WITH Singleton blanketed this morning in a thick brown haze, staff from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) was setting up their drop-in session on all things air quality in Muswellbrook.
The trip between the two mining hubs was similarly marked by a brown haze while six air quality alerts were issued for Camberwell, Mount Thorley, Maison Dieu, Singleton NW, South South and Singleton itself as PM10 levels exceed national standards.
In Muswellbrook, plenty of visitors to the drop-in session asked EPA staff about today's air quality and how measurements were made and alerts issued.
EPA regional director north Adam Gilligan said the organisation was delighted with the public interest in the session - and admitted more will take place.
He said the EPA would host a session in Singleton to allow local residents the same opportunity as those in Muswellbrook to talk to EPA representatives.
People attended to learn about monitoring and what to do with the information provided by the network especially from a health perspective, he said.
Commenting on what has been a record year for air quality alerts from the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network, he said through this year's spring Hunter mines were doing the right thing.
The EPA recently conducted its Bust the Dust campaign and Mr Gilligan said, to date, no significant issues had been found with mines breaching their regulatory requirements.
"We aim to manage any poor practices we find but there is an inherent level of dust that arises from mining activities," he said.
A recurring theme from attendees was the question: Why wasn't the government doing more to limit air pollution from the mining industry?
Many went away with details on how to report any breaches they consider to have occurred and to view those reports online.
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