Air Pollution

Motor Vehicles

Vehicle exhaust emissions are major contributors to photochemical smog and particle pollution in Sydney. When a vehicle is emitting excess levels of smoke, chances are that it is not properly tuned or maintained. Vehicles that emit visible smoke for a continuous period of at least 10 seconds can be reported to the Environment Protection Authority Pollution Phone Line on 131555. Up to 1000 reports are received and acted upon each month. Alternatively, use this EPA website online form - EPA: Report a Smoky Vehicle.

The following details should be recorded where possible: 

  • Length of time in seconds that the visible emissions were observed. 
  • Registration number of the vehicle.
  • Type of motor vehicle.
  • Colour and darkness, in the opinion of the observer, of the smoke.
  • Location, date and approximate time of day that the observation was made.

The green vehicle guide initiative helps consumers choose and compare vehicles based on their greenhouse and air pollution emissions as well as fuel consumption. It includes simple and practical information on how to easily reduce the impact that your vehicle choice and usage will have on the environment.


Wood Smoke

During winter, wood and solid fuel heaters produce two to three times more particle pollution than cars. Not only is a smoking fire wasting money but the air pollution it causes can also affect our health. Wood smoke contains a number of noxious gases and a range of organic compounds, some of which are toxic or carcinogenic, and fine particles, which go deep into the lungs. These pollutants can cause breathing difficulties, especially for people suffering existing respiratory conditions, such as asthmatics, and for children and frail older people. Information on how to select, install and operate your wood or solid fuel heater correctly is available on the EPA website.

Smoke is deemed to be 'excessive'  where there is a visible plume for a continuous period of at least 10 minutes and within that time the plume extends at least 10 metres from the chimney for at least 30 seconds. Council can investigate cases of excessive smoke.


 Wood Heater & Fireplace Compliance

From 1 September 2016, no new open fireplaces will be permitted except with Council approval and all newly installed wood heaters must comply with new controls for wood heaters and open fireplaces, see link below.

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