Air monitoring station upgrade

The State Government has upgraded its LeFevre Peninsula Primary School air monitoring station as part of an ongoing $200,000 improvement of air quality monitoring in South Australia.

Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said the upgrade marks a decade of air monitoring in the region since the first station was established in 2006.

“The station plays a very important role in monitoring Particulate Matter (PM) in the atmosphere – the mixture of small particles emitted into the air that impact human health when inhaled,” he said.

“In Greater Adelaide, air quality compares well with national standards, but the advanced capability of this station underlines our commitment to high standards of air monitoring in South Australia.

“This station – LeFevre 1 – was first set up to measure average exposure to PM10 particles, but now can detect the more problematic, finer PM2.5 particles, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide.

"To the end of quarter 3 in 2015, the number of days that exceeded the national standard for PM10 at this station was one, less than the National Environment Protection Measure of five.

“At the nearby LeFevre 2 station, for the same period the total exceedance days for PM10 was one, and for PM2.5, none.”

Mr Hunter said the impacts of PM2.5 have been shown to be a risk to human health, particularly in urban areas through traffic emissions, domestic sources and industry.

“This upgrade will help improve our understanding of health outcomes, as well as bring wider benefits for the Port Adelaide area through greater awareness of air pollution sources, improving our ability to manage them,” he said.

“This work builds on the success of the EPA’s monitoring programme and its work with local residents and businesses to improve environmental performance and reduce exposure to air pollution.”

Five new monitors have been deployed at existing air quality monitoring stations around the metropolitan area as part of a programme to increase capacity for measuring PM2.5 particles.

The new $30,000 housing at LeFevre 1 holds PM2.5 and PM10 continuous monitoring instruments, and its data is available to anyone through the EPA website.

Mr Hunter said the EPA provides advice to the development of a National Clean Air Agreement, which for the first time will be providing a consistent framework across all States and Territories towards the management of air quality.

“A meeting of Environment Ministers late last year led to an agreement to vary the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure, to provide for a more stringent reporting standard for pollution of PM2.5 and PM10,” he said.

“This agreement will establish it as a full compliance standard, in addition to a new requirement for all jurisdictions to report on population exposure to PM2.5 by 2018.”