The Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality) 2004, referred to as the Air Quality Policy, has been developed to help regulatory authorities and industry maintain and improve Tasmania's air quality.
Regulatory authorities should ensure that all reasonable and practical measures are taken to avoid or minimise air emissions from industry.
New industries or existing industries undergoing major upgrades are expected to use accepted modern technology to reduce air emissions. Guidelines on emission levels that would normally be achievable are specified in the Air Quality Policy.
Regulatory authorities should ensure that significant industrial sources of air pollution in existence at the time the Air Quality Policy comes into force progressively reduce their emissions.
Regulatory authorities should manage and regulate diffuse sources of air pollution that have the potential to cause environmental harm or an environmental nuisance in a way that will protect the environmental values of the Air Quality Policy.
Persons and organisations undertaking planned burning should use best practice environmental management to minimise the effects of smoke, and must take account of health and amenity impacts. Planned burning includes vegetation burning for fuel reduction, ecological management and forest regeneration, but does not include back-burning to control wildfires.
Where practicable, organisations that undertake regular or large scale planned burning should:
- adopt air quality monitoring programs
- adopt a uniform approach to recording and assessing complaints
- focus on minimising the impact of smoke on the community
- encourage the planning and execution of planned burning in a way that minimises smoke generation
- require that persons responsible for planned burning be competent in relevant burning procedures
The provisions of the Air Quality Policy are not directly enforceable. They are to be implemented by State and Local Government regulatory authorities when developing legislation and policies or undertaking regulation that is relevant to air quality. The Air Quality Policy also provides guidance for environmental managers and consultants in the relevant industries.