Council supports live monitoring of Blue Mountains air quality 

20 May 2019

Information on local air quality is now available to the Blue Mountains community with new temporary air quality monitoring stations installed throughout the Blue Mountains. 

Blue Mountains City Council is supporting the project, Air Watch, from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Air Watch offers a way for our local community to be involved in the real-time monitoring of air quality in our World Heritage area.

EPA Regional Director Metropolitan Giselle Howard said the community of Blue Mountains and Lithgow had been seeking more information on air quality in their local areas, and this project will provide a valuable picture of air quality over a 12 month period.

A temporary air quality monitoring station at Katoomba was installed this month and will be operated by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) until May 2020, to measure fine particles of various pollutants.

In addition, 12 KOALA (Knowing Our Ambient Local Air) air quality sensors will be operated by the Queensland University of Technology at various sites through the Blue Mountains and Lithgow area, including one at Springwood Aquatic & Fitness Centre. 

The use of the low-cost KOALA sensors is a cost effective way of observing air pollution trends across the Blue Mountains area and will complement data from the Katoomba station. Anyone can access the data via this monitoring page.

The project is run by the EPA in conjunction with a committee of Blue Mountains community groups and volunteers, OEH, Blue Mountains City and Lithgow councils, Doctors for the Environment, Western Sydney University and the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.

“The community and the Steering Committee have been invaluable over the past eight months to select the monitoring sites and get this project up and running and we look forward to continue working with them over the next year,” Ms Howard said.

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