The Newcastle Local Air Quality Monitoring Network (NLAQMN) was established in 2014 to provide government, industry, and the community with credible, reliable, and up-to-date information about air quality within the Port of Newcastle. The NLAQMN is also tasked with providing information that assists in assessing changes in air quality and identifying the major sources of monitored pollutants.
This report by the Department of Planning and Environment, on behalf of the EPA, is the second review of the Newcastle Local Air Quality Monitoring Network, covering the period of January 2018 to December 2021 operations.
The review considered whether the Newcastle Local monitoring program continued to meet its objectives and requirements set by the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation (2022). The review also assessed any need for improvements and consideration of related matters.
The review concluded that:
- The Newcastle Local monitoring program remains effective in meeting the objectives set by the regulation and remains efficient and cost-effective.
- The network design remains valid, considering the location of major pollution sources, population centres, and regional topography and its influence on air movement. The NSW Government must consider any relevant developments from the projected population growth and expanding industrial activities at the port, to inform the future network design and program objectives during the next review (in 2025).
- The network has improved its online data delivery to the community, and data from the network has enabled air quality assessments against relevant benchmarks for reporting online in near real-time and in seasonal newsletters and annual statements.
- A key recommendation from this review is for the NSW Government to develop and implement an effective communication approach that better demonstrates and communicates the program's activities and achievements in meeting its objectives.