Refinery dust may affect Perth development

Sophie Moore

Proposed residential developments near a Perth industrial area may be thwarted by higher than acceptable dust levels from a nearby alumina refinery, a state government-commissioned report says.

The Environmental Protection Authority study into an industrial buffer zone at east Mandogalup found there was a "negligible health risk and low likelihood of amenity impacts" from dust in the area.

But air quality in the north and north-east failed to meet the current standards, which were tightened in February last year.

A revised air quality buffer line of 1.5km restricting residential development around the refinery was supported by the WA Planning Commission in 2010, but the EPA has found it does not seem to reflect wind patterns for the area.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation says it will undertake monitoring and consider ways to reduce the impact of dust on the area.