The Muswellbrook community will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss local air quality at a community drop-in session on October 24 2019.
The session has been organised with the Upper Hunter Air Quality Advisory Committee who advise on the operation of air quality monitoring in the region.
The committee members represent the interests of the local community, the coal mining and power generation industries, non-coal industries, local councils, NSW Health and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The Committee enables community members to raise important air quality issues and allow industry, government agencies and local industrial operators to better understand and address the concerns of the community.
Regional air quality is monitored through the Upper Hunter Air Quality Monitoring Network, which comprises 14 stations and is the main source of data for air quality in the region. It is operated by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
An air quality monitoring station will be open for inspection, giving the community a chance to understand how the station records data and how government agencies use this data to manage air quality.
EPA Regional Director North Adam Gilligan said the drop-in session was a way for the community to ask questions and voice concerns about air quality in their neighbourhood.
“Air quality is an important issue – it’s central to not just our physical wellbeing but it also has an impact on our environment,” Mr Gilligan said.
“We know that current conditions have heightened air quality concerns; the drought has increased the risk of dust, and bushfires have significant impacts on air quality. Combined with the varied industrial practices in the Upper Hunter, there are a complex series of factors we consider in monitoring and managing air quality in the region.
“We want to hear what the community is interested in and we will be available to answer any questions. The community can also continue to report air quality or pollution concerns to our Environment Line on 131 555.”
COMMUNITY DROP-IN DETAILS:
WHEN: Thursday 24 October 2019 10am to 12pm
WHERE: Bowman Park, 20 Lorne Street, Muswellbrook. There will be coffee and cake available
ATTENDING: Representatives from EPA Newcastle Office, air experts from the Department of Planning Industry and Environment, and representatives from the Upper Hunter Air Quality Advisory Committee will be there.
Source: NSW EPA