Dedicated air quality reporting website for New South Wales
In order to provide better air quality information to the public information, we have made it easier for people to find information about their local air quality. In October 2021, we launched Air quality NSW, a new website dedicated to air quality in New South Wales. This website has a fresh, modern look that meets the government's digital design standards, including compatibility with mobile phones and tablets.
The website features:
- a map viewer that is searchable by suburb or location
- prominent health advice for each air quality monitoring station
- an interactive map, which allows you to add current wind direction to the display
- the option to see data trends over 48 hours or 7 days.
This is a trial phase release, with plans for ongoing upgrades.
Improved monitoring capabilities
In 2021, we maintained an extensive air quality monitoring network of 94 stations, comprising 55 standard stations and 39 rural network stations. No new stations were added, but monitoring capability was expanded to measure rainfall at several existing stations in the standard networks. Additionally, the Rural Air Quality Monitoring Network upgrades were finalised in 2021 with the roll out of selected weather monitoring stations at remote sites to help with dust storm characterisation and provide information on meteorological conditions to communities in remote areas of New South Wales.
The department undertook air quality monitoring for 2 incidents in 2021, at the request of the NSW Environment Protection Agency.
The first was in mid-November, at a facility located in Kurri Kurri in the Lower Hunter valley. This was in response to a multi-day factory fire, where there was some community concern about the impact of fumes on residents and the start of Higher School Certificate exams.
The second emergency monitoring campaign was undertaken in Bowral from early December. This was in response to smoke from a landfill fire impacting residents living near the facility. This monitoring was continued into early 2022.
Air Quality Monitoring Plan for New South Wales
We updated the NSW Air Quality Monitoring Plan in 2020–21, which explains how the NSW Government intends to monitor ambient air quality across metropolitan and regional areas, during the 5-year period 2020–25. For more information, please see the NSW Air Quality Monitoring Plan 2020.
Ongoing community engagement
Our scientists listen and respond to community needs through community engagement opportunities and panels administered by the NSW EPA. This includes the Namoi Region Air Quality Advisory Committee, the Newcastle Community Consultative Committee on the Environment, and the Upper Hunter Air Quality Advisory Committee.
Our scientists also work with 39 citizen scientists who help to maintain the 39 Rural Air Quality Monitoring Network stations, to develop air quality citizen science capability and deliver air quality information to rural communities.