Monitoring and regulating air pollution

Outdoor (ambient) air pollution has an impact on people’s health. Reducing air pollution means healthier people and a healthier environment.

The ACT has excellent air quality against global and national standards. 

The ACT Government has monitored air quality in Canberra for almost 40 years. The ACT Health Directorate is responsible for three monitoring stations—in Monash, Florey and Civic.

We measure the level of pollution at these stations and compare it to national and territory air quality standards.

Here you can find more information about air quality in the ACT, including:

Improving air quality in the ACT

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is established under the Environment Protection Act 1997 (the Act) and is responsible for administration of the Act. The Act aims to ensure that air quality in the ACT meets national standards by minimising environmental harm from local emissions of air pollutants, while still permitting necessary or socially acceptable activities to take place.

The EPA is also responsible for annual reporting under the Ambient Air Quality National Environment Protection Measure (AAQ NEPM), which provides air quality standards for the most common air pollutants.

The ACT Government has also worked to reduce particulate emissions from wood heaters used for home heating. Initiatives include the regulation of firewood merchants, the ‘Wood Heater Replacement Program’ to remove old inefficient wood heaters and the annual ‘Burn Right Tonight’ public awareness campaign on the correct use of wood heaters to reduce pollution.

Prescribed burns

The ACT Parks and Conservation Service also conducts several prescribed burns throughout the year to prepare for the fire season. You can find out more about prescribed burns, view Bushfire Operations Plans for the ACT or see frequently asked questions.

For updates on prescribed burns follow Parks on Twitter @ACT_Parks, like them on Facebook @ACTParks phone Access Canberra on 13 22 81, subscribe to receive email updates or subscribe to the RSS Feed

AirRater app

Air quality data is also used in the AirRater smartphone app. AirRater is a free app providing up-to-date, location specific information on particulate (smoke) pollution, pollen and temperature. Users can report their symptoms of asthma, allergies and hay fever. Over time, the app analyses these data and will start to provide personal feedback on what triggers users' symptoms, whether that be smoke, grass pollen or cold weather. This helps vulnerable Canberrans to better understand their triggers, manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Other air quality projects

ACT Health is working to reduce people’s exposure to harmful levels of pollution. 

Additional information on this work can be found in the reports below:

Page last updated on: 3 Sep 2019