EPA regulates industrial activities to minimise emissions that cause air pollution in Victoria.
Our Guideline for assessing and minimising air pollution in Victoria (GAMAPV) helps businesses comply with their general environment duty (GED).
About our air pollution guidance
The GAMAPV is a technical document written for air pollution practitioners. The guideline provides:
- a framework for assessing potential risks to human health and the environment from air emissions
- updated air pollution assessment criteria (APACs) that have replaced the design criteria in the State Environment Protect Policy for Air Quality Management (SEPP AQM), and the Protocol for Environmental Management: Mining and Extractive Industries (the Mining PEM)clarity on how to preventminimise and manage risks from air emissions.
The GAMAPV may also be useful to planners, resource managers, lawyers and others interested in Victoria’s air quality management framework.
Air pollution assessment criteria (APACs) & the GED
Air pollution assessment criteria (APACs) are risk-based concentrations that help identify when or if an activity is likely to pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment. APACs are not concentrations one can ‘pollute up to’. Even when predicted concentrations are below relevant APACs, compliance with the GED may require further risk controls. This is because under the GED, anyone engaging in an activity that may present risks of harm to human health or the environment due to discharges to air must minimise those risks so far as reasonably practicable.
Threshold and non-threshold exposure responses
Threshold and non-threshold exposure responses are the two primary models that describe the relationship between an exposure to a pollutant and its health response.
Pollutants with a threshold response have a critical level (threshold) below which they do not trigger a measurable or detectable health response. This means that these substances can be present in air at concentrations low enough to not pose any foreseeable risk to human health.
Pollutants with a non-threshold response on the other hand may cause adverse effects at any level of exposure. This means that any exposure greater than zero contributes to a proportionate increase in the probability of experiencing a negative health outcome over a lifetime.
Reviewed 1 August 2023