Independent Review of Rail Coal Dust Emissions Management Practices in the NSW Coal Chain

In September 2015, the Hon. Mark Speakman MP, Minister for the Environment, requested the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane, to undertake a review of rail coal dust emissions management practices in the NSW coal chain in line with the Terms of Reference.

This is in response to Recommendation 7 of the Legislative Council Inquiry into the Performance of the NSW Environment Protection Authority. The NSW Government, in responding to the Inquiry, indicated that "The Chief Scientist & Engineer has agreed to undertake a review of rail coal dust emissions management practices. This will include review of the work the EPA has undertaken in relation to coal dust emissions along the rail corridor in the Hunter Valley, as well as review of environmental monitoring, the literature, and the environmental management practices of operators using the rail network."

Professor O'Kane presented her Initial Report to the Minister for the Environment in November 2015 and her Final Report to the Minister in August 2016.


Terms of Reference

Please click here to see the Terms of Reference for the Independent Review of Rail Coal Dust Emissions Management Practices.


Public Submissions

The Public Submissions to the Rail Coal Dust Emissions Management Practices review can be viewed here.


Initial Report: November 2015

Professor O'Kane's initial report from the  review can be viewed in full here.


Final Report: August 2016

Professor O'Kane's Final Report from the review can be viewed in full here.


Background Papers

Two expert background papers on sensor and monitoring technologies were commissioned for the review.

  • Professor Ben Eggleton's expert paper is available here.
  • Dr Melita Keywood's expert paper is available here.