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Monitoring Queensland’s air

 Chris Collins (left) is inspecting a 1405-DF TEOM™ Continuous Dichotomous Ambient Air Monitor while Esther O’Brien performs maintenance on a Partisol™ 2025i Sequential Air Sampler

Chris Collins (left) is inspecting a 1405-DF TEOM™ Continuous Dichotomous Ambient Air Monitor while Esther O’Brien performs maintenance on a Partisol™ 2025i Sequential Air Sampler

Thirty air-quality monitoring stations stretching around the state from Moranbah to Mackay are under the watchful care of the department’s Science Division.

The division manages and maintains this network, which is mostly in major Queensland population centres, and receives reports from a further 18 industry-operated stations. All continuous air monitoring data collected is publicly available through the government’s Open Data web portal.

Together, the information helps the division to benchmark Queensland’s air-quality against national standards, spot long-term trends, and keep communities, industry and government informed about ambient air quality in near-real time.

Monitoring rail corridor dust at Cannon Hill, Queensland © State of Queensland 2015.

Monitoring rail corridor dust at Cannon Hill, Queensland © State of Queensland 2015.

Custodians of air-quality data since 1978, the department provides validated information to other agencies, environmental consultants, industry, education and research facilities, and communities. This baseline data is fundamental to investigating complaints, managing emissions for licensed facilities, and other environmental compliance activities. Investigations into coal train emissions along the South East Queensland rail network and industry impacts on air-quality in Townsville and Mount Isa have all benefited.

Recent advances in technology mean air-quality data can be streamed live, allowing local communities to be instantly informed about the air-quality in their region and how levels compare to standards.

Overwhelmingly, the department’s data shows Queensland’s air-quality is high. In the few times the state’s air-quality has dropped, there has usually been a significant cause—such as bushfires, controlled burning or dust storms.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
9 October 2017
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