Clearing The Air

PHIC LogoPort Hedland is a major Western Australian regional population centre and one of the world’s largest iron export ports. The Port Hedland Dust Management Taskforce was established by the Western Australian Government in 2009 to develop a comprehensive approach to improving air quality and managing the impact of dust created by industry on the local community.

As a result, the Port Hedland Industries Council (PHIC) was formed and has been tasked with providing a more co-ordinated approach to considering and addressing cumulative environmental issues relating to users of the port. Members of PHIC include:

  • Atlas Iron
  • BHP Billiton Iron Ore
  • Birla Nifty
  • Fortescue Metals Group
  • Port Hedland Port Authority
  • P&O Automotive and General Stevedoring
  • Process Minerals International
  • Hancock Prospecting
  • Newcrest Mining
  • Consolidated Minerals
  • North West Iron Ore Alliance


SRA Information Technology has been working closely with PHIC to deliver an innovative, technology-based solution to aid in delivering better air quality and environmental outcomes for the Port Hedland community.

Meeting the Challenge >>

Dust is generated from both environmental and human sources. However, high concentrations of dust from industry activity in Port Hedland, presents potential health risks to residents. Dust particles that are inhaled can cause irritations that range from coughing and sneezing, to hay-fever type reactions and asthma attacks. Breathing a high concentration of dust over many years is thought to cause chronic breathing and lung problems. Port Hedland dust is predominately iron ore, relatively large in size (less than 10 micrometres diameter PM10) and contains low levels of urban emissions. 

Industries using Port Hedland port have been charged with the responsibility of monitoring and reducing dust emissions. The need was for a solution that would increase understanding of the origin and causes of excessive emissions. SRA Information Technology has provided a real time dust monitoring website as the solution to monitoring dust emissions. The information from this website will allow industry to make informed decisions regarding the incorporation of advanced dust suppression design and technology into ore handling equipment and practices. This activity is proving vital in order to comply with regulatory licence conditions and commitments.

Outstanding Features >>

The software that provides the ‘engine room’ for this solution is SRA’s environmental information management system, EnviroSystm. Not only is this solution able to provide the real time functionality to capture and display dust data, it will also allow PHIC members to take a more coordinated approach to managing any future environmental data requirement from across the region.

The website indicates data for coarse dust particles as a PM10 measurement. However the solution has the ability to capture, store and display any real time data requirements.

The website contains various layers and aspects to the real time data being collected from the monitoring stations located around the Port Hedland area. The home page of the website consists of an ortho-photo of the Port Hedland area with monitoring stations at various named locations. Currency of data being delivered by the monitoring stations is indicated by a configurable colour legend.

Detailed information from any of the monitoring stations can be retrieved by simply clicking in the station name tag as displayed on the home page. Hence by clicking on a monitoring station the user is able to view:

  • A graph of dust levels over a period of time as selected by the user which also includes an exceedance guideline
  • A graph of wind speed versus wind direction over the selected period of time
  • A ‘Recent Conditions’ summary table including a wind dial graphic
  • A scatter-graph displaying modelled dust dispersion

A link to the ‘PM10 Summary’ page from the home page allows the user to scroll through and view all monitoring stations from the one page.

Comprehensive Benefits >>

The benefits from this solution will provide:

  • Detailed information on dust levels throughout the town with a focus on where people live, learn and recreate
  • Robust information to government and the community on progress towards meeting the required PM10 dust interim guideline measures
  • An improved understanding of both broad and local-scale meteorology, major dust sources, dust transport throughout the local area, and how and where dust is deposited
  • Up-to-date information to assist industry to prevent and reduce dust emissions
  • Support for better planning for future development and ongoing health research
  • Better, more easily understood information for the public

Leading Edge Technology >>

SRA Information Technology develops and supports the award-winning EnviroSystm solution. EnviroSystm is an enterprise-wide application which offers users a configurable platform to collate, analyse, present and report environmental based information. It operates on a proactive basis by polling, auto loading and validating data. The web-based solution offers accessibility anywhere, anytime and is adaptable to new monitoring requirements. In addition to this, EnviroSystm provides for real-time analysis, dash boarding, scheduled reporting capabilities, integration of spatial and temporal data sets and informs when events are triggered. EnviroSystm solutions are configured ‘out of the box’ to cater for requirements in a variety of sectors including; mining, oil, gas, ports, pollutants, emissions, NPI reporting, NGER, energy, water, biodiversity, waste and all levels of government.

Further Information >>

You can view the Real Time Dust Monitoring at


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