Revised operations for unloading gypsum at Glebe Island

There is some concern about changes in the way that gypsum is imported to Glebe Island, in particular possible dust and noise impacts on the local community.
Sydney Ports will monitor the revised operations very closely to ensure compliance with the conditions of the planning approval for Glebe Island 1 and 2, Knauf’s Operational Environmental Management Plan and those imposed under the Environment Protection Licence (EPL) by the EPA.

Knauf’s first shipment of gypsum was delivered on Friday 11 October. Knauf plans to receive approximately 20-thousand tonnes per shipment every 6 to 8 weeks and each discharge would take 4 to 5 days.

Sydney Ports has received the following assurances:
They have set up a Glebe Island Environmental (complaints) Hotline. The phone number is 9311-6972. It will be answered by an onsite nominee, who will take the relevant details from the caller creating a record of the feedback.

Knauf have committed to numerous dust mitigation measures under their Operational Environmental Management Plan, including:

  • Grab loading limits via the provision of blocks that limit how much can be picked- up by the grab
  • Hopper loading limits through limiting the amount of product that is dumped into the hopper to reduce risk of any spillage and limit emission of fugitive dust by keeping the product low in the hopper
  • Grab unloading directly to mobile hoppers on wharf
  • Hoppers discharged directly to waiting trucks
  • Continuous use of mobile equipment for cleaning any product spillage to minimise any fugitive emissions and to ensure that gypsum product is not tracked across the berth or onto public roads
  • Transport management (truck loading limits to ensure that no trucks are loaded to a height that may create any spillage
  • All trucks will be covered with tarpaulins before leaving the berth.
  • Hoppers incorporate world’s best practice specifically designed to mitigate spillage.
  • The bottom half of the hopper will be enclosed with plastic curtains to ensure no dust emissions escape when loading into each truck.
  • To further suppress dust emissions from the Hoppers Baffles will be fitted which are designed to close off the total open area of the Hopper. The pivoting blades on the Baffles open under the weight of the dumped material meaning the Hopper is only open when the material is entering the Hopper, thus minimising the escape of displaced air carrying dust out of the Hopper.

Knauf have committed to numerous noise mitigation measures under their OEMP, including:

  • Maintain machines in good working order
  • Noise monitoring will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Licence
  • Mobile plant will use appropriate, non tonal reversing alarms where practical subject to compliance with work health and safety requirements.
  • Truck movements will be organised to minimise the need for trucks to reverse in accordance with the Traffic Management Plan.
  • All machinery and equipment associated with the proposed activity is to be maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s requirements.
  • As part of the operations training program a mobile plant driver awareness program will be implemented covering such issues as:
  • § judicious use of the throttle during lifting as well as travel;
  • § minimising the idling of machinery and trucks on site; and
  • the immediate reporting and repair of any machinery defects which may cause excess noise generation.