Air Quality – Mowbray School

AirQuality
‘Air quality monitoring has been undertaken at Mowbray School sincethe Lane Cove Tunnel was built. Monitoring was to continue until traffic reached the higher volumes projected for the proposal under the approval.
Discussion
The Business Plan for the LCT project estimated that the projected total number of vehicles per day using the tunnel would be approximately 100,000. Data received in August 2013 from the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) indicates that the traffic volume of the tunnel has been measured to be 69,632 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT). This figure is well below that projected of 100,000 vehicles per day.
Traffic volumes for the LCT in 2009 were approximately 57,000 AADT. This shows an approximate overall increase in 2013 of 18% over the 4 year period, or a 4.5% increase in traffic volumes each year from 2009. From these figures the traffic volume of the LCT is increasing by approximately 2800 vehicles per year. If the traffic volumes were to continue to increase at this rate it is estimated that it would take approximately 10 to 11 years to reach the projected figure of 100,000 vehicles per day.

The air quality monitoring station was set up at Mowbray Public School in March 2006 prior to the opening of the LCT in 2007. The monitoring station was established to determine the likely impact that the Lane Cove Tunnel would have on the local airshed. This was an initiative of Council to address concerns raised by the community on local air quality issues. In 2009 an analysis of the air quality data was undertaken, which indicated that the air quality in the local area was generally good and in most cases complied with ambient air quality criteria. On the limited occasion that the criteria was not complied with it was clear that exceedances were attributed to unforeseen events such as bushfires or dust storms. It was actually evident that for the pollutants monitored there was an overall downward trend in the levels after the opening of the LCT in March 2007.

Furthermore, since 2009 monitoring for Particulate Matter PM10 & PM2.5 has shown no exceedances above the National Air Quality Standards. The EPA air quality monitoring station at Lindfield monitors for PM10 and the data shows a strong correlation between the results from Councils monitoring station with the monitoring station at Lindfield. Utilising the Lindfield data will provide Council with reliable and representative background data within the local area of Lane Cove. Graphs of PM10 and PM2.5 data collected over the last two financial years (2011/12 & 2012/13) are presented in the Attachment.
Advice has been received from SLR Consulting who currently maintain the existing monitoring equipment. A summary of the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) data within the Artarmon area shows that motor vehicles are the main source of carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, PM10 and total volatile organic compounds, whilst basic ferrous metal production manufacturing is the second largest. One such source in the Artarmon area is Weir Minerals, located at Marden St Artarmon which is regulated by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

Initial consideration into the relocation of the air quality monitoring equipment has been to find a suitable site within the Artarmon area with an objective of determining whether motor vehicles and basic ferrous metal production manufacturing has an impact on the ambient air quality in the Artarmon area. The preference at this stage would be to install the air quality monitoring equipment at Councils Waste Depot located at 4 McLachlan Ave Artarmon and monitor for PM10 & PM2.5 . The viability of this will need to be considered further.

Conclusion
The objectives of establishing the monitoring station were to ensure the surrounding community and environment were not adversely affected by the operation of the Lane Cove Tunnel ventilation stacks, to ensure that ambient air quality in the local area complies with relevant air quality criteria when the tunnel is in operation and to provide an analysis of ambient air quality in the local area pre and post tunnel operation. These objectives have been achieved and it is therefore proposed to decommission the existing monitoring station at Mowbray Public School in 2014.

OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION
That the Air Quality Monitoring Station at Mowbray Public School be decommissioned.

An additional point for consideration on this matter is that it is anticipated that major building works will be undertake on the school site during 2014.

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