The company has been permitted to self monitor their pollution and noise and there was often community distrust in the published data.
Cameras were purchased to record dust events when strong winds were blowing across the Residue Storage Area or “mud lakes”.
Photographs and video captured during these events resulted in Alcoa being prosecuted for polluting the area.
The evidence gathered negated the company’s denial of a dust problem resulting with Alcoa upgrading the dust control measures at considerable expense.
Industrial noise was increasing in the Yarloop and Hamel town sites but the problem was ignored by the powers that be.
A noise level meter was purchased and used by various members of the community. The noise levels recorded were well above levels permitted in residential areas which cast doubt on the company claim that night time noise did not exceed 35db in either town. The noise problem has not been resolved at present but the community noise recordings and complaints are forcing some action to solve the problem.
What’s next –
A meter has been purchased to measure radiation levels on land where waste has accumulated. As the refining of bauxite concentrates radiation in the residue area and this waste leaches onto the surrounding farmland higher levels of contamination may be evident.
A program investigating this contamination is about to commence.
Watch this space.