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Air quality is an issue in many urbanised and industrial areas and it is not something that can be solved quickly. The EPA is committed to working with the community, industry and planning authorities and keeping the community informed on progress.
What is the source of air pollution on Le Fevre Peninsula?
There is no one source of pollution in the Le Fevre Peninsula area. Like any industrial area, a variety of industries impact on the local environment. While industry emissions constitute some of the total emissions of pollutants into the Adelaide airshed, the major portion constitutes traffic and transport activities along with smaller commercial and domestic sources such as wood fuelled heaters.
What are the EPA’s roles in protecting air quality on the Le Fevre Peninsula?
As South Australia’s major working port, the Le Fevre Peninsula region has a unique mix of industrial, transport and residential activities, many of which are in close proximity to each other. The EPA’s role in this region includes proactively regulating industry, through EPA licences, monitoring air quality, as well as providing advice on assessment of relevant development applications.
What is the EPA doing to reduce air pollution in the area?
The Port Adelaide area is a working port, and air quality is affected by a diverse range of factors from traffic, transport and industry to dust and sea spray. Current air quality in the Port Adelaide area is what would be expected of similar urban area around Australia. The EPA has an air quality monitoring station located at Birkenhead which provides data for the Port Adelaide area to the public on a daily basis.
The EPA will continue to work with licensed industries in the Port Adelaide region to ensure pollution risks are appropriately managed. The EPA works to ensure industries are compliant with EPA licence conditions and if need be, it will require industries to undertake an environment improvement program (EIP) to address any pollution issues. The EPA also has a range of powers to use when industry does not comply with environmental laws.
There is no quick fix solution to improving air quality. The EPA is working with other agencies across government, as well as the local council, to develop a pilot Le Fevre Peninsula Air Quality Strategy for improving air quality, that takes into account not just industrial sources, but also wider issues such as transport and traffic.
The EPA impresses on industry the importance of being prepared to contribute to the development of open communication with the local community. Companies such as Adelaide Brighton Cement (ABC) have established a community liaison group to work with them in identifying and addressing pollution issues.
Click here to read about the improvements that ABC are making to better the environment.
Who does the EPA licence on the Le Fevre Peninsula?
The EPA licences more than 1,500 businesses in South Australia. About 30 of those are located on the Le Fevre Peninsula. Any individual or business that undertakes a ‘prescribed activity of environmental significance’ detailed in the Environment Protection Act 1993 must have an EPA licence. The EPA licenses a range of activities on the Le Fevre Peninsula and given the location, marinas and boating facilities are the most licensed activity in the area. Also among the most licensed activities included:
- waste production, disposal, recycling and transport (eg waste or recycling depots)
- chemical and petroleum storage facilities and chemical works
- manufacturing (eg maritime construction, concrete batching, abrasive blasting)
- materials handling (eg railway operations, bulk shipping facilities)
- fuel burning.
Copies of licences are available in the Public Register. These documents detail the conditions licensees must comply with to minimise potential impacts and risks to the environment.
How does the EPA’s involvement in the planning system help with air quality?
In accordance with section 37 of the Development Act 1993 and regulation 24 of the Development Regulations 2008 (Part 5), planning authorities are required to refer certain types of development applications to other agencies, known as 'prescribed bodies', for specialist advice. The EPA is one of these prescribed bodies.
As part of the South Australian planning process the EPA provides environmental planning advice on development applications and, in certain cases, can direct that proposals be refused or certain conditions be attached to ensure the environment and community are protected.
Planning advice is based on an assessment of a particular site at a particular point in time. If circumstances change or new information is made available, the EPA may be called on to conduct a reassessment.
In addition, the EPA provides guidance on separation distances, more commonly known as buffer zones, by recommending distances between certain types of industry and sensitive land uses, such as housing. The guidelines for separation distances (272.1 KB PDF) are used by the EPA, planning authorities, developers, planning consultants and the community as a tool in the development application processes for new or expanding developments and take into account potential air, odour, noise and other pollution concerns.
The guidelines are to be used in the assessment of new developments and are not to be applied retrospectively to existing industrial operations. They include a mechanism for a developer to demonstrate that a separation distance, other than the recommended distances, is appropriate. Consequently, the distances quoted are indicative distances that may be adjusted having regard to specific site circumstances.
What are the next steps for improving air quality on Le Fevre Peninsula?
The Environment Protection Authority has initiated a project to develop a comprehensive South Australian Air Quality Plan, with the broad purpose of guiding management programs for air quality over the next two decades in response to recommendation R1.1 of the State of the Environment Report 2008 as accepted by the SA Government.
The first stage of this program has been to establish a pilot project focusing on Le Fevre Peninsula, which has been chosen because of the diversity of current development programs in the area which encompass residential, transport and industrial activities. The project aims to improve long-term population impacts from air quality, within a sustainable environmental, economic and social development framework for South Australia.
The area of Le Fevre Peninsula Air Strategy Project is outlined in red. The area was chosen to include a mix of existing and proposed residential, major industrial, and transport infrastructure, including the site of a proposed transit oriented development (TOD) at Glanville.
The Le Fevre project commenced in June 2010, under the direction of a high-level steering committee chaired by the EPA, with director or senior manager level members drawn from the EPA (Chair), City of Port Adelaide Enfield, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy, SA Health (Department of Health & Ageing) and Department of Planning and Local Government.
In developing the strategy, the project team has been guided by a range of state strategies and policies, reviewed similar strategies interstate and is actively seeking input from the recently established the project's Local Stakeholder Reference Group.
This group has been drawn from organisations and individuals providing representative examples of a range of views and interests in the region, including residents and chairpersons of local environmental forums, small and large Industry and local schools, elected local, state and federal government representatives.
The project is seeking broad community ownership of air quality and participation in its management over the next three decades.
Where can I find out more information?
Community groups and forums are held in the Port Adelaide region such as the Port Adelaide Environment Forum. This forum discusses local environmental matters in the area and guest speakers are invited to join in on discussions. For more information on the Port Adelaide Environment Forum, please contact the Port Adelaide Enfield Council on (08) 8405 6989.
- Environmental legislation
- Managing the health impacts of pollution
- National Air Quality Standards – NEPM: Ambient Air Quality
- South Australian National Pollutant Inventory (NPI)
Last modified: 08/04/2013 11:05 am