Since 2013, when the project to install baghouse filter systems on the lime kilns at Cockburn Cement’s Munster operation was completed, there has been a substantial reduction in dust emissions from the company’s production process. Our emissions are consistently well within health and environmental standards and regulatory limits.
The level of particulate emissions from the lime kilns is publicly available 24/7 via a live emissions feed that can be viewed by anyone, anytime at www.cockburncementcommunity.com.au/environment/operating-licence/cems-data/
This live feed clearly demonstrates that there is no variation in the levels of emissions from the Munster lime kilns between day and night operations.
There has been a long held suggestion that the Munster plant is operated differently during the night compared to the day. This is not correct. As a large-scale continuous processing manufacturing operation, the Munster plant operates most safely and environmentally and economically effectively when it is run without interruption or variation. There would be absolutely no benefit in operating the plant differently at different times in the day.
Visually the emissions plume from the plant may look more obvious at different times, however, this is simply a reflection of different atmospheric and temperature conditions between day and night. More information is available on this fact sheet at: www.cockburncementcommunity.com.au/media/223469/dust-vs-plume-fact-sheet.pdf
We strongly encourage anyone (including the media) who has heard the suggestion that the plant is operated differently during the night compared to day, to take the time to check the 24/7 live emissions feed during day and night. It will clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the baghouses at Munster - as the dust emissions from the lime kilns are extremely low, well within regulatory limits and very consistent.
Ambient air monitoring in the community has also demonstrated that, since the installation of the baghouses, dust levels in the community, including anything that might come from the Munster plant are well within health and environmental standards and regulatory limits.
During the period since 2013, we have ceased quarrying at, and have sold, the quarry south of Russell Road, however activity by others continues on that site. Intermittent low level earth moving activity may occur at the Munster site with dust controls and monitoring showing dust levels are consistently low like the levels in the community. This means that the Munster site is now just one of a number of potential sources of windblown dust in the area.
In past years, Cockburn Cement provided limited cleaning of cars to people and made a washstand available for use at its site. This process reflected a previous time when there were more kilns operating at the site and large scale quarrying was occurring nearby. Provision of these services has been under regular review and is now being wound down, as we believe it is no longer necessary because of dust reduction from the site, nor is it equitable in our engagement with the community.
We have a long standing process of encouraging the community to talk to us if they believe there has been a specific incident affecting their property, and to provide evidence so we can investigate. Where it has been clear that an incident has led to an impact then Cockburn Cement has undertaken rectification activities, including cleaning.
The process for raising issues with Cockburn Cement is clearly outlined at: www.cockburncementcommunity.com.au/contact-us/
Cockburn Cement provides a hotline for neighbours in its community to raise issues at any time. We also encourage local residents, or anyone who is interested, to learn more about our operations by visiting us at Munster. Anyone interested can register for a plant tour at: www.cockburncementcommunity.com.au/community/register-a-tour/
Cockburn Cement is in the process of forming an independent community group to act as a point for information dissemination and discussion with local residents. We have been discussing this process with stakeholders for several months and encourage any members of the community who would like to participate on a committee to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org