Government and private companies involved in infrastructure construction have shared their experiences in reducing harmful diesel emissions via a series of case studies published by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). The EPA and ISCA partnered to invite and impart best-practice approaches across the sector, with the aim of improving air quality for those who live and work near construction projects.
Mark Gifford, EPA's Chief Environmental Regulator said "Diesel exhaust emissions can have major health impacts. Investing in reducing them is a win-win for industry and the community.
"It's about healthier people, more efficient and better maintained equipment, fuel and cost savings and improved environmental performance overall."
The initial case studies present major actions that tunnelling contractor CPB John Holland Dragados implemented on the Sydney Metro Northwest project and strategies by Blacktown City Council and the Downer Group to reduce diesel emissions from their activities.
"By procuring plant and equipment with lower diesel emissions and implementing engineering controls, we significantly reduced the amount of diesel emissions produced in construction thereby protecting our workers and the community."
Dr Caitlin Richards, Approvals, Environment and Sustainability Manager, CPB John Holland Dragados
"I am passionate about ensuring that exposure to all airborne contaminants for workers and staff is minimised at all times. I have worked in tunnel construction for 25 years and have silicosis, an occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust. In hindsight, I wish we had the focus on avoiding and minimising particle emissions that we do today, when I started working in this industry."
Martin Bell, Plant Manager, CPB John Holland Dragados
ISCA's Manager - Business and Technical Services Ainsley Simpson said "ISCA believes that developing case studies highlighting best practice measures being implemented within the infrastructure industry will lead to greater uptake of diesel emission reduction opportunities."
The EPA funded ISCA to help prepare the best practice case studies project as an initiative under its diesel and marine emissions management strategy. The case studies are available on the EPA website http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/air/nonroaddiesel-case-studies.htm and in the ISCA Resource Library (links below)
Case study 1: Sydney Metro Northwest Tunnels and Station Civil Project— illustrates strategies to reduce diesel emissions using engineering design, procurement and behavioural change approaches.
Case study 2: Blacktown City Council — illustrates strategies implemented by a local council to reduce diesel emissions by retrofitting in-service equipment, using alternative fuels and behaviour change approaches.
Case study 3: Solar Power at Commodore Mine Queensland — illustrates the use of solar power to reduce diesel and CO2 emissions, and demonstrates that incorporating renewable power supply at construction sites can reduce diesel emissions and provide wider benefits.
Sydney Metro Northwest Tunnels and Station Civil case study was presented at the 2015 Infrastructure Sustainability Conference ‘excellence IS spreading’ on 22 Oct 2015 in Sydney, NSW.
Amardeep Wander | Non Road Diesel Air Emissions Project
Kate Cole | Thiess John Holland Dragados
Thiess John Holland Dragados is delivering the $1.15 billion contract to design and construct 15km twin tunnels and station civil works on the Sydney Metro Northwest. The case study focuses on managing non-road diesel emissions on projects using monitoring and adaptive management; a step-change in minimising workers' exposure to harmful emissions.