Central Coast Air Quality
Central Coast Air Quality Currently Very Good
Monitoring of regional air quality shows that air quality (in terms of NO2) is in the very good category as shown in Figure 2 that represents data for 2019. Data has been collected for every year since 2014 with little variation in ground level NO2 over that time, demonstrating that air quality on the Central Coast is consistently very good.
The Vales Point NOx emissions are discharged from a very tall (178 m) stack and the plume is buoyant as it is hot. This means that the plume from Vales Point is unlikely to impact local air quality and has much less influence than ground level sources such as motor vehicles.
The closure of Munmorah power station by Delta in 2012 and the closure of Wallerawang power station in 2014 has permanently removed a significant source of NOx emissions from the local and regional air-sheds. The proposed closure of Liddell power station over 2022 and 2023 will further reduce the amount of NOx emissions in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area.
The Inter‐Regional Transport of Air Pollutants Study was conducted by the CSIRO in 2002. The study found that the geographic location of the respective NSW power stations meant their contribution to air pollution in the Sydney basin airshed with respect to NOx and ozone was at most small and infrequent, and that the magnitude and frequency of ozone events in the Sydney region would not be significantly reduced by additional controls on power station NOx emissions.
In 2017 the EPA found that the major source of NOx emissions in the Wollongong, Sydney and Newcastle areas are motor vehicles, comprising 54% of total NOx emissions.