Air Pollution In Australia


1. Identify current trends, scale and likely future sources of carbon monoxide, sulphur
dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead, particles and photochemical oxidants.....
AGA notes that considerable background material is already available on this issue including the State of the Environment Report and other processes being developed through the NEPC. It is important that reporting by the Inquiry take account of existing material.
2. Identify and evaluate management options for each of the identified pollutants,
including options which address one or more pollutants together, which will lead to
improved urban air quality in the medium (5-10 years) and longer (10-15 years) term.
Alternative transport fuels
It is widely recognized that use of gaseous transport fuels ? liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and
natural gas for vehicles (NGVs) ? can assist in improving urban air quality. In response to the Federal Government's development of a national Sustainable Energy Policy for Australia, the AGA, the Australian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association and the Australasian Natural Gas Vehicles Council released a report in January 1997 titled Gaseous Transport Fuels Policy Development (copy attached).
The submission indicates that motor vehicles account for over 80 percent of carbon monoxide,
45 percent of hydrocarbons and 67 percent of nitrogen dioxide emissions. It also notes that
Australia's transport sector is a major contributor towards the energy sector's greenhouse gas
emissions.
Wider adoption of gaseous transport fuels would have substantial benefits in reduced carbon
monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, lead and particulate emissions. Gaseous transport
fuels also lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions. A report prepared for the AGA (to be
published as an AGA Research Paper) indicates that:
NGV tailpipe emissions of carbon monoxide are between 49 and 99 percent lower than
from gasoline vehicles; and
new generation LPG systems can reduce oxides of nitrogen by 50 percent.
The AGA believes that urban air quality would benefit from wider introduction of gaseous
transport fuels. Urban transport vehicles based on LPG and NGV can lead to improvements in
air quality in the medium and longer term. This includes use of LPG and NGV in trucks, light
commercial vehicles, buses, taxis, business and government fleets and private cars.
The Joint Industry Submission on Gaseous Transport Fuels emphasizes that Australia's gaseous
transport fuels industry is still developing and that the industry and users need confidence in the
maintenance of Federal petroleum product excise exemption policy, before making multimillion
dollar infrastructure and conversion investments. The submission sets out other measures aimed
at ensuring wider adoption of gaseous transport fuels.
Appliance approvals
Natural gas is expected to increase its share of the market in the residential, commercial and
industrial sectors. The market opportunities have been analyzed in the Gas Industry
Development Strategy 1995-2000, released by the AGA in November 1995 (copy attached).
Much of this increased demand will be in urban areas.
AGA's Environment Policy recognizes the role of appliance standards and Codes and includes a
commitment to:
maintain the environment as a high priority in the industry's own
technical codes, standards and equipment approvals which include
relevant performance, efficiency and energy labeling criteria in order
to have continuous improvement in environmental performance
meeting both government requirements and community expectations.
The AGA Approval Schemes provide for the testing and approval of a range of residential,
recreational, commercial and industrial appliances, to meet the standards of Codes prepared
and published by the AGA. The Approval Scheme covers natural gas, towns gas and LPG and
includes emission standards appropriate to the type of appliance concerned.
3. Are cognizant of the capacity of existing and proposed strategies and arrangements,
at all levels of government, to reduce air pollution in the identified time frame; of
Australia's longer term objectives in relation to greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable
energy policy and international competitiveness; of the economic, social and environmental costs of urban air pollution and of any identified management options; and of the need to identify options which can be undertaken by governments, industry and the community.
The Inquiry's terms of reference recognize the need to integrate environmental objectives with
wider policy objectives including economic, greenhouse and sustainable energy policy.
As part of the Gas Industry Development Strategy, the AGA commissioned an independent
report on the economic and environmental contribution of the natural gas industry to the
Australian economy. This research concluded that a growing natural gas industry contributes
positively to both the economy and the environment. The report examined the implications of
attaining the AGA growth goal (ie that the share of natural gas in Australia's primary energy
consumption reaches 20 percent in the year 2000) and concluded that:
GDP would rise