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CSIRO to live-stream CSG air-quality data

The CSIRO has announced that the data from the first comprehensive air quality measurement program in the coal-seam-gas-producing Surat Basin is now available online for anyone to live-stream.

CSIRO, through the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA), is leading a study of air quality measurements collected from a network of five ambient air quality stations in the Chinchilla, Miles and Condamine regions of Queensland.

The stations are measuring a wide variety of pollutants in the air such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. The data collected is then streamed to the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection website.

The CSIRO says live-streaming the data is about having transparency in the data-collection process.

“The data is accessible to everyone which means local communities and the general public can stay informed about the air quality in the Western Downs region, how it compares to other parts of Queensland and how levels compare to the government’s air quality standards,” CSIRO atmospheric researcher Sarah Lawson says.

The project will also use an air quality model to explore the degree to which different emission sources in the Surat Basin affect air pollution levels. The model includes a variety of natural and man-made emission sources including the CSG industry, power stations, mines, livestock production, motor vehicles, bushfires, and vegetation.

By running the model with different emission sources switched on and off the degree of contribution from sources, including the CSG industry, can be investigated. The model will also provide an understanding of the distribution of pollutants over a much larger area than can be determined by fixed monitoring stations.

“Both the air quality data and modelling results can be used by government to inform policy and regulations around CSG development and by industry to focus on improving practices that reduce emissions of pollutants,” Lawson says.


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