Locals living with chronic asthma or allergies may soon have access to better air quality data thanks to a new monitoring station.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) has been working with Penrith City Council to establish a new air quality monitoring station at Grey Gums Oval, Cranebrook.
Council is currently seeking community feedback on the proposed location, and once constructed, the station will provide residents with accurate, real-time air quality data and information via the DPIE website.
Jenni Sylvester’s son, Braith, was diagnosed with chronic sinusitis about two years ago and requires daily nasal spray and steroids to get by. The Glenmore Park resident said this time of year is particularly difficult and anything from dust, grass, pollens, smoke and heavy pollution will “set him off”.
“I do monitor the quality of air, that being said, it is really hard with all the smoke and being spring,” she said.
“If I made him stay indoors, the poor kid would never go outside and live in a bubble.”
Karen Parker Plunkett told the Weekender her respiratory issues have spiked since moving to Jordan Springs.
“Mine is from dust and pollens and the last year has been very dusty in Jordan Springs,” she said.
“It could be from building works, but the dust is a major issue,” she added, suggesting building sites could help by covering loose soil.
A DPIE spokesman said the new station will enhance monitoring in western Sydney and encouraged residents to sign up for air quality reports, forecasts and alerts.
“Penrith is a major, growing population centre and the establishment of an air quality monitoring station will give the people of that region, especially those with respiratory issues, access to near real-time air quality data that allows them to manage their activities accordingly,” he said.
According to the Environment Protection Authority, air quality in NSW is generally good by international standards and has been steadily improving, with geography and weather influencing the concentration and dispersal of air pollution.
For email and SMS alerts, visit www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aqms/subscribe.htm.
Alena Higgins is the Weekender’s Senior News Reporter, primarily covering courts and Council issues.