April 18, 2016

Pollution report highlights AGL’s toxic reality: 350.org Australia

(SYDNEY) — The latest National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) report confirms energy company AGL as a major emitter of pollutants that are harmful to human health.

These toxic pollutants include PM10 (coarse particles), PM2.5 (fine particles), sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrochloric acid and mercury. The latest data confirms that coal mining is Australia’s second highest source of particle pollution after metal ore mining.

Coal companies reported just under 400,000 tonnes of PM10 emissions in the latest 2014-15 NPI report. This represents an 84% increase in just five years.

There are significant concerns around the impacts that AGL’s power stations — Bayswater and Liddell in the Hunter Valley and Loy Yang A in the Latrobe Valley — are having on the local communities. Combined, these stations released exposed surrounding communities to more than 270 million kilograms of air and water pollution during 2014-2015.

“While AGL markets itself as a clean, green operator, these results highlight the company’s toxic reality and make AGL directly responsible for impacts on human health,” said Dr Moira Williams, 350.org Australia.

Emissions from AGL’s Bayswater power station were particularly alarming with emissions of hydrochloric acid up by 95% on the previous year, fine particles up 84% and sulfur dioxide up 28%.  AGL took over the Bayswater Power Station from the NSW Government in September 2014.

“Increases in toxic emissions from AGL’s coal plants are extremely concerning as we know this type of pollution severely damages people’s health. It’s known to cause breathing, heart and nervous system diseases.

“Pollutants from power stations cause a range of health impacts that range from respiratory and cardiovascular ailments to cancer and premature death, costing the Australian economy around $2.6 billion annually.” Said Dr James Whelan an Environmental Justice Australia Researcher who regularly analyses the NPI data.

“Across the globe, experts are calling for an end to coal-fired power to protect the health of communities from both the direct impacts of toxic pollutants such as mercury and the indirect impacts of global warming which will increase extreme weather events like heat waves. Yet AGL plans to continue burning coal until 2050,” said Dr. Williams.

“AGL CEO Andrew Vesey claims to be getting his company out of the fossil fuel business. But AGL’s current plan actually extends the lifetime of its out-of-date, dirty coal burning plants, condemning communities to three more decades of exposure to harmful pollution” Dr Williams said.

“We’re facing an impending health and climate crisis. As Australia’s largest climate polluter and major toxic emitter, AGL must lead a swift phase-out of its coal fired plants that are poisoning our health and our climate.”

Full NPI Data is available at:


Further analysis and information:


Media contact: Cambell Klose 0490 436 948