THE NSW Greens will introduce a bill to parliament which seeks to prevent the approval of new open-cut coal mines in the Upper Hunter.
Greens MP Abigail Boyd was in Muswellbrook on Friday with Greens candidate for the Upper Hunter by-election Sue Abbott to launch their plan to tackle the air pollution crisis in the Upper Hunter.
Residents in the Upper Hunter live unacceptably close to both open-cut coal mines and coal-fired power stations, with increased rates of heart attack, stroke and respiratory diseases, they said.
The Clean Air Bill will be introduced into NSW Parliament on Wednesday, May 5.
The bill seeks to tackle highly toxic but preventable air pollution from coal-fired power stations in NSW by reducing the allowable concentration of air pollutants.
This will force coal-fired power stations to cut their emissions to levels that are mandatory in the United States, Europe and China.
The Greens plan also includes ensuring that no new or expanded open cut mines are approved in the Upper Hunter.
It calls for coal trains to be covered and for continuous monitoring and real-time reporting of all stack emissions from power stations across NSW.
In just the first month of 2021, ten pollution alerts were issued in the Hunter Valley, including in Muswellbrook, Singleton South, Camberwell and Jerrys Plains.
Greens NSW candidate for Upper Hunter Sue Abbott said matter where you live you have the fundamental right to breathe clean air.
"Yet for years now the NSW Liberal-National Government has given the green light for coal-fired power station operators to pump our skies full of toxic pollutants that are shown to cause serious illness and premature death," she said.
"Currently people who live within 50 kilometres of coal-fired power stations face a risk of premature death as much as three to four times that of people living further away, with some of these toxic emissions travelling over 200 kilometres.
"In January this year alone ten alerts were issued here in the Hunter Valley when air pollution standards were breached. It's not good enough, and that's exactly why we are introducing the Clean Air Bill."
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