Events for your Diary

Beach Patrol and Love our Streets clean ups are currently on hold due to the lockdown. However the BP/LOS organisers have suggested Spring Clean the City on September 26.

Thu 11, 6:30pm, BCNA AGM, Trugo Club or via Zoom

Latest News

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Monday, 7 January 2019

Update on Air Quality Monitoring at Station Pier

The EPA conducted air quality monitoring from 19th September to 9th December 2018. The equipment was installed on the roof of an apartment at 107 Beach Street and monitored PM2.5, sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide. The average PM2.5 level for the monitoring period was 9.9 µg/m3. The maximum permitted daily PM2.5 level is 25 ug/m3 (one exceedances per year is permitted) and the maximum annual average PM2.5 level is 8.0 µg/m3. No sulphur or nitrous emissions were detected. Since installation, the EPA has told us that the equipment is not capable of monitoring sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions at levels below 0.5-1 ppm. This means that the equipment is not fit for purpose. The maximum permitted hourly levels for sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide are 0.2 ppm and 0.12 ppm respectively and the maximum number of permitted exceedances per year is 1 day.

The BCNA recently wrote to the Minister for the Environment requesting a long term, well-designed monitoring program using fit-for-purpose equipment. The Hon. Martin Foley MP has agreed to support our request.

Monitoring at Station Pier in 2016/17 by the Victorian Ports Corporation (VPC) revealed elevated levels of sulphur dioxide compared to nearby EPA monitoring stations at Footscray and Altona North. Also, the annual average PM2.5 value of 8.4 µg/m3 exceeded the 8.0 µg/m3 level specified in the State Environment Protection Policy (Ambient Air Quality) standard.

Volunteers Needed for Air Quality Monitoring

The BCNA is assisting Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Deakin University (DU) to undertake complementary air quality monitoring projects in the area. The QUT equipment are known as KOALAs (Knowing Our Ambient Local Air-quality) and measures particles (PM10, PM2.5, PM1) and carbon monoxide and are either solar or mains powered. The KOALAS are cheaper than the equipment used by EPA or DU which means that multiple units can be deployed in Beacon Cove. However, the KOALAs are not as accurate as the EPA or DU equipment. Installation of the QUT owned KOALAs is underway on balconies of selected tower residents in 107, 115 and 127 Beach Street.

The BCNA has informally approached Councillor Bernadene Voss to see whether Council might host the solar powered KOALAs on light poles along the bike trail. In the interim the solar powered KOALAs are being hosted on balconies or in courtyards in temporary locations within Beacon Cove. To date mains powered KOALAs have been installed on the top of 107 Beach St and Levels 5 and 10 of 115 Beach St (note L10 of 115 is at same level as top of 107), and solar powered KOALAs have been installed at 16 Park Square and 2 Orion Mews.

More volunteers in Beacon Cove are needed to temporarily host solar powered KOALAs. Suitable locations need to face north, be unshaded for at least 5 to 6 hours during the day, be easy for KOALAs to be mounted by cable ties, and not close to major roads. If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Secretary of the BCNA at
Deakin University has installed air quality monitoring equipment on the same high-level balcony of 115 Beach St as the KOALA so that the results can be compared as the DU monitoring includes PM2.5. DU have also installed a weather monitoring station on the top of 115 Beach St so that wind information is also available for close to Station Pier.