Programs and initiatives

Latrobe Valley air monitoring co-design

The air monitoring co-design panel has developed a blueprint for a more extensive EPA air monitoring network in the Latrobe Valley.

More than 30 community members participated in the co-design process, which developed a single model for the air monitoring network. Community members were supported by EPA’s air scientists and local experts during the design process, which took place over three panel meetings in September and October 2016.

The panel meetings were also attended by observers from the local community, local industry, council and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The enhanced air monitoring network covers a broader area of the Latrobe Valley and uses a range of different types of monitors that can be moved to adapt to changing circumstances. The network also includes the installation of video cameras to help monitor for signs of visible air pollution, such as dust and smoke.

EPA continues to stay in contact with and consult the co-design panel as it rolls out the enhanced air monitoring network during 2017 and 2018. EPA anticipates that the network will be fully operational by 30 June 2018.

Latrobe Valley air monitoring network designed by the air monitoring co-design panel
(click image for large version)

Map showing locations of air monitors in network designed by the Latrobe Valley Co-Design Panel

Type of monitor or station Locations Quantity Colour and code
Permanent EPA air monitoring station* Traralgon 1 ""
Existing EPA air monitoring station to remain in current location* Morwell East, Morwell South, Churchill 3 ""
Existing EPA air monitoring station in new location* Moe station moved north 1 ""
Camera (to monitor smoke and dust) Refer to map 3 ""
PM2.5 (fine particle) optical monitor – portable Refer to map 1 ""
PM10 (dust) optical monitor – portable Refer to map 2 ""
Smoke sensor – portable Refer to map 14 ""
Low-cost gas sensor – portable Refer to map 8 ""
Industry air monitor Refer to map 5 ""

* The following pollutants are measured at the existing air monitoring stations:

  • Traralgon – PM2.5, PM10, visibility reduction, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3) and carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Morwell South – PM2.5, visibility reduction, SO2 and CO
  • Morwell East – PM2.5, SO2, NO2, O3 and CO
  • Churchill – PM2.5
  • Moe – PM2.5


Q&A on Latrobe Valley air monitoring co-design + Expand all Collapse all

  • What is a ‘co-design’ process?

    Co-design is a collaborative process in which community members share the decision making on issues that will directly affect them.

    For EPA’s co-design process, the community and EPA had an equal say about the future air monitoring network in the Latrobe Valley.

  • Why did EPA use a co-design process to improve our air monitoring network?

    We are committed to finding a collaborative solution to the future of air monitoring in the Latrobe Valley because we value the community’s involvement, knowledge and concerns. EPA’s co-design approach also aligns with the government’s commitment to work in partnership with the community to design programs and initiatives that deliver real and long-lasting change.

    EPA acknowledges that members of the community have fought hard to have their concerns responded to in the past. Therefore, we are ensuring that the community’s input is at the core of future decision making about the air monitoring network in the region.

  • What did the Co-design Panel do?

    Panel members designed a new air quality monitoring network for the Latrobe Valley, to ensure the future air monitoring network delivers the best representation of air quality in your community.

    Supported by air monitoring experts and EPA staff members, the panel learned about and discussed air quality monitoring and then designed a new air monitoring network for the Latrobe Valley.

  • Were there any restrictions on the air monitoring network?

    There were some restrictions on what the model could look like.

    There is a set budget to buy and operate equipment and there are some national standards that EPA must meet in reporting air quality. Any ‘must-have’ elements were explained at the start of the panel process.

  • What happened in the panel meetings?

    The first panel meeting focused on the exchange of information between EPA, panel members and other agencies on the topic of air quality and air monitoring.

    The second and third meetings were spent looking at the various locations, options and costs involved in different types of air monitoring.

    Supported by experts, the panel used maps and coloured play dough to create a number of different models of air monitoring networks.

    The panel then decided on its preferred future air monitoring model for the Latrobe Valley.

    The co-design process


  • What will EPA do with the panel’s decision?

    We are committed to implementing the co-design panel’s preferred air monitoring network. This may require further consultation with the community to work through aspects of the preferred model as it is rolled out by EPA.

    We anticipate that the new air monitoring network in the Latrobe Valley will be implemented during 2017 and 2018.

Page last updated on 7 Dec 2017