Air quality continues to be a key environmental concern for the community. Research has clearly shown that air pollution,
depending on its nature and concentration, can adversely affect human health and the environment.
Pollutants are emitted to the air from various sources. These include the combustion of wood and fossil fuels (e.g. coal,
petrol and diesel), emissions of hydrocarbons from oil and gas refining, odours from industrial processes or intensive
agriculture, and dust associated with mining and land clearing. When these emissions are discharged unmitigated, during periods
of poor dispersion, or under conditions conducive to smog formation, episodes of poor air quality may result.
Perth, like most urban areas of Australia, experiences occasional episodes of poor air quality. The main issues are
photochemical smog in summer and particle haze during winter. Major sources of pollution are motor vehicles, domestic sources
(principally wood heaters) and industry.
Regional areas of WA may also experience poor air quality at times. Pollution can be caused by bushfires and windblown dust,
industrial facilities and hazard reduction burns.
The Department implements an extensive Air Quality Management program. By working with other state agencies, businesses,
industries, communities, local government and the Commonwealth the Department is undertaking research, scientific investigations
and monitoring so as to deliver effective responses to air quality issues across the State.