MCCC Response to Whitehaven Blasting Management Plan 18.7.2014

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Maules Creek Community Council Inc

18 July 2014

Mr Daniel Martin

Environmental Manager

Maules Creek Coal

dmartin@whitehavencoal.com.au

Dear Daniel

 Further to the Blast Management Plan consultation meeting held on Monday 14 July 2014 at Whitehaven’s Boggabri office, the Maules Creek Community Council (MCCC) would like to request an extension to the closing date for comments on the draft plan.

As you’d appreciate the technical aspects of the blasting plan are quite complex and the possible impacts of blasting on the surrounding community and environment are significant and this may be the last opportunity for the community to be consulted on the impacts of blasting. The MCCC is not in a position to respond fully to the draft plan by the closing date of 18 July 2014 and would like to request a 28 day extension, with a proposed new closing date of 15August 2014.

This new closing date would enable full and proper consultation regarding the draft plan with the community. Consultation conducted to date does not appear to have been advertised to the all members of the community who may be impacted by the proposed blasting program and it is important that they are consulted and their feedback provided.

Specifically, the extension would enable the MCCC to more fully consider the science behind the blast management strategy, obtain independent technical advice on a number of areas of concern, including the placement of monitoring units, impact on residential buildings, health impacts of blast emissions and the impact of blasting on important species of local flora and fauna.

The MCCC would also like the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the interrelationship between the Maules Creek Coal Blast Management Plan and the Leard Forest Mining Precinct Blast Management Plan or the new BTM Complex Blast Management Strategy. To facilitate this understanding MCCC would like to receive a copy of the Precinct Blast Management Plan or BTM Complex BLMS and would like the opportunity to be briefed by and ask questions of Maules Creek Coal, Tarrawonga and Boggabri Coal at a joint community meeting during the consultation period.

Assuming in good faith that Maules Creek Coal grant the requested extension, a copy of the following documents are requested to enable ongoing assessment of the draft Blast Management Plan:

  •      A PDF of the maps of Blasting Impact Radius for both Vibration and Overpressure/noise;
  •      Historic blast data to date, including ground vibration measurements and overpressure measurements.

We appreciate your consideration of our request for an extension to the consultation period.

Regards

MCCC