The issue

More than 3000 Australians die from exposure to air pollution each year. Thousands of others suffer health effects like stroke, heart disease and asthma.

Australia’s current air pollution standards are not strong enough to protect human health. National air pollution limits currently exceed the World Health Organisation’s recommended thresholds and by international comparison, lag significantly. Much stricter standards have been adopted in most other countries, including the US, EU, and China.

Coal-fired power stations are a big contributor to air pollution in Australia and the biggest sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the country.

We know that at least 279 people die prematurely each year in NSW as a result of toxic air pollution from the state’s five coal-fired power stations. The health impacts also include 233 babies born with reduced birthweight, 361 people developing type 2 diabetes and 2,614 years of life lost each year due to uncontrolled air pollution from NSW power stations. The research has not yet been done – but the national number is likely to be extremely concerning.

Communities are also at risk from coal ash – the toxic by-product of coal-fired power, that is dumped into huge wastewater ponds that can leach and contaminate local land and waterways.

Our laws fail to address problems in pollution hotspots – like the Latrobe Valley, the Hunter Valley and the NSW Central Coast – where coal mines and coal-fired power stations, often exceed the limits for pollution.

Australia needs stronger laws and regulations on pollution from coal-fired power to protect our health.

Here at EJA, we aim to make sure polluters reduce and control their toxic pollution as much as possible. We work with community groups, experts and advocates to achieve laws and regulation that reduce pollution levels and safeguard clean air, water and land.

Visiting coal ash affected communities

February 27, 2020

NSW Coal Ash Inquiry: Have your say

February 12, 2020

The fight for clean air in 2020

December 20, 2019

Resources

In the media

Air PollutionMedia releases
February 11, 2020

Keeping Liddell power station open to 2026 will cost lives as well as money 

MEDIA RELEASE  The Morrison Government’s plan to keep NSW’s ageing Liddell Power Station open until 2026 won’t just cost taxpayers millions – it will also cost lives, according to lawyers…
Air PollutionMedia releases
October 3, 2019

NSW Government’s Inquiry into toxic coal ash a huge win for affected communities

MEDIA RELEASE 3 October 2019 Authors of groundbreaking research into toxic coal ash waste in Australia are welcoming an Upper House Inquiry into coal ash waste, launched yesterday by the…
Air PollutionMedia releases
August 12, 2019

Statement of support for the union movement

Read our joint statement of support for the union movement on a fair and just energy transition in Australia.
Air PollutionSubmissions
August 2, 2019

EJA submission to the proposed variation to the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure standards for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone

Environment Ministers are likely to come together in late 2019 to make a decision whether or not to vary the national air pollution standards for sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen…