Air quality under review

THE Australian standard for air quality is under review.

Questions were raised in Gladstone regarding the standard after the release of the Human Health Risk Report three weeks ago.

Currently, the standard guideline for particular matter (PM 2.5 concentrations) over one year is 8.

If air quality measurements go above the standard of 8, air quality guidelines have been breached.

On average, yearly air quality standards in Gladstone hover between 0.5 and 2 except during bushfires and dust storms.

In a statement released to The Observer, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) said it was reviewing the ambient air quality National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM).

“The EPHC is considering whether the evidence on health impacts warrants a revision of the NEPM standards,” the statement said.

“The EPHC is also considering whether to change the existing advisory PM 2.5 reporting standards to compliance standards, which have mandatory monitoring and reporting requirements and longer-term goals.

“The final report on the review of the NEPM will not be considered by EPHC until next year, but a public consultation process is under way.”

The chairman of the Clean and Healthy Air for Gladstone (CHAG) community reference group Colin Chapman believes the standards need to be reviewed.

“It certainly does warrant a review of the standards and that is what will be putting in our recommendation to the EPHC,” he said.

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