Kwinana is a major heavy industrial area 30 km south of Perth, Western Australia. Most industry is concentrated in a strip of land about eight kilometres long bordering the Indian Ocean.
In the late 1970s emissions of sulfur dioxide from Kwinana industries caused significant pollution in nearby residential areas. The almost universal conversion to natural gas in 1984 virtually eliminated sulfur dioxide emissions associated with fuel combustion. However, with growth in demand and the cost of natural gas, plus the increase in sulfur dioxide emissions from other sources, the Environmental Protection Authority recognised the potential for the air quality around Kwinana to again become degraded and therefore established an Environmental Protection Policy (EPP) in 1992 to maintain acceptable air quality.
The Kwinana EPP was formally reviewed in 1999 and re-issued unchanged. The 1992 Regulations remain in force, and were amended in 1999 to reflect the policy title change.
The Policy defines three areas (Areas A, B and C), where:
- Area A is the area of land on which heavy industry is located;
- Area B is outside area A and is zoned for industrial purposes from time to time under a Metropolitan Region Scheme or a town planning scheme;
- Area C is beyond Areas A and B, predominantly rural and residential.
Sulfur dioxide standards and limits were set for the three areas, increasing in stringency from Area A to Area C. The most important of these with respect to controlling air quality are the standards and limits averaged over 1-hour periods. Similarly, ambient standards and limits were established for total suspended particulates. The EPP provides for a redetermination of these limits as and when required, e.g. to accommodate new industries or variations to existing industry emissions.
The Minister directed the EPA to defer the review of the EPP until December 2009, as a result of the need to resolve buffer issues in the Kwinana area; await the finalisation of the State Environmental (Ambient Air) Policy; and the need to undertake a consultation process regarding the inclusion or exclusion of particulates.
The EPA undertook consultation on the EPP via a discussion paper in June 2009 in preparation for the review. On the basis of this consultation and EPA advice, in November 2010 the Minister directed the EPA not to review the policy at this time. The EPA is of the opinion that the continuation of the current Kwinana EPP is appropriate and does not warrant conducting a statutory review.
View the Environmental Protection (Kwinana)(Atmospheric Wastes) Regulations 1992 (link takes you to the State Legislation website)