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.

Coal dust threatens farm family

December 19, 2014

Statement on re-opening the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry

Statement on re-opening the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry

November 23, 2014

Hazelwood mine fire: Voices of the Valley seek coronial inquest

Hazelwood mine fire: Voices of the Valley seek coronial inquest

October 29, 2014

Resources

In the media

Air PollutionMedia releases
April 24, 2020

Coalition of health, environment and community groups launch legal complaint over Vales Point power station pollution

MEDIA RELEASE  A coalition of health, environment and community groups has made a legal complaint to the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority calling for the body to investigate alleged breaches of the law by Delta Electricity after Vales Point power station reported huge increases in dangerous particle pollution, despite producing less…
Air PollutionMedia releases
April 23, 2020

Coalition of health, environment and community groups launch legal complaint over Yallourn power station pollution 

MEDIA RELEASE  A coalition of health, environment and community groups has made a legal complaint to the Victorian Environment Protection Authority calling for the body to investigate alleged breaches of the law by EnergyAustralia after Yallourn power station reported huge increases in dangerous particle pollution, despite producing less…
Air PollutionMedia releasesUncategorized
April 6, 2020

Coal-fired power stations top biggest polluter list again as toxic emissions from oldest power stations soar, National Pollutant Inventory

MEDIA RELEASE Analysis of just released data from the National Pollutant Inventory reveals coal-fired power stations are Australia’s biggest polluters once again with a number of power stations reporting significant increases in some of the most toxic pollutants. Coal-fired…
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…