Port Pirie EPA Portal

Implementing a public-facing data portal for Nyrstar Port Pirie to publish air quality results.

Photo Credit: EPA South Australia

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Nyrstar operates a lead smelter in Port Pirie. Nyrstar Port Pirie’s new Environment Protection Act (EPA) licence requires the publication of certain environmental monitoring data to the public. The objective of this project was to establish a public-facing portal that enables users to view this data on demand, as close to real time as possible. 

In addition, an ability to automatically detect and report exceedances of certain licence limits was required. 

Technical Situation

On a tight deadline to meet their new EPA licence obligations, Nyrstar Port Pirie required: 

  • A method of quickly establishing a secure, public-facing platform to which they could publish certain data from their on-premises PI System.
  • A content-management system that allowed them to add information about (and links to) their EPA Licence.
  • Intuitive visualisations that:  
    • Were easy for non-technical users to navigate.
    • Clearly reported the values required by Nyrstar Port Pirie’s EPA Licence.

Nyrstar Port Pirie did not have all the tools and resources at its disposal to comply with these requirements in a short time frame. 

Solution

A GTS’ Hosted Solutions (GHOST) solution was deployed, enabling very rapid deployment of a public facing web portal that achieved all of the required functionality on a tight deadline. Nyrstar Port Pirie was able to quickly comply with its EPA Licence obligations. 

The solution consists of two key components: 

  • GTS Node-ADS, an extension of Node RED using custom Nodes to interact with the PI System 
  • GHOST, a hosted solution containing a PI backend and an ASP.NET MVC Content Management System (CMS) front-end. 

The Node-ADS instance sits within Nyrstar’s environment, and constantly polls a selection of PI Data Points in order to submit new events over HTTPS to GHOST. 

The REST API on GHOST writes events to PI Points in the GHOST backend. An AF hierarchy has been built that organises these points and utilises PI Analytics in order to detect and report exceedances of EPA Licence Limits. 

The GHOST front-end provides a full CMS, including a library of visualisation components that connect to PI AF to query and display data. A drag-and-drop display builder simplifies the page-building process, enabling new visualisations to be rapidly created, modified, and published. 

Specifically, a series of displays have been developed that allow users to select geographic areas of interest on a map and view relevant environmental monitoring data for that area in form of colour-coded trends. 

Additionally, a report has been produced that outlines all the exceedances of each licence limit for the period of interest provided by the user. 

These components combined provide a fully automated end to end solution that takes environmental monitoring data from Nyrstar Port Pirie’s on-premises PI system and expose it to the public. 

Project Outcomes & Benefits

Now that a fully automated reporting solution is in place, Nyrstar Port Pirie can direct resources away from manually reporting environmental data, and towards the investigation and resolution of any underlying issues that might be causing exceedances in licence limit. 

Additionally, the public have an all-encompassing portal allowing them to view the environmental data that affects them most. The portal promotes transparency and engagement between the public and Nyrstar Port Pirie.   

Harry Hughes
Harry Hughes

Senior Software Engineer

GTS was thrilled to quickly produce a low-cost solution that meets all of Nyrstar Port Pirie’s environmental reporting requirements.

Harry Hughes

Senior Software Engineer at GTS Group

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