams from coal combustion also poses threats to groundwater and drinking water of local communities,’ and that ‘the level of penalties is insufficient in severity to motivate compliance…while the toxic harm is imposed upon neighbouring communities.’
“The EPA POEA Act says that it is there to reduce the risks to human health and prevent the degradation of the environment. How does handing out exemption orders to Vales Point fit in with that?
“Residents on the Central Coast have an abnormal number of lung diseases and cancers. This includes children as young as three years old with brain tumours and teenagers with spinal tumours.
“So what is the EPA actually doing, and what are its plans to protect the health of its citizens?
“On Friday, along with Future Sooner, the Hunter Community Environment Centre (HCEC) will give presentations and there will be lots of time for community questions.
“This is an important event for residents of the Central Coast. We encourage everyone to come along to meet the EPA and use this opportunity to tell their story and get some answers.”