Air quality

South Australia monitors air quality to make sure industry does not adversely affect it.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for air quality management.

Their duties include:

  • developing an Air Quality Framework for South Australia
  • regulating industrial emissions and supporting industry in pollution reduction initiatives
  • monitoring of long-term ambient air quality under the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure
  • airshed computer modelling and the development of emissions inventories for South Australia
  • advising and collaborating with local government and other authorities and agencies to assess potential air quality impacts
  • educating and engaging with the community
  • supporting national work on air-related issues.

The Environment Protection Act 1993 is the regulatory framework for protecting South Australia’s environment, including land, air and water.

Currently there are four environment protection policies dealing with the management of air quality in South Australia:

  1. Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 1994
  2. Environment Protection (Burning) Policy 1994
  3. Environment Protection (Motor Vehicle Fuel) Policy 2002
  4. Environment Protection (Solid Fuel Heaters) Policy 2015 – an interim policy effective til July 2016. 

These policies set out requirements and standards for protecting air quality under the Act, and also include mandatory provisions. Contravention of these provisions may result in penalties, for example exceeding maximum pollution levels in the Air Quality EPP is an offense and may result in a fine or expiation.

In addition to the policies, four National Environment Protection Measures (NEPMs) deal with air quality matters:

  • Ambient Air Quality
  • Air Toxics
  • NPI
  • Diesel Vehicle Emissions.

NEPMs are statutory instruments which outline agreed national objectives for protecting or managing certain aspects of the environment.

Industry separation

Careful zoning makes sure that the food industry is not affected by other industries that might affect their products.

The EPA has written the guidelines for separation distances (LINK, or something) to recommend separation distances between different industries and sensitive land uses. The guidelines are applicable to proposed new or expanding industries near existing sensitive land uses, and also to proposed new sensitive land uses near existing industries.

Carbon emissions

South Australia was the first state in Australia to legislate targets to reduce greenhouse emissions.

The legislation included components for:

  • reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions
  • increasing the generation of renewable electricity
  • increasing the proportion of renewable energy consumed in the state. 

The proportion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in South Australia has grown considerably from 4.9% in 2004-05 to 42.2%.

More information

Page Last Reviewed: 24 Jul 2017
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