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Tunnel project threat to public health.

The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) is urging the New South Wales government to carefully evaluate the proposed NorthConnex tunnel project in Sydney, to reduce serious potential health risks stemming from the current design.

'While PHAA supports efforts to reduce the impact of heavy freight transport vehicles and their emissions on Pennant Hills Road, we are concerned that the NorthConnex tunnel will produce unfiltered emissions in residentially dense areas of Sydney. These emissions have the potential to threaten the health of school children, the elderly, patients in hospitals an other residents," Dr Peter Tait, convener of PHAA's Ecology and Environment Special Interest Group said.

"'The tunnel is being designed as an infrastructure link for heavy freight transport vehicles that will emit concentrated diesel emissions: these emissions have been classified by the World Health Organisation as cancer causing.

"'The planned emission stacks for the NorthConnex project are currently sited in valley locations in residential areas, where it is likely that concentrated emissions will not disperse well. There is no proposal for filtration. These stacks will therefore expose large populations to emissions."

PHAA has recommended to the NSW government that it consider alternatives to the current design, including relocation of emission stacks to non-residential areas and incorporation of a well-designed filtration system.

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Publication:The Lamp
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 1, 2014
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