Good air quality in NSW in 2015

Most of NSW experienced good air quality, by international standards, during 2015 according to NSW Office of Environment and Heritage analysis.

Clear skies over Sydney indicating low pollution

Environment Minister Mark Speakman today released the 2015 NSW Annual Air Quality Statement, which reviewed air quality across the state over the past 12 months.

This year’s review found air quality was very good, good or fair at least 95 per cent of the time in the Sydney and Hunter regions and almost 100 per cent of the time in all other NSW regions. This was similar to 2014.

Mr Speakman said NSW air quality had improved since the 1990s and major air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide were now well within Australian standards.

“Air quality is a government priority,” Mr Speakman said.

“The NSW government led the national particle standards review at last year’s Meeting of Environment Ministers and was instrumental in the adoption of strict new national standards for fine particles (PM2.5) and coarse particles (PM10). These endorsed standards are amongst the toughest in the world.

“We also are expanding and upgrading our network of monitoring stations and developing a series of air quality improvement strategies.”

The report found particle levels rose above national standards during several events, including a dust storm on 5-6 May, hazard reduction burning on 21 August and bushfires on 25-27 November, while ozone levels pushed above the national standards during a record-breaking heatwave on 6 October.

“We are committed to providing air quality information to the community and maintaining the most comprehensive air quality monitoring network in Australia because we know air pollution has a significant impact on the community’s health and on the economy,” Mr Speakman said.

Last year the government added new fine particle monitors at Campbelltown, at Rozelle and in the Illawarra. New monitors are to be installed this year in regional NSW and Western Sydney.

To read the report visit: Air quality statement 2015.

To subscribe to air pollution alerts visit: Current and forecast air quality.