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NSW Clean Air Strategy

The NSW Clean Air Strategy presents the whole of NSW Government approach to improving air quality and protecting communities.

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We are committed to supporting liveable communities, healthy environments and the NSW economy by reducing the adverse effects of air pollution on human health. The NSW Clean Air Strategy 2021–2030 (PDF 4.7MB) outlines actions and integration with other major government initiatives to deliver these objectives. It also takes account of community and stakeholder feedback.

The Strategy sets out five priority action areas so we can mitigate community exposure to poor air quality, both during extreme events and on a day-to-day basis. Priority areas in the Strategy are:

  • better preparedness for pollution events: improve information and how it is communicated to help reduce health impacts of air pollution on NSW communities, including impacts from bushfires, hazard reduction burns and dust storms
  • cleaner industry: drive improved management of air emissions by industry
  • cleaner transport, engines and fuels: further reduce air emissions and impacts from vehicles, fuels and non-road diesel sources
  • healthier households: support reducing air emissions from household activities, with the main priority being wood heater emissions
  • better places: reduce impacts of air pollution on communities through better planning and design of places and buildings.

The Department of Planning and Environment sought community and stakeholder feedback on the draft Clean Air Strategy from 18 March to 28 April 2021. Over 200 stakeholder submissions and 64 campaign submissions were received.

The department is committed to open and transparent processes and each submission is treated as a public document. In some cases, an author requested their submission be kept confidential and these submissions have not been published. Steps have been taken to remove the personal information of authors. Where an author requested their name be withheld, these submissions are published under ‘Anonymous’.

List of submissions

The Clean Air Strategy is supported by substantial evidence from monitoring, modelling and assessment of population exposure and health impacts from air pollution. The NSW State of the Environment report provides the latest information on air quality and other key environmental issues in New South Wales.

The Strategy commits to improving and building the evidence base on air pollution and the health impacts. As new evidence becomes available, it will be used to inform the evaluation of the actions in the Clean Air Strategy. The 4 main areas of evidence and further information are:

Monitoring

Monitoring long-term trends in air quality is important to our understanding of ongoing exposures of NSW populations to pollution and the effectiveness of our strategies. Air quality monitoring information is provided in annual air quality statements and near real-time data are also available for managing personal exposure day to day.

Pollution sources

Since air pollution comes from many different sources, it is important to know the contribution each source makes in order to develop the best approaches for improving air quality. The NSW air emissions inventory provides a list of the amounts of air pollutants emitted from natural and human-made sources in the Greater Metropolitan Region for specific reference years.

Exposure

Airshed modelling provides information on the dispersion and transformation of emissions and how population exposure varies within an airshed. The ongoing Sydney Air Quality Study uses airshed modelling, air quality monitoring and particle characterisation studies to look at current, past and future population exposure to air pollution.

Health

The latest national and international research, including studies sponsored by the government and tailored to NSW’s needs, inform our understanding of air pollution exposure and the related health impacts. The Environment Protection Authority and NSW Health sponsored a study1 that investigated the health outcomes of exposure to fine particles from major emission sources. 

1. Broome R, Powell J, Cope M & Morgan G 2020, 'The mortality effect of PM2.5 sources in the Greater Metropolitan Region of Sydney, Australia', Environment International, 137, 105429.

 

 

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NSW Clean Air Strategy 2021–30

The NSW Clean Air Strategy outlines the whole of NSW Government approach to improving air quality and minimising adverse effects on human health.

PDF 4.9MB
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