Yass could be hit by exhaust fumes from the Dalton Power Project if it gets approval.
The NSW planning department’s assessment report states the concentration of nitrogen dioxide, a nasty-smelling gas, was predicted for 10 kilometres southwest and 30 kilometres west of the project.
This would put the cloud above Jerrawa and just north of Yass.
Chris Morgan owns a property near Dalton and has been fighting to stop the power plant’s approval.
He said he wouldn’t be happy if he was living in Yass, knowing the impact increased nitrogen dioxide would have on his health, as an asthma sufferer.
“I think it would be a problem for people who have asthma, people who are already sensitive to that sort of thing,” he said.
The report states the concentrations of gas were reaching the impact assessment criteria but the result was calculated using high background levels.
The planning report says the distance from Sydney and the fact that the power plant is only supposed to run for 15 per cent of the time meant “the potential for photochemical smog and/or interregional impacts is considered to be negligible”.
AGL, the company planning to build the plant, said there were not any predicted adverse health impacts due to the “relatively clean nature of gas-fired peaking power plants”.
An AGL spokesperson said the highest concentrations were well within NSW and World Health Organisation Guidelines.
“AGL is confident that the proposed project will be developed in a safe, best practice manner, and will operate with minimal impact on the environment and community,” the spokesperson said.
“The majority of exhaust gas is hot air and water vapour. Gas turbines burn natural gas, the same gas used in a household stove.”
However, Mr Morgan said many of the other exhaust gases were harmful for people’s health and several were carcinogenic.
“All of it’s going to be carried up in this hot exhaust plume; the light stuff will just stay up there… anything that’s heavier will start to fall out,” he said.
When asked about particles falling onto residents’ roofs and getting washed into rainwater tanks, AGL said it would be testing the air to ensure that didn’t happen.
“This is an unlikely result and would be identified by the air quality monitor before any particulate matter could reach surrounding residents,” the spokesperson said.
Mr Morgan urged other residents to get to the Planning and Assessment Commission meeting tomorrow.
“It is the last opportunity to demonstrate the genuine widespread concern we have for the health, well being and ultimately, the survival of our communities,” Mr Morgan said.
“It is the most important meeting we will have, it may well be the most important meeting in the history of the region, and the result could change the course of our lives forever.”
The meeting will be held at the Gunning Shire Hall at 9.30am tomorrow.