The EPA monitors and regulates South Australia’s air quality. We have a strong focus on the control of emissions that contribute to pollution. We monitor air quality in metropolitan Adelaide and some regional centres, and have programs to maintain and improve our air quality.
We work in partnership with industry and community to support better environmental outcomes. We work with SA Health and Bureau of Meteorology to better understand the impacts of air quality on South Australians.
Air pollution is caused by the emission of pollutants from a wide variety of anthropogenic and natural sources including industry, light and heavy vehicles, domestic sources such as solid fuel heaters (eg wood heaters) and gardening equipment (eg lawnmowers), and events such as bushfires and dust storms.
There is increasing evidence that even relatively low levels of air pollution can have adverse effects on our health and consequently any improvement in air quality will result in improved health outcomes. Recent research indicates that fine particles pose the greatest risk to Australian communities.
Some groups are particularly susceptible or sensitive to poor air quality such as children, the elderly and those with existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. SA Health provides advice to vulnerable groups on managing the effects of poor air quality (such as dust).
There is potential for South Australia’s air quality to get worse in the future due to the impacts of climate change on dust storms and bushfires, and population growth and traffic.
Our approach to air quality management includes:
- improving our understanding of patterns of air pollution and its long-term impacts on communities through well-designed monitoring and modelling programs
- effective, robust and fair regulation of industry and supporting pollution reduction initiatives based on sound science
- collaborative partnerships with industry, communities, government, and academic and research organisations to support better environmental outcomes
- supporting national work being undertaken on air standards
- authoritative advice or direction to planning authorities, licensees and other government agencies on development applications, licence conditions, or major projects to avoid adverse air quality impacts from industries
- developing and regularly reviewing guidelines to reflect modern knowledge, regulatory approaches and industry practice.