Completed air quality research

An overview of completed research which has contributed to the evidence base informing air policies and programs.

Upper Hunter Fine Particle Characterisation Study: A study commissioned by OEH and NSW Ministry of Health to investigate the source and composition of fine particles (PM2.5 and smaller) in the Upper Hunter towns of Singleton and Muswellbrook. Sampling was conducted by OEH staff in calendar year 2012. Researchers from CSIRO and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) undertook sample analysis, evaluation and the reporting of results, with the study finalised in 2013.

Lower Hunter Particle Characterisation Study: A study commissioned by NSW Environment Protection Authority to investigate the source and composition of particle pollution in the Lower Hunter. The study was conducted by scientists from the OEH, CSIRO and ANSTO, with oversight from the NSW Ministry of Health, and completed in 2016.

Air toxics: The study ran for 5½ years from early 1996 to August 2001. It examined ambient air concentrations of dioxins, 41 organic compounds, 11 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and 12 heavy metals at sites within the NSW Greater Metropolitan Region and a number of regional centres. In total, the concentrations of over 80 substances were measured, with more than 1400 samples collected at a total of 25 sites.

Sydney Particle Study: Commissioned by OEH in 2013 to provide an improved understanding of particle pollution and sources in the Sydney region. Conducted by CSIRO in collaboration with several other research organisations, it was one of the most comprehensive observation and modelling studies of fine particles in Australia.

15–year Sydney Particle Characterisation Study: Study commissioned by NSW EPA in collaboration with OEH and conducted by ANSTO in 2015-16 based on sampling between 2000 and 2014. The study investigated the composition and major sources of fine particle pollution in Greater Sydney, and how the contribution of sources changed over the 2000-14 period.

Air Quality Trends in the Illawarra: A study done in 2015 describing how air quality has changed in the Illawarra region over the past 20 years, drawing on data from the OEH air quality monitoring network, emissions inventories, air quality modelling and particle speciation studies.

Ozone State of Knowledge Study: this study, completed in 2010, consolidated and expanded knowledge on ground level ozone pollution in New South Wales. It included the analysis of ozone concentration measurements from the NSW Air Quality Monitoring Network for the period 1994–2004, with a detailed description provided of ozone events occurring in the Sydney, Illawarra, lower Hunter (Newcastle) and Bathurst regions during this period.

Coal Particle Study at Stockton: A study commissioned by OEH as a supplementary study to the Lower Hunter Particle Characterisation Study. It aimed to determine an upper limit on the amount of coal particles in airborne particulate matter, by selecting for analysis sample days when the meteorology was conducive to coal particles being generated and transported to the Stockton air quality monitoring station from coal operations on Kooragang Island and adjacent areas at the Port of Newcastle.