DUST levels at Port Hedland Air Shed remained within Western Australian guidelines during the 2018-19 financial year.
The Port Hedland Industries Council Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network annual report from the Taplin Street monitoring station showed no days above the 24-hour average interim guideline for PM10 of 70 μg/m³.
Port Hedland’s export tonnage was slightly (1%) lower than the previous year, due to cyclone Veronica. During the past seven years, exports have increased year-on-year. All monitoring stations lost data from March 21 to 27 because of Cyclone Veronica, but Taplin Street recorded eleven months of uninterrupted data.
PHIC chief executive Kirsty Danby said it was the first instance of zero exceedance days above the interim guideline for a reporting period.
“The PM10 readings at Taplin Street have been within the interim guideline for exceedances over a 12-month period for several years, alongside an increase in iron ore exports through the Port of Port Hedland,” Ms Danby said.
She said exceedance days varied from year-to-year.
However, as no exceedance days were recorded at Taplin Street during the reporting period, PHIC commissioned additional weather and wind analysis and requested a monitoring site assessment, finding no anomalies or equipment faults.
“All monitoring stations are checked monthly to ensure they are maintained and are operating properly,” she said.
Responsibility for the Network is being transferred to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation under recommendations from the Port Hedland Dust Management Taskforce endorsed by the State Government. DWER has developed a transition development. It is expected to take 12 months.