A PLAN to monitor dust emissions from the Cleanaway-owned waste management facility in Crooked Brook has been approved by the Shire of Dardanup.
At the Shire's ordinary council meeting last month, the shire was presented with a dust management plan of the Cleanaway site from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
The plan dates back to November 2019 when Cleanaway were first notified by the shire that the site had been determined as a 'dust generating development' which required a plan to be lodged with the shire.
The plan first went to council in April 2020 but approval was deferred in order for the shire to liaise with community representatives.
As the Department regulates the Crooked Brook site, the air quality was monitored at three onsite locations over a six month period during the dyer months from November 2020 to May 2021.
The results indicated that fugitive dust was adequately managed at the site, with dust concentrations remaining below the relevant screening criteria designed to protect human health and wellbeing.
However the approval of the plan has been met with backlash by the Dardanup Environmental Action Group, with group secretary Fiona Moriarty pushing for a permanent, on-site monitoring system of dust emissions.
"We believe that only fully installed dust monitoring equipment all around the site can effectively monitor and alert authorities if there is a dust issue on site," Ms Moriarty said.
"When they're dumping stuff at the Crooked Brook site, a lot of sand, dirt and dust gets pushed around.
"All you have to do is walk in the Dardanup Conservation Park and there's dust."
The decision to accept the dust management plan was carried four to two, with Councilors Ellen Lily and Mark Hutchinson voting against the move.
The Dardanup Shire has the authority to review the dust management plan anytime over the next 12 months. The guidelines allow for visible dust, but not an excessive concentration over time.