Katestone responds to media commentary on its ARTC report

Katestone’s Simon Welchman issued the following statement today in response to comments in the media about our report entitled “Pollution Reduction Program 4.2: Particulate Emissions from Coal Trains” prepared for ARTC

“Katestone categorically refutes suggestions in today’s media that its report was doctored.

As with all its work, Katestone provides rigorous and independent scientific analysis of data.

Mr Welchman states that the leaked report of 24 May was a draft version, not approved by Katestone for public release.

As part of Katestone’s normal quality management procedures, a team member discovered a discrepancy in train data in the draft report.

Katestone immediately reviewed the calculation procedure, identifying an error in how train types had been categorised.

Correcting this error affected the results of the analysis, making the report revision essential.

Mr Welchman emphasises that the final report has maintained the same overall conclusion as the draft, specifically:

Loaded coal trains operating on the Hunter Valley rail network, when measured at Metford, did not have a statistically stronger association with elevated particulate matter concentrations than other trains.

Further, this finding is consistent with the first report conducted by a different environmental consultant and released in September 2012.

To provide a robust and fair assessment of the train dust issues, the analysis had to wrestle with complexities including overlapping trains travelling in opposite directions, changing weather conditions and configurations of trains.

Katestone’s quality management procedures are designed to identify any errors and ensure they are corrected in final reports.

Mr Welchman states that he stands firmly behind Katestone’s report of 31 May, which provides the final outcomes of the study.

The draft report does not correctly indicate the outcomes of the study.

Any suggestion that Katestone has altered the report – for any reason other than improving its veracity – is false and may be misleading.