National Environment Protection
(Ambient Air Quality) Measure
Prepared for the National Environment Protection Council
Do the Federal or State Governments not wish to enact this review and its recommendations due to the two Moorebank intermodal operating 24/7days, these proposals currently before an EIS or because of the proposed rail link bringing coal trains between Wollongong ports and Lithgow 24/7days.
This report is sitting on many State and Federal politicians desks both Liberal and Labor, where is the uproar or are they keeping it quiet by their own negligence to appease their big business masters
What about the Greens are they enjoying having their noses in the feed bag with their friends of labor and forgotten their core ideals
Our Community Demands answers. Implement regulation now, to protect our community.
The Proponent of the intermodal has made misleading reports and has not revealed full details hoping to beat the legislators. The legislators our State and Federal Government have a duty of care now for any wrong legislation or tardiness in getting the new regulation recommendations in force, following the release of this report in May 2011 prior to the EIS studies for the two Moorebank Intermodal. The proponents being SIMTA/ Stocklands and The Federal Government both of whom put referrals to the Federal Department of Environment after May 2011. Who is now responsible for pollution deaths caused by not having these recommendations in place?
This document is also available on the website
http://www.ephc.gov.au, or from:
National Environment Protection Council Service Corporation
Level 5 81 Flinders Street
ADELAIDE SA 5000
Telephone: (08) 8419 1200
Facsimile: (08) 8224 0912
We have recently contacted the NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage concerning the issue of diesel locomotive emissions in NSW. This is their reply in part:
“OEH’s regulation of the rail industry has historically focused on noise issues which are regulated through Environment Protection Licenses (EPLs) issued under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. Railcorp and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) hold EPLs for the NSW rail network. These licences do not currently contain any conditions relating to air emissions from locomotives operating on the NSW rail network.” and
“Although there appears to be an apparent inconsistency between OEH’s regulation of air emissions from motor vehicles and air emissions from locomotives, the contribution from the NSW railway network is significantly less than that from industrial and vehicular sources, although the air emissions impacts are generally more localized.”
Does it then follow that a modern intermodal facility at Moorebank will be served by old, emissions-unregulated diesel locomotives via the ARTC’s Southern Sydney Freight Line? It appears to be the case. In my opinion this is unreasonable, especially for those most affected by “localised impacts,” many of whom would be your constituents. It is also anachronistic. Surely it is time for rail operators to be subject to emissions regulations, irrespective of the proportion this sector contributes to overall emissions. Technology does exist to reduce locomotive emissions and other countries have introduced standards. The Moorebank site could potentially have locomotives idling and shunting the various sidings for extended time periods. Some of the locomotives used for existing Intermodal operations at Yennora and Minto, for example, were built in the early 1960s. They were built long before emissions controls were considered important. Consequently, they produce large plumes of diesel exhaust at times, especially when powering.
This issue is important and it should be looked at. A state of the art Intermodal should have 21st century emissions standards applied across the entire scope of it’s operations, including rail. This would be to the benefit of all, especially those people who stand to lose the most should this project be approved.
Parts of this report state:
The health reviews found that there is substantial new evidence from time series studies and
cohort studies on both short-term and long-term effects for particles. PM10 and PM2.5 are
associated with increases in mortality and morbidity, with much stronger evidence now for
cardiovascular outcomes. Studies in Australia show similar effects to overseas studies;
however, the effects appear to be similar to Canada but greater than in US and Europe.
The health effects of both PM10 and PM2.5 include:
• increases in daily mortality
estimates of 0.12-0.8% increase per 10ug/m3 of PM10 for all causes of mortality
Australian studies show 0.2 % increase per 10ug/m3 of PM10 for all cause of mortality
• much stronger evidence now for particles causing cardiovascular disease
• Some heterogeneity in effects.
Stronger effects have been found for cardiovascular causes than respiratory causes for
Particles in general. The effect estimates from multi-city studies range from 0.47 to 0.85%
Increase per 10 ug/m3 PM2.5. Associations have also been found for coarse particles and
Increases in hospital admissions and emergency department attendances have been found
with exposures to PM10, PM2.5, and PM10-2.5. There is evidence for links with both
Cardiovascular and respiratory effects, particularly respiratory disease, asthma and COPD,
while there are strong associations with ischemic heart disease and congestive heart failure.
There is evidence that supports biological plausibility for cardiovascular effects.
