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Types of pollutants
Government sets air quality objectives
Measures for ensuring standards are met
Sources of pollution
EPA control programs and future air quality trends
Clean air is made up of nitrogen, oxygen and argon, with traces of other gases such as carbon dioxide.
Air pollutants mainly come from the discharges of gases and particles, mostly from industry, motor vehicles and domestic wood burning. There are also natural sources such as wi...
Last updated on 6 Jan 2016
Protecting Victoria’s air
EPA helps protect Victoria’s air quality through statutory tools including environmental laws, policies and Regulations, and by working in partnership with Victorian communities, including businesses, government, individuals and groups.
Air state environment protection policies
Air quality in Victoria is protected by two state environment protection policies or SEPPs, which are adopted by government to protect Victoria's air environment:
State Environment Protection Policy (Ambie...
Last updated on 15 May 2013
Air quality in the home
There are four major factors to consider when assessing the air quality of a home environment in Victoria:
distance from pollution sources
the effect of sea breezes
indoor air quality.
Apart from bushfire smoke and windblown dust, most of Melbourne's air quality problems are associated with emissions from transport, industry, and commercial and domestic activity. Therefore, living further away from the city will generally improve the quality of your air.
Last updated on 29 Oct 2014
Air Quality For Kids (closed)
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) closed the Air Quality For Kids website on 1 April 2016.
Most of the content that was on the site is now available in the Air section of our website.
For up-to-date monitoring of air quality around Victoria, see EPA AirWatch....
Last updated on 15 Feb 2017
Melbourne’s air quality
Melbourne’s air quality has improved since the 1980s. Compared with similar cities in other countries, our air quality is relatively good. Particle pollution is currently the major issue needing attention, although other pollutants such as ozone are also of concern. Air quality is consistently ranked by the community as an important environmental issue.
Measuring improvement in air quality
When EPA began air monitoring in Melbourne and Geelong in 1973, air pollution was getting worse. We s...
Last updated on 7 Jan 2016
Smog is a problem in most large cities. It is caused by emissions from industry, motor vehicles, domestic wood combustion and other sources, accumulating under certain meteorological conditions.
The term smog was first used during the 1950s to describe a mixture of smoke and fog. EPA can forecast days when smog will be a problem, and will issue appropriate alerts when necessary....
Last updated on 20 May 2015
Vehicle emissions and air quality
Motor vehicles are the major source of urban air pollution. In Melbourne in 2006, motor vehicle emissions contributed the following levels of pollutants to the overall air quality:
72 per cent of all carbon monoxide (CO) emissions
70 per cent of all nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions
28 per cent of all volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions
31 per cent of all emissions of particles smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5)
27 per cent of all emissions of par...
Last updated on 26 Feb 2016
Wood burning and air quality
The smoke from wood heaters and open fireplaces can pollute the air we breathe, especially in autumn and winter. By following some tips you can reduce smoke pollution from your wood heater.
Buying the right wood heater, and using and maintaining it well, is important for the health and safety of you and your family. It may well also be an important issue for your neighbours. It may affect their health and enjoyment of their home and quality of life.
If your neighbour’s wood heater is p...
Last updated on 15 May 2013
Land and groundwater
EPA regulates and monitors many of the beneficial uses of land....
Last updated on 4 Jul 2017
Contaminated Environments Strategy
New strategy to better manage contaminated environments released
EPA Victoria has released a new strategy to better manage contaminated environments across Victoria, as part of a strategic priority to ‘deal with past pollution’.
In 1997 it was estimated there was at least 10,000 contaminated environments in Victoria, which are a legacy of the industrial and manufacturing heritage of the state. This estimate does not include groundwater impacts which were not required to be reported...
Last updated on 12 Feb 2013