PHIC is working with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation as it determines regulatory goals for the next 10 years, and to transfer control of the air monitoring network PHIC established in 2010.

DWER was tasked by the State Government in 2018 with operating and maintaining the Port Hedland Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network, with a 2018/19 Budget provision for “transfer and refurbishment of the monitoring network”.

Industry supports the transfer of the Network to DWER and supports any move that would expedite the transfer.

DWER has developed a Memorandum of Understanding to enable the transfer of operation and maintenance of the Network.

The MoU will cover the period until relevant statutory arrangements are in place.

Industry will continue to pay for the cost of operating the Network when it is transferred to the department.

As part of the transfer, DWER has issued tender specifications for a third-party manager.

At the same time, DWER is developing a regulatory strategy to reflect its responsibilities for developing and implementing dust management guidelines for bulk handling port premises.

The strategy will include five and 10-year goals.

PHIC has made submissions to DWER on the MoU and the proposed regulatory strategy and will continue to work with the department as it develops the wider detail around the strategy.

DWER has said its objective is to ensure that dust emissions from premises licensed under the EP Act are not increased in the short term, and that following the introduction of dust management controls from a Dust Management Guideline, that impacts are reduced to the lowest practicable level across the whole Port Hedland peninsula and meet the air guideline value east of Taplin Street.

PHIC members are committed to no net increase in dust emissions, even if iron ore exports through the port increase.

PHIC’s position is that the best-practice dust management guidelines cannot be implemented in a one-size-fits-all approach.

The guidelines must be adaptable to each licence holder’s unique circumstances.