Epidemiological studies have shown that particles interfere with electrical signals in the
heart disrupting heart function. These findings are supported by the results of toxicological
Associations have also been found between particles and increases in respiratory symptoms
and medication use in children with asthma. These are linked to reduction in lung function
and increased lung inflammation.
There are several new studies that show links between long-term exposure to particles and
increases in mortality respiratory and cardiovascular causes. The US EPA concluded that a
causal relationship is likely to exist between long-term exposure to PM2.5 and mortality, and
that a causal relationship exists between long-term exposure to PM2.5 and cardiovascular
outcomes including mortality. Long-term exposure is also linked to decrements in lung
growth, increased respiratory symptoms and asthma development. It appears that children
are at greater risk from long-term exposures than adults.
There is not sufficient evidence at this time to show any independent effect of ultrafine
particles, while there is only limited evidence for coarse particles and an independent role of
Overall findings – right standards?
Overall, the results of the health reviews show that there are significant health effects at
current levels of air pollution in Australian cities. These findings indicate that the current
standards are not meeting the requirement for adequate protection of human health. There is
evidence that these standards should be revised to minimise the impact of air pollution on
the health of the Australian population. This finding was strongly supported by all
stakeholders throughout the consultation process.
Another outcome from the consultation process was strong support to have a PM2.5
compliance standard in place of the current advisory reporting standard. This support is
based on the understanding of the health effects of PM2.5. The initial introduction of advisory
reporting standards rather than compliance standards was due to a lack of monitoring data.
All jurisdictions have since been monitoring PM2.5 and there are now sufficient data to
develop compliance standards. The Review Team considers that compliance standards
should be introduced for PM2.5.
The health reviews conducted as part of this NEPM review have shown that there is
significant new evidence on the health effects of air pollution both in Australia and
internationally. A full discussion on the health effects can be found in the Discussion Paper
(www.ephc.gov.au/airquality/aaq_nepm). The results of epidemiological studies
worldwide are showing health effects at lower pollution levels which, in many cases, are
well within existing standards. One important finding of this review is that there appears to
be no threshold below which no health effects are observed. This means that wherever the
standards are set, there will be some level of risk associated with that exposure. The results
of epidemiological studies are supported by the results of controlled human exposure
studies and animal toxicological studies.
The findings of local studies show that health effects of air pollution in Australia are similar
to those observed in studies conducted overseas. For nitrogen dioxide and particles, the
effects appear to be greater than those observed in the US and Europe but similar to those
observed in Canada. This means that the health effects are observed at lower levels of
pollution and indicates that actions are required to minimise the exposure of the population
to air pollution.
The overall body of evidence drawn from studies conducted in Australia and overseas
indicates that the groups most vulnerable to the effects of air pollution are:
• people with existing heart and lung disease
• elderly people
.Ambient Air Quality NEPM Review 24
A summary of the findings of the health reviews is presented below.
Australian and international studies have found associations between carbon monoxide (CO)
and increases in hospital admissions, emergency department attendances, and premature
death from cardiovascular disease.
Associations have also been found with adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weights
and reduced foetal growth. These effects can have an impact on childhood development.
Studies of hospital admissions and emergency department attendances for heart disease and
congestive heart failure provide the strongest evidence of ambient CO being linked with
adverse cardiovascular disease impacts. The results of studies conducted in Australia are
consistent with those in the US and Europe.
Some studies have found it difficult to separate specific CO-related health effects; overall,
however, the evidence indicates that associations between CO and adverse health outcomes
remain strong even when the effects of other pollutants are accounted for. There is clear
evidence from Australian studies that there are health effects linked to CO below the current
Australian standards in the NEPM. The effects are greatest in elderly people with existing
The results of animal toxicological studies show similar effects to those found in human
epidemiological studies that find associations between exposure to CO and cardiovascular
outcomes. The observed effects are consistent with the known mechanism for CO impacting
on the cardiovascular system.
The findings of the CO review indicate that health effects are observed at current levels of
CO in Australian cities which are well below the NEPM standard. The effects are greatest in
people with existing cardiovascular disease. The Review Team considers that the CO
standards should be revised and consideration should be given to this sensitive group.
Epidemiological studies worldwide show consistent associations between short-term
exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and hospital admissions and emergency department
attendances, particularly for children with asthma. Studies also show increases in asthma
symptoms and medication usage linked to short-term exposures to NO2. Clinical studies
show that people with asthma are more susceptible to exposure to NO2, and that short-term
exposure to NO2 is associated with airway reactivity and enhanced inflammatory response
in people with asthma. Animal toxicology studies support the findings of epidemiological
and controlled exposure studies.
