The Hobart Port air station, previously located on Princes Wharf in the CSIRO site, was established by the Tasmanian EPA in early 2017 to monitor ambient concentrations of sulfur dioxide principally from ships docked in the Hobart port area. The location for the station was chosen after preliminary air dispersion computer modelling was conducted.
Measuresurement of ambient concentrations of sulfur dioxide were recorded between 2017 and 2020. The concentrations of sulfur dioxide measured were all well below the relevant hour-averaged and day-averaged national air quality standards.
The report below provides an analysis of the measurements of ambient concentrations of sulfur dioxide measured at the Princes Wharf for the 2017-18 period.
Interim report on the ambient SO2 monitoring results from the EPA station located at the CSIRO wharf June 2017 – June 2018 (274Kb)
Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) sets limits on emissions of sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen. Australia is a signatory to the MARPOL Convention. In accordance with the Commonwealth legislation which implements the MARPOL in Australia, the current limit for the sulfur content of fuel is 0.5 per cent (effective from 1 January 2020).
Previously, the allowed sulfur content in ship fuel was 3.5 per cent. The new regulations will significantly reduce SO2 emissions from shipping in Australian ports.
Monitoring of SO2 in Hobart was discontinued in September 2020, following the new limits coming into force.
We thank CSIRO Marine and Atmosphere flagship for access to the site on their wharf.
Further information on sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen can be found via the links on our major air pollutants page.
Enquiries specific to health-related concerns in relation to emissions from cruise ships should be directed to the Department of Health.