Transport pollution features in measurement changes draft

Impact statement notes diesel and tyre wear as important particulate matter sources

Transport pollution features in measurement changes draft
Tyre-wear emissions are mentioned


Air pollution from freight transport is one of the central issues related to an effort to strengthen the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure (AAQ NEPM) that informs government mitigation measures.

Though gases, chemicals and lead are in the frame as well, much of the focus is on particulate matter (PM) with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 micrometres(μm), known as PM10, and  of less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5), due to health concerns.

And while diesel engines are seen as a major source, tyre-wear has been identified as well.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) gave the green light last year to the National Environment Protection Council (NEPC) for an examination of the issue which has resulted in the Draft Variation to the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure Impact Statement.

Now the Council is looking for public comment on the impact statement.

The statement note that "understanding of the health effects of airborne PM has improved markedly", in particular "the strengthening of the evidence for there being no threshold for health effects".

Of interest to industry will be the suggestion, amongst others, of a cost mechanism of some sort to recoup public health expenditure on treating the effects.

"There is a case for government intervention when market failures are present.

"With respect to air quality the primary market failure is a negative externality. Negative externalities exist where the actions of a party result in a cost to a third party not directly involved in that action.

"In the case of air pollution, the party responsible for causing the pollution does not bear all of the health costs associated with it."

The draft impact statement can be found here.

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