Annual Report 2010-2011 National Environment Protection Council
Tabled paper 1729
Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
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National Environmental Protection Council annual report 2 0 1 0 2 0 1 1 133 Tas A M B IE N T A IR Q U A L IT Y Tasmania Report to the NEPC on the implementation of the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure for Tasmania by the Hon. Brian Wightman MP, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, for the reporting year ended 30 June 2011. Work towards establishing a NEPM air quality monitoring station at Devonport was progressed during the 201011 fiscal year. It is anticipated that a NEPM station at Devonport will be commissioned in late 2011. As previously reported, the EPA Division has established a non-NEPM regional online air quality monitoring network known as the Base-Line Air Network of EPA Tasmania (BLANkET). The stations comprising this network are equipped with optical particle monitors and are located in smaller regional centres whose population is below the threshold set for air monitoring under the Air NEPM. During 201011, this network was increased from 15 to 19 stations. Data from the BLANkET network have proved to be a valuable resource for understanding smoke movement and dispersal in the greater Tasmanian airshed, and estimating rural population exposure to smoke from planned burns, domestic wood heaters and bushfires. PART 2 ASSESSMENT OF NEPM EFFECTIVENESS The Air NEPM has been very effective in improving ambient air quality in Tasmania, by contributing to a community awareness of air quality issues in populated areas and supporting programs aimed at reducing wood smoke pollution during winter. This has been particularly effective in Launceston, where a significant reduction in the number of wood heaters, and improved community cooperation has led to a continuing improvement in winter air quality. 2010 was the second consecutive year where the 50g/m3 24-hour PM10 standard was not exceeded, and the fourth year that the PM10 concentration has met the NEPM goal of no more than five exceedences/year. The number of exceedences of the PM2.5 advisory reporting standard at Launceston has continued to decline from 35 in 2006 to 12 in 2009, and to 11 in 2010. The 2010 annual average PM2.5 concentration of 8.3g/m 3 was marginally higher than the 7.5g/m3 measured in 2009 and did not meet the annual average advisory standard of less than 8g/m3. There was a single exceedence of the 24-hour PM10 standard of 50g/m3 observed in Hobart during the calendar year 2010. The 24-hour PM2.5 concentration exceeded the 25g/m3 advisory reporting standard on two days, compared with four in 2009, nine in 2008 and seven in 2007. The annual average PM2.5 concentration was 7.1g/m3. This was identical to the value from the previous year, and slightly less than the annual averages of 7.3g/m3 for 2008 and 7.6g/m3 for 2007. PART 1 IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEPM AND ANY SIGNIFICANT ISSUES In Tasmania the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure (Air NEPM) is implemented primarily through the EPA Division of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE). The enabling legislation for the Air NEPM process is the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA). National Environment Protection Measures are adopted as state policies under the State Policies and Projects Act 1993. The Air NEPM is put into effect under the Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality) 2004, the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Distributed Atmospheric Emissions) Regulations 2007 and the Tasmanian Air Quality Strategy 2006. The EPP (Air Quality) or Air Policy, which came into force in June 2005, includes specific reference to meeting the requirements of the Air NEPM through regulation of industry and management of diffuse sources like planned burning activities. The policy is available on the EPA Divisions website at www.environment.tas.gov.au As required by the EPP (Air Quality), Tasmanias Air Quality Strategy was published in June 2006. The fiveyear strategy assesses compliance with the Air NEPM standards in Tasmania and specifies strategies for achieving compliance where standards are not being met. The strategy addresses the management of air quality in Tasmania and includes programs to further reduce domestic and industrial emissions of respirable particles in critical regions of the state. Wood smoke continues to be the primary air quality issue for Tasmania. The Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Distributed Atmospheric Emissions) Regulations 2007, gazetted in August 2007, provide a legal framework for programs to reduce the emission of domestic wood smoke, through controls on the import, sale and installation of wood heaters, making the emission of excessive smoke from chimneys and smokestacks an offence and restricting backyard burning on suburban allotments. The Tasmanian Government has continued to upgrade facilities to monitor ambient levels of PM2.5 and PM10 particles as required by the amendment to the Air NEPM (May 2003). The Tasmanian air monitoring program operates under an ISO:17025 compliant Quality System and holds NATA accreditation for the daily measurement of PM2.5 and PM10 using instruments and methods prescribed in the Air NEPM.
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