Air Quality

As a diverse multi-cargo port, Port of Brisbane handles import and export products including containers, motor vehicles, general cargo and bulk commodities.

A by-product of diverse activity can be localised dust issues, something experienced by all similar ports.

Dust is a component of particulate matter (PM) in the air. PM is characterised by particle size and composition. The particle size ranges from 0.005μm to 100μm and the particles are typically categorised into two size classes:

  • PM10 coarse particulate matter (10μm – 2.5μm in aerodynamic diameter)

    • The handling of bulk materials on bare surfaces can result in dust levels within the PM10 range.

    • PM10 particles are derived from suspension and re-suspension of dust, soil and other material from roads, farming, mining, and dust storms.

  • PM2.5 fine particulate matter (<2.5 – 0.1μm in aerodynamic diameter)Fine particulate matter is derived from combustion processes (petrol and diesel vehicle, wood burning, coal burning for power etc.) and industrial activities (cement plants, paper mills, steel mills etc.)

Monitoring programs

Since 1999, Port of Brisbane has conducted a range of air quality monitoring programs to ensure dust is not impacting local sensitive receptors.

Long-term monitoring

A long-term dust monitoring program was implemented from 2003 to 2011. Results from this program demonstrated that the dust deposition measured at the port is generally within the Air Quality National Environmental Protection Measure (NEPM) guideline values.

Roadside monitoring study

From 2006 to 2008 a roadside dust emissions study was undertaken in order to identify the impact of road transport corridors on air quality. This study showed no indication of a prominent source of fine dust particles from the port activities.

Real-time monitoring

In 2013, PBPL commenced real-time dust monitoring at three locations within the port precinct.

PM10 and PM2.5 measurements are collected through an e-sampler and a 24-hour average is calculated for each site. This data is then compared against the NEPM guidelines to ensure compliance.

Results of this monitoring are captured in Figure 1c (Bingera Drive), 1d (Operations Base) and 1e (Osprey Drive).