Regarding the particulate report regarding air quality in Collie dated December 2008, I ask -
(1) Given that the report was due for public release by mid-2009, why has it been held back until now?
(2) Regarding the report’s recommendations ‘that measures are implemented to reduce community exposure to particles’ (page 7), including that further tests are done to assess the chemical composition of the particles and that active monitoring of both PM10 and PM2.5 continues, however the Department of Environment and Conservation monitoring station installed in 2008 only measures PM10 (page 25), -
(a) what action is being taken to reduce community exposure to particles;
(b) will the government follow the recommendation to assess the chemical composition of the particles; and
(c) will the government install monitoring equipment to measure PM2.5 which is considered much more harmful than PM10?
(3) Given that the report is based on data collected between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2007, and -
(a) Muja A and B re-opened between mid-2008 and April 2009;
(b) Griffin Energy’s Bluewaters 1 power station began operations in late 2008;
(c) Bluewaters 2 began operations early 2010; and
(d) coal mining has continued, including at Griffin Coal’s Ewington mine near Collie, -
(i) what information has been collected about air quality since the study was completed;
(ii) has the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard for PM10 been exceeded since the 2006 occurrence referred to at page 14 of the report;
(iii) if yes to (3)(d)(ii), will you please provide full details;
(iv) given that the report states that the National Environment Protection (Air Quality) Measure (NEPM) advisory standards for PM2.5 were exceeded 10 times in 2004, three times in 2005, 13 times in 2006 and nine times in 2007 (see pages 15 and 24), how many breaches of NEPM standards for PM2.5 have there been since 2007; and
(v) regarding each breach referred to in the answer to (3)(d)(iv), will you please provide full details?
(4) I am advised that Verve staff told a tour group visiting the Muja Power Station recently that an air quality report was reviewed because it was wrong, is this the reason for the delay of this report?
(5) If yes to (4), -
(a) what changes have been made to the original version of the report;
(b) where is the original version of the report; and
(c) will you please provide me with a copy of it?
Answered on 14 February 2011
The Minister for Environment has provided the following response:
(1) I am advised the delay in publicly releasing the particulate report was due to an administrative oversight in the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC).
(2)(a) The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended the development of an environmental strategy for the Collie Basin, including air quality issues. Following a request from the then Minister for Environment, DEC is scoping the scientific and technical components of work required to develop the strategy. Particles are one of the air pollutants that will be addressed.
(b) The need to complete the chemical composition assessment will be considered as part of the scoping referred to in the answer to (2)(a).
(c) The need to install a PM2.5 monitor will be considered as part of the scoping study referred to in the answer to (2)(a).
(3)(i) PM10 particle data have been continuously monitored at DEC's monitoring station in Collie since March 2008. PM10 and PM2.5 particle data have also been monitored at the Verve Energy monitoring site. DEC has obtained the data from the Verve site up to September 2010.
(ii) - (iii) Annual average PM10 monitoring results from DEC's monitoring station in Collie were 19.2 g/m3 in 2008, 20 g/m3 in 2009 and 22.8 g/m3 in 2010. Annual average PM10 monitoring results from Verve Energy's monitoring station in Collie were 18.5 g/m3for 2008, 20.3 g/m3 for 2009 and 21.2 g/m3 for the first nine months of 2010. The World Health Organisation's annual standard is 20 g/m3.
(iv) DEC does not monitor for PM2.5 in Collie. Results from Verve Energy's monitoring station indicate the 24 hour NEPM advisory standard for PM2.5 of 25 g/m3 was breached eight times in 2008, six times in 2009 and 15 times up to September 2010. The annual NEPM advisory standard for PM2.5 of 8 g/m3 was not breached in 2008 or 2009, however the average PM2.5 to end September 2010 was 12.2 g/m3.
(v) During the period 2008 to September 2010, exceedences of the 24 hour NEPM advisory standard for PM2.5 of 25 g/m3 at Verve Energy's monitoring station occurred on: