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    Summer-Autumn 2009

    CAPS Newsletter Issue 10

     Community Alliance for Positive Solutions Inc.

    Representing 410+ supporters, including 210+ paid members, and growing…

    Air quality tests reveal significant impacts

    The DEC has worked with the local community for several years to document and

    capture Alcoa pollution events using log books and air sampling canisters. Collecting

    data has led to a better understanding of how plumes behave and how meteorology

    affects the impacts, as well as helping to assess current air quality models. SODAR

    equipment was used to measure wind speed at 25m intervals up to a height of 200m. LIDAR equipment tracked plumes up to seven kilometres from the refinery, at which point they passed out of the sensing range of the equipment. Greens Move to Send Serving Alcoa Back The DEC developed a software tool that presents a dynamic visualisation incorporating to the Drawing Board over the LIDAR and SODAR data, community log sheet data, canister sample analysis data Yarloop Compensation and all the meteorological data, on a time basis. The DEC believes that a high Media release by Paul Llewellyn MLC percentage of the observations made by most members of the community are reasonably Waroona attributable to the refinery. A move by Southwest Greens MLC Paul Llewellyn to send Alcoa and the Government Hamel Under complex conditions, often at the time of a complaint, the wind at the refinery is back to the drawing board over community not blowing towards the location of the complaint. DEC staff smelled strong odours and compensation claims for residents impacted Harvey traced these to the south end of the refinery, rather than from known odorous sources in by the Wagerup alumina refinery has failed the north of the refinery. For current operations there are significant odour impacts to gain support in Parliament. Cookernup under complex meteorological conditions. “The Legislative Council has the power to reject Alcoa‟s expansion agreement, forcing Wagerup There is evidence of significant calciner-type odour that has not been quantified to date. the company to the negotiating table.” Mr There may be some underestimates in the emissions inventory, or there could be other Llewellyn said. “Due to lack of support from

    the Government and the Opposition, the sources that have not been included. The DEC will require Alcoa to review its Other people around Alcoa have now been left emissions inventory, to make sure it includes all low level emissions from the refinery. Impacted stranded and are facing financial hardship. Alcoa will also be asked to upgrade its meteorological and do an evaluation of Areas mitigation options. The Ministerial approval for the Wagerup Three expansion required “We‟ve been steadily working with the local

    community and government to try and gain Alcoa to do twelve months additional monitoring to validate the model and predictions

    fair and adequate compensation for those that were submitted with the ERMP. The model does a good job simulating some

    affected. Over the years Alcoa‟s conditions, but cannot simulate the complex conditions. Information from the study will compensation schemes have become less and be used to re-work the model to affirm the predictions or otherwise. Inside: less generous with this latest offering being a „take it or leave it‟ valuation with no funding - Yarloop Study to cover moving costs and a very tight time - ECHO frame for making a decision. Alcoa‟s terms - Log sheet demanded that those wishing to move on had Shine Lawyers Update - The US and Australian legal teams report that they - Ombudsman to sell, fund the move themselves and find a - Health survey are moving ahead in a positive direction in preparing the case. More replacement home within 7 months. - Air Care Australia information will be available soon. If you have been requested to submit “Offering compensation is acknowledgement - DEC meeting information, please do so immediately. by the government and Alcoa that people - Dust event case need to move due to health reasons brought - Salute to Paul about by Alcoa‟s pollution. To offer a “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” Llewellyn scheme that puts these people under financial --Muhammad Ali, former World Champion boxer and emotional pressure is unfair and unjust. “I attempted in Parliament to call the

    Government and Alcoa into account over the

    unfair structure of this latest compensation. I

    wasn‟t calling for a halt to Alcoa‟s expansion

    CAPS Newsletter Page 2 of 4 Issue 10, Summer-Autumn 2009

     Yarloop Study (Sustainable Future Project) Update

This is a brief update on the progress made thus far with the 'Sustainable Future' project

    conducted by Dr Martin Brueckner (Edith Cowan University /Curtin University of Technology). Martin has recently completed a working paper, based on selected findings of the study, which will

    be presented in April 2009 to staff at the Curtin Business School. The working paper, which is

    intended for publication in an academic journal later this year, is available in digital form upon

    request. To receive a copy via e-mail, please contact Martin at

    Further academic publications are expected to emanate from the research in due course.

Dr Dyann Ross and Martin were also successful in securing a publishing contract with Fremantle

    Arts Centre Press for the publication of the findings of the study, allowing the broad spectrum of

    views collected from participants in the study to be presented together. The publication of the book is anticipated for mid 2010.

    Research participants will be updated throughout the year on further developments. -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Martin Brueckner (PhD)

    Lecturer - Sustainability Management

    CBS - School of Management,

    Curtin University of Technology

    and Edith Cowan University

     ECHO (Environmental Chemical Hypersensitivity Organisation) was established to support persons affected by Chemical Hypersensitivity and their families.

    ECHO’s goals are:

    ? To lessen the social impacts of MCS through networking, advocacy and understanding.

    These individuals cannot go into the community due to adverse reactions to perfumes, petrol,

    cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes and cleaning products, to name a few. These individuals often

    experience community exclusion and become isolated. Going to hospital can be life threatening

    due to the high risk of exposure to chemicals and fragrances.

