Note: In January 2022 the EPA Director issued a determination on Design Criteria for Supplementary Air Pollutants and the EPA Board issued a statement on how they use the Air Quality EPP during environmental impact assessment - please see details at the bottom of this page.
Consultants involved in atmospheric dispersion modelling in Tasmania must be familiar with Clause 11.1 and Schedules 2 and 3 of the Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality) 2004.
Prior to commencement of modelling, consultants should contact the EPA Air Modelling Officer - contact details below.
Non-specific Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Guidelines are available. However, a discussion with the EPA Air Modelling Officer prior to commencement of modelling for a specific project would ensure that the consultant uses modelling tools appropriate for the task at hand and relevant settings for the particular model.
Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Guidelines
The Director, EPA has approved several models for use in Tasmania. These include:
TAPM (V4.0 or later). TAPM is a mesoscale model that was developed by the CSIRO for predicting the dispersion of air pollutants and provides a range of outputs for visual interpretation of pollutant dispersion under changing weather conditions and summary statistics. It is frequently used in Tasmania to generate prognostic meteorological input for the modelling domain.
Calmet/Calpuff (V6.4 or later). Calmet/Calpuff is a pair of meteorological and dispersion models developed in the US and adopted by the US EPA as a preferred model for assessing long range transport of pollutants. The models are often run in conjunction with the TAPM generated meteorological data as there are very few weather stations in Tasmania.
Use of other models, such as AERMOD or industry-specific models requires prior consultation with the EPA Air Modelling Officer. It should be noted that steady-state models like AERMOD or Ausplume can only be used if the assumption that meteorological conditions are spatially uniform (or near-uniform) is valid and there is no large water body present. Such conditions are not very common in Tasmania because of its complex topography. However, Ausplume (V.6.0) model can successfully be used as a screening model.
Modelling results have to be presented appropriately with references to the relevant design criteria included in the Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality) 2004 applied “at or beyond the boundary of the land" of the premises involved. All input, output and meteorological files used in the dispersion modelling should be made available in an electronic format (compatible with the modelling software used or in a text format).
The NSW Environment Protection Authority has provided
useful guidance documents for modellers including
The New Zealand Ministry for the Environment has prepared a useful guide to atmospheric dispersion modelling.
Air Quality EPP and the EPA
The EPA Board have issued a Statement that clarifies how the Board uses and implements the Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality) 2004 (Air Quality EPP) during the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. The Statement also provides important updates to air pollutant design criteria. Some criteria for air pollutants in the Air EPP derive from the National Environmental Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure 1998 (Air NEPM) standards that have since been varied. In addition, the Director, EPA has determined 19 supplementary air pollutant design criteria that are not currently in the Air EPP. The Director has determined these criteria based on new standards in the Air NEPM, on health advice and/or from other jurisdictions.