Effects observed for exposure to NO2 are greatest for respiratory outcomes. There is no
strong evidence from international studies for an association between short-term NO2
exposures and cardiovascular outcomes.
Australian multi-city studies have shown that ambient NO2 is associated with increases in
mortality and hospital admissions for all cause, respiratory and cardiovascular causes. The
effects are greater than those observed in Europe and US but are similar to Canada (refer
Discussion Paper at http://www.ephc.gov.au/airquality/aaq_nepm).Ambient Air Quality NEPM Review 25
The effect estimates in Australia range from 0.11 to 0.9% increase in mortality per 1 ppb
increase in NO2 compared with 0.03 to 0.04% increase in the US. This indicates that health
effects are observed at lower levels in Australia.
Infants, children, and elderly people are more susceptible to the effects of NO2, and people
with asthma and other chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disease are particularly
vulnerable. Observed effects are independent of other pollutants and occur at current
ambient levels of NO2 which are well below current standards. Long-term exposures are
linked to changes in lung growth in children and respiratory symptoms in asthmatic
children. Effects are observed at levels between 0.03 and 0.04 ppm.
The findings of the review of the NO2 health evidence indicate that health effects are
observed at current levels of NO2 in Australian cities which are well below the NEPM
standard. The effects appear to be greater in Australia than those observed in the US and
Europe and are greatest in children, the elderly and people with asthma and other chronic
respiratory diseases. The Review Team considers that the NO2 standards should be revised
and consideration should be given to these sensitive groups.
In 2005, the NEPC completed preliminary work for the review of the ozone standards. This
work found that standards should be based on 1-hour, 4-hour and 8-hour averaging periods
to account for exposure in Australian cities. The findings of the current review support these
The health reviews found that short-term (1-4 hour) exposures are linked to increases in
mortality, hospital admissions and emergency department attendances mainly for
respiratory causes. The effects are greatest in the warm season and in elderly people. Studies
show increases in emergency department attendances for asthma linked to both 1-hour and
8-hour exposures to ozone. Evidence for cardiovascular effects is not as strong as for
respiratory effects and the US EPA concluded evidence for cardiovascular effect
Studies from Europe, US and Australia show similar associations. European studies show a
1.8% increase in all cause mortality, a 2.7% increase in cardiovascular mortality and a 6.8%
increase in respiratory mortality per 30ppb increase in 8-hour ozone exposures. There is no
evidence for threshold for effect.
Exposure to ozone is also linked to range of respiratory outcomes including:
• decreases in lung function
• increases in respiratory symptoms
• increased respiratory inflammation
• increased airway responsiveness.
Long-term exposure to ozone is not associated with increases in mortality but there is some
evidence of increase in lung cancer in non-smoking populations in high ozone areas. Longterm exposures are linked to changes in lung function in both healthy adults and people with
asthma. The results of the epidemiological studies are supported by results of animal
toxicological studies.Ambient Air Quality NEPM Review 26
Australian epidemiological studies show increases in hospital admissions for respiratory
causes and ozone in the warm season. Studies also show ozone associated with risk of preterm birth in Sydney and Brisbane. Associations are found for 1-hour, 4-hour and 8-hour
ozone levels for all outcomes.
The findings of the review of the O3 health evidence indicate that health effects are observed
at current levels of CO in Australian cities which at times exceed the NEPM standards. The
effects are greatest in the elderly and people with existing respiratory disease. The Review
Team considers that the 1 and 4 hour standards should be revised and an 8-hour standard
introduced and consideration should be given to these sensitive groups.
Exposure to sulfur dioxide (SO2) creates an acute irritant response that leads to coughing,
wheezing, sputum production, increased incidence of respiratory infections, aggravation of
asthma, and COPD. People with asthma are particularly sensitive to SO2 and respond very
quickly (within minutes). Epidemiological studies show an association between short-term
exposures and increases in daily mortality from respiratory and cardiovascular effects. The
effects are stronger for respiratory outcomes. Hospital admissions and emergency
department attendances for respiratory disease are linked with exposure to SO2.
