Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Air - NSW overview

Lower Hunter air quality studies

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has investigated the sources and impacts of particle pollution in the Lower Hunter/Newcastle region where community concern has been growing around air quality impacts from industry.

The results from the Lower Hunter air quality studies add to the evidence base that the NSW Government relies on to inform policies and programs to improve air quality in the Hunter. The EPA continues to consult with the Newcastle Community Consultative Committee on the Environment on these initiatives.

Study findings were presented at a community briefing on 27 April 2016 at the Newcastle City Hall.

Lower Hunter Particle Characterisation Study

The EPA initiated the Lower Hunter Particle Characterisation Study in 2013 to study the composition of airborne particles 2.5 micrometres and smaller in diameter (PM2.5) in the Lower Hunter region, and the composition of particles between 2.5 and 10 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5-10) near the Newcastle Port. The study was undertaken to provide the NSW Government and communities in the Lower Hunter with scientific information about the composition and likely sources of fine particles, invisible to the eye, in the local environment.

The study was a collaboration between the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

Chemical Transport Modelling Case Studies

The Chemical Transport Modelling (CTM) Case Studies estimated PM2.5 concentrations and components through modelling periods in July and November 2014. The case studies provided snapshots of pollution in the region for the periods modelled. The results show that it is possible to model air pollution in the region reasonably well.

Dust Deposition Study

Community groups and individuals have raised concerns about the levels of visible black dust in the lower Hunter region. The EPA commissioned a study to examine the quantity, composition and likely sources of deposited dust in parts of the region. To ensure that the views of the community were fully considered, the EPA established a project reference group for the study.

More information about the Lower Hunter Dust Deposition Study

Related links

Page last updated: 28 April 2016