A ten year ANSTO monitoring program has found that up to half of the total sulfate air pollution in the greater Sydney region can be attributed to emissions from NSW’s eight coal-fired power stations.
According to ANSTO, “Despite being located many kilometres outside of the greater Sydney metropolitan area, these coal-fired power stations have a significant impact on air quality in the CBD areas of Sydney.”
For more than a decade, a team of ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) scientists have collected samples in the Richmond area of western Sydney, with the findings made public this week.
The sampling site was located at Richmond in an open grassed area in the grounds of the University of Western Sydney, 53 km northwest of the Sydney CBD. Samples were taken every Sunday and Wednesday for 24 hours from midnight to midnight. The site was influenced by sources from within the Sydney CBD region and sources external to the greater metropolitan area, such as the power stations.
ANSTO says, “The average sulfur content of coal burnt for power generation in NSW at these stations is around 0.5% by weight. The power station emissions represent 243 kT/year of sulfur dioxide emissions across NSW. In the State of NSW, of the total 290 kT/yr of sulfur dioxide emissions produced each year, over 80% are from the coal-fired power stations.”