The Port Hedland Industries Council has released the 2020/21 Port Hedland Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network Annual Report.

The Network examines concentrations of particulate matter (PM) in the Port Hedland Air Shed along with meteorological conditions.

Dust levels measured by the Network are assessed according to a standard set in the Port Hedland Dust Management Taskforce Dust Management Plan, which is a 24-hour average guideline for PM10 of 70 μg/m3 at the Taplin Street monitoring site and allowance for 10 exceedances a year, excluding natural events.

Analysis of the data showed that the Taplin Street monitoring station recorded one day above the 24-hour average interim guideline for PM10 of 70 μg/m³, on 3 October 2020.

The exceedance was the result of a local industry source as well as a contribution from a regional event.

PHIC Chief Executive Officer Kirsty Danby said the 2020/21 annual report, the ninth since the network was established and funded by PHIC members, was expected to be its final full-year Network report.

Transfer of the Network to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is scheduled for 1 January 2022.

“PHIC is committed to the ongoing maintenance of key network sites to ensure the collection of robust and reliable air quality data for the Port Hedland region in the lead up to the transfer,” Kirsty said.

“We are planning to deliver a half-year report for 2021/22 to cover the period before the transfer.

“PHIC members will continue to work with the community and the State Government to apply leading dust mitigation and management measures to minimise industry’s contribution to dust in the Port Hedland Air Shed.”