Essay Example on Present Solution and Related Policies Air Pollution Control in Australia

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Present Solution and Related Policies Air Pollution Control in Australia Air pollution is a current issue that many of the developed and developing countries have been and are still fighting against as air quality affects not only the health of humans but also the liveability and environment we live in Even a short term exposure to air pollution can lead to drastic health problems especially for the elderly children and those with predisposed or weak respiratory and cardiovascular systems Over the past few decades Australia has been working hard towards implementation and enforcement of regulations in order to improve their air quality In June of 1998 Australia s National Environment Protection Council NEPC took its first step in setting national air quality standards through the creation of the National Environment Protection Measure for Ambient Air Quality Air NEPM The Air NEPM sets standards for the six major air pollutants that most people in Australia are exposed to carbon monoxide ozone photochemical oxidants sulfur dioxide nitrogen dioxide lead and PMs particles Also it requires the jurisdictions in Australia to monitor and report their air quality making the identification of potential air quality problems much more efficient for the future In 2000 The Fuel Quality Standards Act was created in order to regulate the quality of fuel supplied in Australia and reduce the level of pollutants and emissions produced that may cause environmental and health problems In addition in 2004 the National Environment Protection Air Toxics Measure Air Toxics NEPM was created in which monitoring investigation levels for five air toxics benzene formaldehyde benzoapyrene toluene and xylenes were established 



These five toxics heavily affect the human body especially the respiration and nervous system Inhaling benzene can cause carcinogenic effects and may lead to development of tumours in lungs while toluene may cause visual impairment and weaken the neurological system leading to poor performance of control While Australia has yet to set national air quality emission standards many individual jurisdictions have their own standards and the five toxic pollutants mentioned above are included in those Based on world standards Australia has very clean air but there is still work to do and room for improvement In 2014 there were public opinions and complaints that Australia lacks an effective system of regulation for air pollution because the important standards to protect human health are set by the governments of each jurisdiction or district not the national government leading to an inadequate protection of public health Furthermore the NEPMs were said to be an ineffective and inefficient way of dealing with air pollution as there is no penalty if the states and territories in Australia do not comply with the NEPMs Also Australia has one of the world s most lenient sulfur standards for petrol as 150ppm is allowed This is 15 times the limit that is allowed in the EU Japan and the US Even though Australia has set good targets under the Air NEPM without stricter measures regarding vehicle emissions the air quality standards will not be met Nevertheless recently Australia has started to move towards counteracting and improving the problems stated above In 2015 Australia established the National Clean Air Agreement in which the future plans and priorities toward air quality are provided In this agreement the ministers and the government of the different states and territories in Australia agreed to implementing or changing standards for airborne pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter and emissions of sulfur dioxide and PMs from a range of different sources eg industrial activity and heating In 2016 the standards of the NEPM for the annual average and 24 hour PM2 5 particle level was amended to 8µg m3 and 25µg m3 respectively 



The ministers are aiming to move these standards to 7µg m3 and 20µg m3 respectively by 2025 In addition in 2017 Product Emissions Standards Rules and Product Emission Standards Act were implemented in which the emissions from outdoor power equipment and marine engines eg Garden equipment and outboard motors and the emission standards for certain products to address the adverse health and environmental impacts of air pollution eg Noxious emission standards were set respectively Moreover the state and territory governments are currently working towards implementing or adopting standards for wood heaters Not only have there been national actions to improve the air quality in Australia but each territory jurisdiction has also been enacting their own laws and strategies to manage it For example the CleanRun Program of Western Australia aims to reduce vehicle emissions through the use of a remote sensing device RSD to determine high emitting vehicles Also the ACT planning strategy of Australia's capital Canberra states that in order to lower the carbon emissions Canberra will be investing in sustainable transport and buildings there will be a shift from the dependency of motor vehicle to more environmental options such as electric cars walking cycling and the use of the public transport system In conclusion Australia is making good progress in controlling air pollution over the recent years although they may still need more work on setting national emission standards not only from vehicles but also from factories and mines


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