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Environment Protection Authority

Good air quality results for Upper Hunter this winter

Media release: 23 November 2016

Good air quality results for Upper Hunter this winter

Air quality in the Upper Hunter region during the 2016 winter season was generally good, according to the latest air quality results released by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).

Levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter PM10 were all below benchmark concentrations while PM2.5 particles spiked on one day at Muswellbrook on 4 July as the result of a local factory fire.

EPA Director Hunter Karen Marler said the good results reflect the EPA’s work overseeing a range of upgrades at a number of mines as part of the Dust Stop program and the ongoing work to reduce dust and particle pollution across the Hunter region generally.

“One of the key focuses of the Dust Stop program has been to increase controls in place on haul roads in an effort to minimise dust in these areas.

“Our regulatory officers continue to conduct unannounced inspections to check operations and dust management practices and it’s good to see the benefits of this work reflected in the air quality results this winter,” Mrs Marler said.
     
The winter air quality report captured air quality data from 1 June 2016 to 31 August 2016. Results were compiled by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and presented at the October meeting of the EPA’s Upper Hunter Air Quality Advisory Committee.

The NSW Government recently released a 10 -year Clean Air Plan to improve air quality across the state which is now available for public consultation.
 
Chair of the EPA’s Upper Hunter Air Quality Advisory Committee John Tate said the Committee played a valuable role in reviewing the data, and ensuring that the information within the report can be easily understood by the community.

To download a copy of the winter report in full visit the OEH website:
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aqms/uhaqmnmonitoring.htm

To have your say on the NSW Government Clean Air Plan visit the EPA website.

PM10: particles less than or equal to 10 micrometres in diameter.
PM2.5: particles less than or equal to 2.5 micrometres in diameter.

The Newcastle and Hunter air quality monitoring networks: The Office of Environment and Heritage operates six air quality monitoring stations in Newcastle and the Lower Hunter and 14 across the Upper Hunter region. The network is designed to provide real time information about local air quality. The information is published in 1 hour and 24 hour intervals on the OEH website and local residents can also sign up to receive SMS and email alerts about their local air quality. More information is available on the OEH website.

Contact: EPA Public Affairs

Page last updated: 23 November 2016