Ambient Air Standards in the Air NEPM
The National Air Quality Standards in the Air NEPM specify the standard to be achieved in larger urban residential areas - not at the boundaries of industries. The air monitoring stations are therefore, located in residential areas of the capital cities and larger regional centres to provide a representative measurement of the air quality experienced by their inhabitants.
In Tasmania particle matter less than 10 micrometres (µm) and 2.5 micrometres (µm) and diameter (PM10 and PM2.5) are the main indicators of urban air pollution. Therefore, Tasmania is only required to conduct monitoring for PM10 and PM2.5 but other pollutants are also monitored from time to time.
Reference Station Air Pollution Data
Through the EPA Division, Tasmania is committed to the highest quality air monitoring data for determining its compliance with the National Environmental Protection Measure Ambient Air Quality (NEPM).
The Division is continuously upgrading its monitoring programs to meet all relevant Australian and international standards, and has achieved accreditation by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) for all its reference level particle monitoring activities.
At the present time, the EPA Division operates reference level air monitoring stations in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport. The Devonport station was commissioned in January 2013.
Current (unvalidated) data from the reference-level air monitoring stations is available at the following links:
Validated monitoring data graphs for Hobart (New Town), Launceston (Ti tree Bend) and Devonport (TAFE) are available at the following link:
Australian States and Territories
Each State and Territory was expected to implement programs as required to achieve the air quality standards specified in the Air NEPM by 2008. The Minister for Environment is responsible for the implementation of the Air NEPM in Tasmania, and the
Environmental Protection Policy (Air Quality) 2004 which was released in June 2005, is a key instrument for implementing the NEPM.
The Tasmanian Air Quality Strategy was released in June 2006 and specifies strategies for achieving compliance with the NEPM standards by 2011. Under section 12A of the Tasmanian State Policies and Projects Act 1993, NEPMs are taken to be State Policies, which have been passed by Parliament.
Each year Tasmania is require to report on its progress towards meeting the Air NEPM (Annual Air NEPM Reports). The reports include information on the monitoring results from Tasmania's reference level monitoring stations at Hobart, Launceston and Devonport.
Particle sampling occurs at both the Hobart, Launceston and Devonport sites using Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalances (TEOM) and Low Volume Samplers.
Indicative (non-reference) particle monitoring is also carried out at approximately 20 other locations as part of a program aimed at providing information to facilitate the improvement of the management of planned burning in Tasmania.
Tasmanian Air Pollution Monitoring Plan 2001
The Tasmanian Air Pollution Monitoring Plan 2001 presents how Tasmania is monitoring, assessing and reporting air quality. The plan was amended in the Amended Air Monitoring Plan 2005 to reflect upgraded monitoring equipment and systems.
The Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station
Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station, operated by the Australian Government, is one of a global network of atmospheric monitoring stations.
Industrial Emissions and Monitoring Data
Industries can be a main contributor to local air pollution, therefore, for most industries it is a requirement for their emissions to be monitored. Limits are set on a permissible concentrations and/or loads of pollutants present in discharges to the atmosphere from point sources of pollution.