An assessment against Victoria's air quality objectives and goals is shown in the 2010 data tables.
In Melbourne the general air quality was good overall. Major impacts on air quality during the year were associated with particles from local dust and urban emissions (particularly from motor vehicles and wood heaters) that were trapped in calm, highly stable conditions.
Particles as PM10 or PM2.5 were the only pollutant measured by EPA’s air monitoring network above the air quality standard or reporting standard, Ambient Air Quality National Environment Protection Measure (AAQ NEPM). The air quality standards for nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and ozone were met on all days in 2010 (where there was sufficient data to demonstrate compliance).
Over all of the monitoring sites, 7 days were measured above the air quality standard for particles as PM10 and three days at one site for PM2.5. The highest number of days (4 days) measured above the standard was recorded at Footscray, three attributed to local dust and one to urban emissions. The other three days of elevated PM10 levels were measured at Mooroolbark. This was attributed to urban emissions as the likely source.
For the first time, the Port Phillip Region in 2010 met the AAQ NEPM goal of not exceeding the particles as PM10 air quality objective on 5 days at one monitoring site since AAQ NEPM reporting commenced in 2002.
The 24-hour reporting standard for PM2.5 was exceeded at Alphington on three days where particles accumulated typically from vehicle traffic or domestic wood heaters. Monitoring at Footscray did not record levels above the reporting standard.
Low visibility generally occurring for one to a few hours on a day was measured across Melbourne exceeding the standard at all sites. These events were most frequently measured at Mooroolbark (36 days). The goal for visibility was not met at all sites except for Geelong South. This was mainly caused from small particle emissions such as PM2.5 from bushfires and/or planned burning and urban emissions.
Unlike the general air quality in Melbourne the local air quality in Brooklyn was regularly impacted by particles as PM10 due to dust emissions from the local industrial estate. Targeted short term air monitoring in Brooklyn and Sunshine West designed to assess local impacts measured levels of particles as PM10 above the air quality standard on 32 days during the year in Brooklyn. No days were measured above the standard at Sunshine West.
No air toxics monitoring was conducted during 2010. In 2011 air toxics monitoring is being conducted in residential sites in Tullamarine beside the old Tullamarine landfill and in residential sites surrounding the Dandenong South industrial precinct.
In Geelong there was one day where the levels of PM10 exceeded the air quality standard attributed to local windblown dust and low visibility was measured on three days.The air standards for ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide were all met.
In the Latrobe Valley, there were 3 days where the PM10 air quality standard was exceeded and low visibility events measured on 26 days. The causes of high PM10 were smoke from planned burning or agricultural burning (March to April). Low visibility days were caused mainly by the accumulation of smoke from planned burns and/or agricultural burning and urban emissions, such as smoke from wood fires in the colder months.
Levels of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide were measured below the air standards on all days during the year.
There was no monitoring in other rural regions in 2010.