Nanango's big pollution problem explained
IN A recent report, the South Burnett town of Nanango was linked to a startling level of air pollution.
On November 16, Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) published a report on the level of air pollution from various postcodes throughout the country.
ACF spokesman said the research was conducted to discover the high risk areas of air polluters throughout the country.
"We wanted to do two things, we wanted to discover the most polluted sites across the country as well as the correlation to socio-economic households, ” he said.
The report found 90 per cent of polluting facilities were in postcodes with low to middle weekly household incomes.
After the report was made available, the ABC created a search function to assess each Queensland postcode by level of air pollution.
The search relies on data from the National Pollutant Inventory, which is run by the Department of Environment and Energy.
"The ACF has taken the NPI emissions dataset and mapped it using two variables: the number of polluting facilities in a postcode and the volume of emissions in the air in that postcode,” the ABC reported.
Nanango was revealed to be one of the highest air polluted postcodes in the state, producing more than 60 million kg of emissions.
Comparatively, a search of Kingaroy's postcode, 4610, gives total emissions in the air of 80,000kg.
Data from the ABC website's postcode search shows neighbouring town, Yarraman has zero total emissions in the air.
According to the website, "postcodes that do not have polluting facilities in them, but are near to them, will show 'no polluting facilities.'”
ACF's spokesman confirmed this.
"We believe this is an issue with the underlying postcode data the Federal Government uses for the National Pollution Inventory,” he said.
ACF data claims 94 per cent of the Nanango postcode's emissions come from the Tarong Power Station and Tarong North Power Station, both run by Stanwell Corporation.
According to the ACF, the two largest emissions are oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide.
The report claims an estimated 3000 Australians die prematurely from urban air pollution every year.
This is more than two-and-a-half times the number of deaths on our roads.
Recommendations from Australian Conservation Foundation to improve the current situation include establishing new laws and establishing a national Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to enforce the law.
Stanwell Corporation has been contacted for comment.