The Liddell Power Station in the Upper Hunter region of NSW was closed and decommissioned on 28 April 2023. This is a significant step towards a transition to a clean energy future.
The EPA requested the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) conduct a modelling study to examine the potential for any improvement to air quality after the closure of the station.
A modelling system was used to simulate the concentrations of air pollutants and therefore investigate the impact of the retirement of the power station on local and regional air quality.
The study indicates that the power station closure can lead to improved air quality on both local and regional scales.
The closure of the Liddell Power Station is part of a broader plan for the transition of the site to a low carbon Industrial Energy Hub. The transition to the Industrial Energy Hub has been assessed as State Significant Development (SSD) in accordance with section 4.36 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Environmental Impact Statements have been prepared for each phase of the transition.
As the transition occurs, the EPA continues to regulate Liddell Power Station, including the ash repository. The environment protection licence issued by the EPA requires the operator to continue to meet legally enforceable conditions relating to noise, air, water, land contamination and waste.
The licence will remain in force until it is suspended, revoked or surrendered.
The EPA will continue to work with the operator to reduce risks to human health and the environment from decommissioning and transition to its future use.