Air pollution incident monitoring at Kooragang Island Waste Emplacement Facility
During February – June 2019 we deployed 3 air quality monitoring stations to monitor effects on air quality due to an underground fire incident at Kooragang Island. The air pollution incident monitoring was conducted at the request of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) and NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
Two monitoring stations (designed as emergency pods) were deployed in North and South Kooragang to record near-source emissions. To measure general community exposures, a third air quality monitoring station was installed at Warabrook, 1.4 km southwest of the incident site, at the boundary with Mayfield West.
All 3 stations measured carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and airborne particulate matter, PM10 (particles less than 10 µm in diameter) and PM2.5 (particles less than 2.5µm in diameter); hydrogen sulfide (H2S) was also monitored at the community station Warabrook.
Data was published online in near real-time for public access. Readings showed spikes at the onsite stations, coincident with winds from the incident site. There was no recorded exceedance for any of the measured parameters, compared against the Safe Work Australia’s standards for Short Term Exposure Limits. However, all stations recorded larger air pollution events i.e. dust storms and hazard reduction burns.