Have Your Say on national air quality standards

Australia’s air quality has improved over recent decades and is considered good by world standards. Improvements to Australia’s air quality have been achieved through strengthening ambient air quality standards, fuel quality standards, vehicle emission standards and state-based controls on industry.

It is still important to minimise air emissions and exposure to air pollution, and the National Environment Protection Council is consulting on proposed changes to the air standards for ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide following a recent review of the standards.

EPA Victoria is leading the consultation on behalf of the Commonwealth, states and territories and is holding public forums and a webinar to support people providing submissions. Anyone with an interest in air quality is invited to have their say on the proposed standards. The forums in NSW include;

  • Sydney Masonic Centre on Thurs 13 June 2019
  • Newcastle Town Hall on Tue 23 July 201
  • Webinar Tues 16 July 2019

The national standards for monitoring and reporting on six common air pollutants are outlined within the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure. The pollutants include carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5).

The National Environment Protection Council comprising of Australia’s Environment Ministers agreed to review the national standards for air pollutants to ensure they reflect latest science and health evidence.

An Impact Statement prepared by the Council presents options for tighter monitoring and reporting standards for ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide and is now available for public consultation. The Statement is supported by a large body of work that pulls together air quality and health information, considers the feasibility of updating the standards, and the costs and benefits of a range of potential abatement measures that could be introduced to lower concentrations for these pollutants.

This current review follows a review of the standards for particles, which were amended in 2016 and are now the most stringent national standards for PM2.5 particles in the world.

The Impact Statement and further information on public forums is available on the National Environment Protection Council website: http://nepc.gov.au/nepms/ambient-air-quality/proposed-variation/consultation-2019