Objective To determine whether Victoria’s air quality meets standards in respect to ozone and particulate discharges.
Issues In the future, there will likely be an increase in the population’s exposure to airborne pollutants such as particulates and ozone. This scenario may result from increases in wind-blown dust, smoke from bushfires and controlled burns, more wood fire heaters and growth in emissions from domestic properties and small business.
Airborne particles can be harmful to human health. In 2016, the amount of particulate matter in the air in Victoria exceeded the set air quality objective on 17 days. The health costs of air pollution in Australia have been estimated at between $11.1 billion to $24.3 billion annually.
Reducing particulates and ozone requires a coordinated approach, to minimise both point and diffuse sources of these pollutants. While emissions from licensed discharge points are easier to control—for example, a manufacturing plant—diffuse sources such as wind-blown dust, wood fire heaters and smoke events are much harder to identify, control and monitor.
This audit will examine whether ozone and particulate discharges are being managed and monitored effectively.
Proposed agencies Environment Protection Authority (EPA), DELWP and selected local councils.