The Hobart Port air station, located on Princes Wharf in the CSIRO site was established in early 2017 to monitor ambient concentrations of sulphur dioxide principally from ships docked in the Hobart port area, and was chosen after preliminary air dispersion computer modelling was conducted.
The station ceased operation in September 2020.
We thank CSIRO Marine and Atmosphere flagship for access to the site on their wharf.
The increasing number of cruise ships visiting the Port of Hobart in recent years has raised some concerns in the Hobart community about the level of impact of emissions from these ships.
The EPA established a reference level monitoring station in the Hobart Port area to continuously measure and report ambient levels of sulphur dioxide in real-time to its website.
The measurements of the ambient concentration of sulphur dioxide were recorded between 2017 and 2020. The ambient levels of sulphur dioxide measured were well below the relevant hour-averaged and day-averaged national air quality standards.
The report for 2017/18 provides an analysis of the measurements of ambient concentrations of sulphur dioxide.
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 sulphur 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 sulphur content of fuel is 0.5 per cent (effective from 1 January 2020).
Previously, the allowed sulphur 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 subsequent to the new limits coming into force.
Further information on sulphur 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.