Publishing and providing pollution monitoring data

Pollution monitoring data that is required to be collected by a licence condition must be published by the licensee in accordance with section 66(6) of the POEO Act and with the written requirements issued by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). This obligation does not apply to any monitoring conducted prior to 31 March 2012.

There are offences for failure to publish monitoring data and for publishing false or misleading data.

The EPA’s Requirements for publishing pollution monitoring data (PDF 105KB) sets out the written requirements that environment protection licence holders must follow when publishing or making pollution monitoring data publicly available.

12-month review

The EPA undertook a review of the requirements for publishing pollution monitoring data 12 months after they were introduced. The aims of the review were to

  • identify and resolve any implementation issues that users had experienced in the first 12 months of operation and simplify the requirements where appropriate
  • get the balance right by providing the community with timely access to meaningful data while not being too onerous or costly for licensees to implement.

The review included a call for public submissions and comments on the existing requirements as well as an audit of compliance with the legislation.

The EPA considered all comments received during the review and audit findings, and made a number of changes to clarify and simplify the requirements as well as reduce the burden on licensees. The most significant of these include

  • allowing pdf file formats for the published data and a ‘live’ feed of continuous emission monitoring data in addition to meaningful summaries
  • extending the timeframes for publishing obtained data, from 14 calendar days to 14 working days
  • rationalising the number of applicable dates that are required to be published with each set of pollution monitoring data
  • removing the requirement to publish ambient monitoring data and data collected from pollution reduction programs.

Comments and responses

Comments that were received during the consultation period and responses from the EPA are summarised in a table for easy perusal.

Environment Compliance Report: Requirements for publishing pollution monitoring data

The POEO Act requires holders of an environment protection licence to make any pollution monitoring data obtained in compliance with any monitoring conditions attached to their environment protection licence publicly available in a timely manner. The EPA has completed audits to determine if licensees are publishing pollution monitoring data as required by section 66(6) of the POEO Act. The EPA conducted audits of 200 environment protection licence holders who are required to undertake monitoring.

The findings of the audits are summarised in Requirements for publishing pollution monitoring data (PDF 114KB).

More information

Protection of the Environment Legislation Amendment Act 2011.

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