3.7.1 Description of the region
Figure 21: Population density and topography of Albury and environs
Place names indicate population centres.
Albury (and its Victorian counterpart Wodonga) are located some 450 km to the south-south-west of Sydney straddling the Murray River. Albury itself is bounded by elevated ground to the north, east and south with the Murray River on the southern boundary between the city and the higher ground. The populated area extends into the higher ground rather than to the west where there is less elevation (see Figure 21
). There are few significant industrial sources of air pollution in the region. The relatively cold winters and prevalence of wood heating leads to a potential for exceedences of the NEPM standard for PM10
. The population of Albury is 41,000 therefore at least one monitoring station is required under clause 14(1) of the AAQ NEPM.
No monitoring of AAQ NEPM parameters has been undertaken in Albury.
3.7.2 Proposed AAQ NEPM assessment scheme
Clause 14(2) of NEPM allows fewer performance monitoring stations where it can be demonstrated that "pollutant levels are reasonably expected to be consistently lower than the standards mentioned in this Measure". PRC (2000d) sets out criteria which when met provide a basis for determining that there is a reasonable expectation that pollutant concentrations are consistently lower than the standards. These screening procedures will be applied.
The urban centre of Albury is small, less than six kilometres radius. Because the production of ozone by photochemical processes takes some hours, it is unlikely that emissions from the region could be retained for a sufficient length of time to generate significantly elevated concentrations. This reasoning is offered in lieu of screening arguments as there are currently no ozone data from regional centres in New South Wales from which to apply the criteria in PRC (2000d). The need for monitoring will be reviewed in light of the results of campaign monitoring at Bathurst and the results of the CSIRO TAPM modelling consultancy.
Monitoring data from the Sydney CBD site demonstrates that CO arising from motor vehicles in Albury will be low and the screening criteria are satisfied (section 3.1.2). There may be potential for elevated concentrations of CO arising from the use of solid fuels. No monitoring of CO is proposed in Albury at this stage. NSW will await the outcome of monitoring of CO in other regional centres such as Kalgoorlie (2001) and Toowoomba (2002) before making a final decision.
Data from the Sydney region allows screening of sulfur dioxide and lead (section 3.1.2). In addition, monitoring data from Newcastle (section 3.2.2) allows screening of nitrogen dioxide. Thus monitoring of these three parameters is not required in this region. There is currently insufficient data within New South Wales to allow screening for ozone.
Albury is one of several regional centres located on the tablelands where smoke from wood fires may be of concern during winter. As there is the potential for exceedences of the NEPM goal, NSW EPA has begun campaign monitoring in Albury as one of four such regional centres.
The monitoring station is approximately three kilometres to the north-east of the city centre and in a relatively low-lying area where cold air drainage flows will transport emissions from a large portion of the residential area of the city. The station is also well placed to receive wood smoke emissions under prevailing westerly winds.
Page last updated: 26 February 2011