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 1 137 A C T A M B IE N T A IR Q U A L IT Y Australian Capital Territory Report to the NEPC on the implementation of the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure for the Australian Capital Territory by Mr Simon Corbell MLA, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, for the reporting year ended 30 June 2011. The ACT Government acknowledges that wood smoke is a problem and is working towards addressing the issue in an informed and measured manner to ensure a satisfactory outcome for all Canberrans. It will continue to implement an integrated program to address wood smoke. This will involve public education and enforcement activities, the licensing of firewood merchants, the implementation of the Dont Burn Tonight Campaign and the ongoing implementation of the Wood Heater Replacement Program. The ACT will also work with the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions at a national level through the Standing Council on Environment and Water to progress actions to improve air quality. Data from relevant monitoring stations are presented in tabular form below to enable an evaluation of whether the NEPM standards and goal were met at each monitoring station. The standards, with accompanying definitions and explanations, appear in Schedule 2 of the NEPM. For averaging times shorter than one year, compliance with the NEPM goal is achieved if the standard for a pollutant is exceeded on no more than a specified number of days in a calendar year (one day per year for all pollutants except PM10, which may be exceeded no more than five days per year) and at least 75% of data is captured in each quarter. The data are presented in greater detail in the ACT Air Quality Report 2010, which is available from: www.environment.act.gov.au/?a=198473 PART 1 IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEPM AND ANY SIGNIFICANT ISSUES Legislative, regulatory and administrative framework The Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate (ESDD) has the responsibility for the administration of the National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient Air Quality (the NEPM). Health Protection Services (HPS), Health Directorate, operate the ACT Governments ambient air monitoring network. In accordance with clause 12 of the NEPM, HPS are National Association of Testing Authorities accredited. Implementation issues arising The ACTs population has passed the threshold for a second NEPM station. HPS in conjunction with ESDD are working on securing resources necessary to establish this station. To expedite the process, HPS have already started the preliminary planning work to ensure the site is appropriately sited for population exposure purposes. PART 2 ASSESSMENT OF NEPM EFFECTIVENESS The ACT is making steady progress towards achieving the goal of the NEPM, which is to achieve the standards specified in Schedule 2. Historical monitoring indicates that the only NEPM pollutant of concern in the Canberra airshed is particulate matter, which increases during winter because of emissions from domestic wood heaters. In more recent years, exceedences of the particulate matter standard have also been recorded from dust storms and smoke from controlled burns. Unfortunately compliance was not demonstrated for NO2 at Civic and Monash, O3 at Monash, and PM10 at Civic because of less than 75% data availability in one or more quarters. These pollutants are not of concern for the ACT airshed with levels of NO2 and O3 less than 33% and 70% of standards respectively. In relation to PM10 and PM2.5 it is pleasing to note that there were no exceedences of either standard because of wood heater emissions, although monitoring clearly shows that levels increase during the winter months. The two exceedences of the PM2.5 advisory reporting standard were because of smoke coming into the ACT airshed from controlled burns in NSW.