Members of the public will be able to live-stream air quality data from coal seam gas areas in Queensland following the CSIRO’s air quality measurement program.
Through the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA), the CSIRO is leading a study which involves the collection of air quality measurements through a network of five ambient air quality stations in the Chinchilla, Miles, and Condamine regions.
They will measure a variety of pollutants including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and particles in the atmosphere.
The data will be published live to the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) website, with the Air Quality Monitoring team within the Department of Science, Information Technology, and Innovation (DSITI) responsible for inputting the data on the site.
Sarah Lawson, CSIRO atmospheric researcher, said live streaming the data provided greater transparency in the collection process; allowing the public to stay informed about air quality in the Western Downs region, compare it to other areas in the state, and also make comparisons with the government’s air quality standards.
QLD’s minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Leeanne Enoch, added that it provided a good example of scientific collaboration between the state government and the CSIRO.
An air quality model will also be used to determine how much certain types of emissions contribute to air pollution levels. It will include both man-made and natural emission sources such as power stations, the CSG industry, livestock, bushfires, and cars.
The model will further provide an insight into the distribution of particular pollutants over a larger area compared to the reach of fixed monitoring stations.
“Both the air quality data and modelling results can be used by government to inform policy and regulations around CSG development and by industry to focus on improving practices that reduce emissions of pollutants,” Lawson added.