The West Australian Government released a report on August 11, 2017 into managing dust issues in Port Hedland, which will be formally considered after public submissions have been received.
The Port Hedland Dust Management Taskforce report recommends a Special Control Area over the West End of Port Hedland, along with recommendations that exporters continue to reduce dust emissions at the port.
Exporters will also be subject to more intense risk-based regulation, as well as the identification and mitigation of other dust sources in the town.
The report follows the release of the Department of Health's Health Risk Assessment in 2016, which found sufficient evidence of health effects from dust to warrant dust management controls and land-use planning to reduce exposure.
The government says Port Hedland residents, organisations and other interested parties are invited to submit their views on the report and its recommendations by October 6, 2017.
Port Hedland is the largest bulk handling port in the world, and is a major contributor to the Western Australian and Australian economies, contributing 27% of WA’s merchandise exports and 12% of Australia’s.
In 2009, the Environmental Protection Authority raised concerns about the possible effects of dust on the health of Port Hedland residents, prompted by reports of high dust levels and mounting scientific evidence that high levels dust levels due to port activity.