A Flinders Power Dust Management Plan for the decommissioning of the Port Augusta power station provides damaging new evidence on the risks and failures of the process.
The Plan reveals this was first time the process had been used on a large-scale ash dam and the possibility of the sealant being washed away resulting in Port Augusta being engulfed in a dust storm from the ash dam was identified as a threat from the very beginning.
Augusta Power Stations Dust Management Plans Demolition and Site Rehabilitation
Whilst Flinders Power is confident that the use of the dust suppressant will be an effective seal, it is noted that this is the first application of its kind on a large‐scale ash dam. Therefore, the ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of the solution will be critical. (Page 3)
Storm event causes deterioration of suppressant leads to ineffective seal and risk of ash dust migration … Off-site by strong winds (leading to) Adverse health impacts caused by particulate exposure (Page 4)
“It is outrageous that both Flinders Power and the Weatherill Government were fully aware of the danger of Port Augusta being engulfed in a dust storm yet did virtually nothing to contain the threat when it actually emerged,” said Shadow Minister for the Environment Michelle Lensink.
“The Plan even details using planes to drop more suppressant in an attempt to contain the impact of a dust storm but that took days to eventuate.
“Minister Maher needs to explain why despite being warned that a storm event could lead to a dust storm and adverse health outcomes for the people of Port Augusta no immediate action was taken to suppress the dust.
“The people of Port Augusta have every reason to be very upset with the performance of both the company and the Weatherill Government in this crisis.”