The issue

Almost 5000 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.

Communities right to know what they’re breathing

March 31, 2020

Visiting coal ash affected communities

February 27, 2020

NSW Coal Ash Inquiry: Have your say

February 12, 2020


In the media

Air PollutionMedia releases
March 26, 2020

Dismissal of coal lobby’s proposal to use emissions reduction funds to prop up coal-fired power stations a win for common sense and the rule of law

MEDIA RELEASE An independent committee’s decision to reject a bid to use funding intended for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to prop up coal-fired power stations has been welcomed by Environmental Justice Australia.  The Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee…
Air PollutionMedia releases
March 25, 2020

New research into health impacts of bushfire smoke pollution warrants serious action to address air pollution status quo

MEDIA RELEASE New research revealing the health impacts of smoke pollution from the catastrophic summer bushfires shows the need for action to address existing air pollution, according law and policy…
Air PollutionMedia releases
March 4, 2020

Environmental lawyers challenge EPA and EnergyAustralia in VCAT over pollution control at Yallourn Power Station

MEDIA RELEASE Environmental lawyers have launched legal proceedings in a bid to uncover documents about the operations and maintenance of EnergyAustralia’s pollution control technology at Yallourn Power Station in the…
Air PollutionMedia releases
March 3, 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…