Epidemiological evidence is supported by controlled human exposure studies and animal
toxicological studies conducted near ambient concentrations that show links between SO2
and NEPMs of respiratory health such as respiratory symptoms, inflammation, and airway
hyper-responsiveness. Effects are more pronounced in children with asthma and elderly
Exposure duration is not critical to the observed effects. Response is rapid and continuing
exposure does not increase effect. Effects are observed at current levels of SO2 which are well
within existing standards in cities without industrial sources.
The findings of the review of the SO2 health evidence indicate that health effects are
observed at current levels of SO2 in Australian cities which are well below the NEPM
standard. The effects are greatest in people with asthma. The Review Team considers that the
SO2 standards should be revised and consideration should be given to these sensitive
The lead (Pb) standards are based on blood lead levels not exceeding 10 µg/dL. Foetuses,
infants and children are most susceptible to the effects of Pb. Strong evidence exists for a
causal relationship between lead and increased blood pressure and hypertension in adults.
There is some evidence from epidemiological studies of links between Pb and increases in
mortality and morbidity for cardiovascular causes.
Epidemiological studies show decreases in cognitive function, in particular IQ, in children at
blood lead levels below 10 µg/dL, and there appears to be a non-linear dose-response
between blood lead and neurodevelopmental effects. There are a number of large studies
that consistently show that Pb is associated with various neurodevelopmental effects at
blood lead levels between 5 and 10 µg/dL. Epidemiological studies have also reported
associations between Pb and indicators of renal function impairment. These effects are
observed at mean blood Pb levels between 3.3 and 4.2 µg/dL. Results of toxicological studies
support the findings of epidemiological studies.Ambient Air Quality NEPM Review 27
The findings of the Pb review indicate that health effects are observed below the blood Pb
target of 10 µg/dL. The Review Team considers that the standard should be revised to
reduce risk to the affected populations, even if moved to the Air Toxics NEPM.
Revise the desired environmental outcome of the NEPM to ‘minimise the risk from adverse
health impacts from exposure to air pollution for all people wherever they may live’.Ambient Air Quality NEPM Review 5
Revise the desired environmental goal to make reference to the air quality standards and
incorporation of exposure reduction targets for priority pollutants.
Remove lead from the Ambient Air Quality NEPM and include in the Air Toxics NEPM
during the scheduled Air Toxics NEPM review of 2012.
Revise the standards for all air pollutants in Schedule 1 of the NEPM to take into account
new evidence around the health effects of air pollution.
Introduce compliance standards for PM2.5.
Introduce an 8-hour standard for ozone.
Introduce an annual average standard for PM10.
Introduce an exposure reduction framework and targets for priority pollutants.
Remove allowable exceedances from Schedule 2 and introduce a natural events rule.
Redesign monitoring networks to represent population exposure on a pollutant-by-pollutant
basis without compromising data collection for long-term trend analysis. A procedure to
determine the location and number of sites similar to EU and/or US EPA is recommended.Ambient Air Quality NEPM Review 6
Remove the population threshold and formula to enable monitoring on potential population
risk rather than on population size.
Amend requirements of monitoring methods (clause 16 and Schedule 3) to allow appropriate
Australian Standards methods; or methods determined by the EU and/or US EPA as
Reference or Equivalence Methods.
Remove Schedule 5 of the NEPM.
Develop nationally consistent approaches to assess population exposure, including
appropriate modelling and emissions inventories.
Revise the assessment (clause 17) and reporting (clause 18) protocol to include additional
performance assessment indicators and expanded reporting requirements to enable inclusion
of population exposure determinations, severity of exceedance and effectiveness of
management actions undertaken.
Revise guidance documents and templates associated with assessment and reporting to
accommodate presentation of clear messages, to allow for better communication and more
accessible air quality reports.
Amend the NEPM protocol (part 4) to incorporate natural event rule including definition of
these events and criteria for assessment and reporting.
Require timely reporting of all exceedances, with jurisdictions publicly releasing the analysis
of these events on their respective websites within 3 months of the event.Ambient Air Quality NEPM Review 7
Disband the existing PRC and replace with a specialist working group or groups with a
broader range of expertise to assist with scientific and technical matters. This working group
would report to the Air Quality Working Group.
The following recommendations relate to future research and emerging issues. These
recommendations should be considered and prioritised by the EPHC Air Quality Working
Evaluate the options to assess ozone and secondary particle precursors.
Initiate research into the composition of particles in Australia and associated health impacts.
Initiate health research on the impact of air pollution (in particular, particles) in regional
Monitor and report coarse particle fraction.Ambient Air Quality NEPM Review 8
From: U.S. EPA [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, 25 January 2012 5:25 AM
Subject: News Release: EPA Announces Millions in Grants to Clean Air Projects in San Joaquin Valley
For Immediate Release: January 24, 2012
Media Contact: Nahal Mogharabi, 213-514- 4361, email@example.com
EPA Announces Millions in Grants to Clean Air Projects in San Joaquin Valley
Strategic Plan Aims to Reduce Harmful Air Pollutants, Improve Water Quality
SAN FRANCISCO—U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld today announced $5 million in funding that will pay for cleaner locomotives throughout the San Joaquin Valley, including a state-of-the art locomotive operating between the Port of Stockton and Lodi. EPA and its partners in the valley, the California Air Resources Board and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District made the announcement at the Central California Traction Rail Company in Stockton, CA.
In addition, approximately $16 million in grants was announced to slash diesel emissions, advance air quality and improve public health throughout the state of California. The San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive agricultural areas in the country, also has some of the nation’s worst air quality and highest rates of asthma. Federal, local and state partners are working to alleviate these problems by channeling significant funds into new clear air technologies.
“EPA’s goal is to reduce the public health impact of diesel emissions from the trucks and trains moving goods through the San Joaquin Valley,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This funding will reduce particulate matter emissions by 210 tons statewide for the lifetime of these projects—the equivalent of removing 1,000 heavy-duty trucks off the road.”
The state of the art locomotive unveiled in Stockton uses significantly less fuel than its 1953 model year predecessor and emits 90 percent less particulate matter and 92 percent less nitrogen oxides into the environment. This locomotive also uses a regenerative braking system, in which energy otherwise lost as the train slows down is captured and reused. New technologies such as these significantly cut emissions, while creating new jobs and revitalizing local economies.
“The Air Resources Board is committed to slashing diesel emissions throughout California,” said Air Resources Board Member Dorene D’Adamo. “By adopting effective regulations and working with our local and federal partners to bring projects like clean locomotives to the Central Valley, we are making great progress. Our air is quantifiably cleaner than it was back in the last decade, and everyone here today has contributed to that achievement.”
These EPA clean diesel grant funds will eliminate approximately 210 tons of particulate matter, 4,500 tons of nitrogen oxides and 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions for the lifetime of these projects.
“The challenges we face in the Valley are unmatched by any other region in the nation, and we highly value our partnership with the EPA in our joint efforts to reach our clean air goals,” said Seyed Sadredin, Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer of the San Joaquin Valley Air District. “Achieving zero emission goods movement is a key component of our clean air strategy.”
Pollution from dirty diesel engines remains one of the most significant health risks in California. The California Air Resources Board estimates that approximately 9,000 people in California die prematurely each year as a result of exposure to fine particle pollution like diesel exhaust.
The $21 million in funds will go to new projects throughout the state and existing locomotives in San Joaquin Valley including:
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District: $2,000,000 to repower two older locomotives with newer, cleaner engines.
California Air Resources Board: $14 million to replace 18 older with ultra-low emitting genset locomotives in San Joaquin Valley and Southern California and install a selective catalytic reduction system with a diesel oxidation catalyst capable of meeting Tier 4 emission levels on a line haul locomotive.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District: $1,557,987 to replace 43 heavy-duty drayage trucks that operate at ports around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sacramento Air Quality Management District: $1,097,032 to establish a voucher program to replace 200 existing diesel agricultural irrigation pump engines with new electric agricultural pump motors to power agricultural irrigation pumps.
In addition to the funding announcement, EPA today launched its strategic plan for the Valley which suffers from some of the most pressing issues in the region. The EPA prioritizes air and water quality, enforcement of public health standards and environmental justice. EPA will continue to work with the California Air Resources Board and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District and will aim to reduce particulate matter 2.5 concentrations by 7% in 2012. To improve water quality, EPA will work closely with other federal agencies to invest in 11 public water systems that need infrastructure improvements and treatment to meet drinking water standards. Under President Obama’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative, EPA has also contributed two full-time federal employees to lead a multi-agency team that will partner with the City of Fresno and local stakeholders to implement a redevelopment vision. As part of the strategic plan, EPA is also dedicated to tracking and reducing environmental hazards, recycling pesticide containers and helping to spur dairy digester projects in the Valley. EPA welcomes public comment on the San Joaquin Strategic Plan. The plan will be finalized in the coming months.