    ? To raise community and government awareness of how exposure to chemicals, even at low levels,

    can cause severe reactions and chronic illness in sensitive individuals. ? To promote consideration of the needs of these individuals in the community and at all levels of


    ? To reduce the impact on affected individuals by informing of strategies for minimising exposure to chemicals

    that aggravate this condition.

Application forms for ECHO and more information are available by emailing:

    ECHO wishes to thank Dr Geoff Pain for attending the NICNAS/OCS federal MCS consultation in

    Canberra as ECHO’s representative. Also a thank you to Colin Walker for his submission to the

    Federal MCS Review.

IMPORTANT: Remember to fill in your Yarloop Bucket Brigade log sheets when you are impacted by

    pollution. Return the log sheets to PO Box 69, Yarloop 6218 or phone 9733 5011.

CAPS Newsletter Page 3 of 4 Issue 10, Summer-Autumn 2009

    News Briefs ? Ombudsman report: The WA Ombudsman has supported a number of complaints by CAPS against the

    Department of Environment and Conservation. The government watchdog has sustained that the manner in which the Department`s predecessor investigated and responded to complaints about Alcoa was inadequate, recommending that the Department consider incorporating time frames for Alcoa to respond to complaints, and that the Department improve their record keeping practices. The DEC must report back to the Ombudsman about

     their progress in six months. The Ombudsman partially sustained the claim that the Department failed to advertise the proposed 2005 license renewal, recommending that a process be developed that incorporates analysis of complaints received when

    reassessing licenses. To read the full report, go to ? Community Health Survey results: The study found that for symptoms potentially related to chemical exposure,

    elevated rates were found for most symptoms for residents of Hamel/Wagerup/Yarloop and Cookernup. Elevated

    rates of cancer were found in Cookernup. Some of these effects were statistically significant, though some were not. However, weaknesses in the methodology have been pointed out in a review of the study by Prof D`Arcy Holman of UWA. The Health Survey was a start, but was far from comprehensive, and did little to assess the full scope of health impacts suffered by the community. Missing most notably from those surveyed are the residents

     who have relocated because of health problems, and therefore, were not included in this study. To read the full

    report go to NOTES FROM CAPS MEETING AIR CARE AUSTRALIA WITH DEC January 2009 addressing air quality issues across the country The DEC has acknowledged that CAPS is the CMCOAG (Canning Melville Community Odour Action largest organisation representing the community, Group), Western Australia and the DEC desires CAPS to become part of the The DEC‟s "Odour Survey" has confirmed that the Tripartite. CAPS has made it clear that they have no noxious odour affecting the communities around intention of being part of the Tripartite in its current Canning Vale, Melville, Leeming and Willeton is form, and major changes will be needed before coming from the RRRC Waste Composting Facility. membership would be considered. The Health Department has yet to release their report on this issue. Some local politicians have CAPS has put forward twelve conditions to the now become more supportive of the communities‟ Minister for Environment that would need to be met claims. before CAPS would consider becoming members of

    the group. A reply from the Minister will be For more updates go to:

    forthcoming. During this meeting a phone call came in DUST EVENT CASE REMANDED concerning a dust event from the mudlakes that was occuring at that moment. Anthony Stewart of the The DEC‟s case against Alcoa for a May 14 2006 DEC, who was attending the meeting, was able to dust event, originally scheduled for January, has been go and photograph the event. remanded until April 23. The DEC has filed for criminal negligence charges after Alcoa failed to Alcoa continues to claim that everything is normal contain dust from its red mud lakes even though it as per the CSIRO study done by Ian Galbally in had agreed to do so after being found guilty of August -September 2006, even though the study similar charges in 2004. was done in the driest winter, liquor burner was turned off and the time period was only six weeks. Neither Alcoa nor the DEC appeared for the hearing. The study is inconclusive as there were other The Magistrate received a note from Alcoa stating factors not taken in to consideration (ie no study that they (Alcoa) needed more time and would like into heavy metals, PAHs, PM2.5, dust from the the court case to be heard in Perth and the Magistrate mudlakes). Alcoa only requested a small-scale

    supported the request. specific study.

    A HEARTFELT SALUTE TO A VALUED FRIEND Community The Executive Committee, members and supporters of CAPS wish to send their

    sincere gratitude to Paul Llewellyn as he leaves his parliamentary office at the Alliance for end of May for other pursuits. Paul has supported CAPS through donations, Positive asking questions in Parliament, and the photocopying of our newsletters, as well Solutions Inc. as advisement and encouragement. (CAPS) Paul brings new depth to the term “gentleman”. He is truly a gentle man, but one with strong convictions, driven by truth and the integrity to do the right thing. If there were more Paul Llewellyns in this world, it would indeed be a much better place. However, our community is stronger and our future more

     hopeful because this one Paul Llewellyn chose to be a part of our lives. Thank

    you, Paul. Godspeed!PO Box 69 Yarloop WA 6218

     Protecting your privacy It is our duty of care to protect the privacy of our

    Phone: 9733 5011 or members. There are still a few people who are not sympathetic to our cause or 0409370235 compassionate towards those suffering health effects, and these people have, at times, been confrontational. To protect the privacy of our members, we will only publish names with expressed consent. You may meet other members, supporters Fax: 9733 5011 and the executive committee in person at CAPS Membership Meetings. (call first) Questions concerning this policy can be addressed by co-chairs Vince Puccio 9733 5011 or Merv McDonald 0409370235. E-Mail: A healthy environment for living and working is your basic human right.

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