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Background

During the 1970s and 1980s, sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from Kwinana industries caused significant air pollution problems in the surrounding residential areas. Although SO2 levels were significantly reduced in the 1980s, there is potential for increasing air pollution emissions if industry uses high sulfur content fuels.

To manage this risk, SO2 emissions in the Kwinana Industrial Area are regulated under the Kwinana Environmental Protection Policy (EPP), which is a statutory policy created under Part III of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act).

The Kwinana EPP sets ambient air quality standards and limits for SO2 and total suspended particulates that increase in stringency across three areas defined by the EPP, namely an industrial area, buffer area and rural-residential area.

Standards and limits for SO2 are set for 1-hour, 24-hour and annual averaging periods. The redetermination procedure involves computer modelling to assess pollution dispersion from large Kwinana industries, and ensures that there will be compliance with the EPP standards.

Consultation between Kwinana industries, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and the Minister for Environment is also a requirement of the redetermination procedure.

The last redetermination was undertaken in 2009. In 2018, we began consultation with the Kwinana Industries Council (KIC) on a new redetermination process to accommodate Kwinana industry emissions.

Of the 10 industries that are part of the existing determination under the EPP, three industries (Cogen, Tronox and BP Refinery) have requested an increase to their SO2 allocation, while two industries (Synergy and Hismelt) no longer need allocations.

A new industrial source (Avertas Energy, formerly Phoenix Energy) is seeking an SO2 allocation for its Kwinana waste to energy plant.

Consultation with affected Kwinana industries is now complete, and the Minister for Environment has asked us to proceed with the redetermination.

The department and KIC carry out ambient air quality monitoring for SO2 and other pollutants in the Kwinana region at a number of locations. For data from our monitoring stations, visit our Air quality data page.  

More information

For more information, please see the technical report on the redetermination. For advice or more details, please contact us on 6364 7000.


Published 3 July 2019