New Acland - Environmental Initiatives
A specialist environmental team works on site to implement the comprehensive Environmental Management Plan, which exceeds strict regulatory requirements. This includes water management; noise, air and dust monitoring programs; and a heritage preservation initiative. For example, while noise has been well within allowed limits, the team responded to neighbour feedback by installing quieter ‘cicada’ reversing beepers on vehicles, upgrading the muffler suppression system on haul trucks and introducing electric horns for heavy machinery.
New Acland also receives Class A+ recycled water from the Toowoomba Regional Council’s Wetalla wastewater reclamation facility. The $30 million pipeline and pumping system was funded by New Hope and provides the Council with a significant income stream. Only around 20 percent of the Wetalla water is purchased. This is complemented by the use of wastewater from the Oakey township’s reverse osmosis Water Treatment Plant.
Veneering and Profiling
In May 2013, New Hope became the first company transporting coal along the western rail corridor to begin the process of profiling and veneering coal wagons. Trains from the New Acland mine are coated with an environmentally-friendly veneering solution which can reduce the amount of dust from wagons by up to 80 percent. The solution dries to form a flexible 'crust' over the coal and physically prevents dust from being released from the wagons.