Australia's National Pollutant Inventory

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Australia's National Pollutant Inventory tegandrew 7/4/07 5:41 AM
Australia's national database of pollutant emissions

Final Update - November 2011
  • Still uses the latest 2006-2007 data due to new restrictions on data licensing
  • No further updates will be provided. I will retire this post in several months
  • Read more in the thread below

Placemark collection updated on 15 November 2011 with the removal of dead links and the addition of 286 user-corrected locations (including every post in this thread).

The National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) is a publicly accessible database containing information on the types and amounts of pollutants being emitted to the Australian environment.

Information in the database is supplied by state and territory environment agencies who receive the information from facilities in their jurisdictions. Industry information on the database is updated annually. The attached data is for the 2006-2007 reporting year.

The purpose of the inventory is to help assess the nature of pollution in Australia by drawing together information about pollutants being released into the environment. The NPI identifies the sources of emissions and whether they are emitted to air, water or land.

The NPI helps everyone to keep an eye on pollution - it's your right to know.

Further information can be found at the NPI website.

List of substances tegandrew 7/15/07 3:12 AM
The following is a list of substances that is reported under the National Pollutant Invetory (NPI).

Acetic acid (ethanoic acid)
Acrylic acid
Acrylonitrile (2-propenenitrile)
Ammonia (total)
Aniline (benzenamine)
Antimony & compounds
Arsenic & compounds
Benzene hexachloro- (HCB)
Beryllium & compounds
Biphenyl (1,1-biphenyl)
Boron & compounds
1,3-Butadiene (vinyl ethylene)
Cadmium & compounds
Carbon disulfide
Carbon monoxide
Chlorine dioxide
Chloroethane (ethyl chloride)
Chloroform (trichloromethane)
Chlorophenols (di, tri, tetra)
Chromium (III) compounds
Chromium (VI) compounds
Cobalt & compounds
Copper & compounds
Cumene (1-methylethylbenzene)
Cyanide (inorganic) compounds
Dibutyl phthalate
2-Ethoxyethanol acetate
Ethyl acetate
Ethyl butyl ketone
Ethylene glycol (1,2-ethanediol)
Ethylene oxide
Di-(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
Fluoride compounds
Formaldehyde (methyl aldehyde)
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrogen sulfide
Lead & compounds
Magnesium oxide fume
Manganese & compounds
Mercury & compounds
2-Methoxyethanol acetate
Methyl ethyl ketone
Methyl isobutyl ketone
Methyl methacrylate
4,4'-Methylene-bis(2-chloroaniline) (MOCA)
Methylenebis (phenylisocyanate)
Nickel & compounds
Nickel carbonyl
Nickel subsulfide
Nitric acid
Organo-tin compounds
Oxides of nitrogen
Particulate Matter 10.0 um (PM10)
Phosphoric acid
Polychlorinated dioxins and furans
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Selenium & compounds
Styrene (ethenylbenzene)
Sulfur dioxide
Sulfuric acid
Toluene (methylbenzene)
Total nitrogen
Total phosphorus
Total volatile organic compounds
Vinyl chloride monomer
Xylenes (individual or mixed isomers)
Zinc and compounds
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory tegandrew 7/29/07 3:36 AM
Updated on 8 May 2008 to account for new data and changed methodology.
I have updated the attached placemark collection at the top of this post with a new version that corrects some coding errors and enhances the usefulness of the data by highlighting the top polluters.

Key changes:
  • A red marker is used for the top polluters and the top emissions to air, water and land are highlighted in bold.
  • Where an emission of a substance to air, water or land is greater than the 95th percentile (assuming a lognormal distribution) I have noted the site as a top emitter. There are 549 air sites, 81 land sites and 51 water sites (with some overlap, a total of 600).

It is worth noting that the coordinates provided by the NPI are not always accurate. To improve this I used the Google Maps API to geocode all the premises that had an address. Where there was a street name and number, or an intersection of two streets I substituted the geocoded coordinates. 1256 of 3951 sites were geocoded in this way.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory Gerardo64 7/29/07 5:49 AM
Excellent post Andrew... I rate it with 5 Stars..
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Dropbox - Other Server to free host your KML (or whatever) files.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory Macwonga 8/22/07 8:58 PM
Your location for the Singleton Beef processing facility is wrong, you have placed your link over the Singleton Army base. If you turn on roads and go to the intersection of the Mitchell Line of Road and New England Highway it is just south of that location
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory tegandrew 8/23/07 9:05 PM
Thanks for your comment Macwonga.
The coordinates for this site were taken from the raw data downloaded from the NPI website as the address given wasn't enough to geocode with Google Maps. It seems the position is out by around 7km. See the NPI version of the map.

If there is sufficient interest I'd be happy to provide an update with corrected coordinates, but I'm not able to check every site myself. I hope you'll agree that importing the data into Google Earth is an improvement.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory Macwonga 9/4/07 4:51 PM
so you can correct your information based on my local knowledge,
lat -32.6515°
long 151.235°
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory tegandrew 9/15/07 4:57 AM
I have adjusted the location of the beef processing facility.

More significantly, I have removed the emissions tables from this placemark file as they were not displaying properly in the Community Layer. I have been told that this is because there is a limit of around 1000 characters in those placemarks. Returned on 8 May 2008 as it seems Google has improved their ability to handle large placemarks.

As the listing of emission data for each site was a key factor in uploading the data I have posted the full data to the Open Forum so that you can still download it, but so it won't appear in the Community Layer. No longer necessary but will be retained for a while.

Here's hoping this works.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory tegandrew 10/2/07 5:54 AM
I have enhanced the placemark file to show a visual representation of the emissions from each site by extending a coloured polygon above the site.

The width of the polygon is proportional to the number of substances emitted (reported) by each site. This is the "footprint". The height of the polygon is proportional to the size of the emissions. Red is for air emissions, blue for water and yellow for land.

Since it would be meaningless to add up the kg emitted of each substance (the big emissions would drown out the smaller ones) I have linearised the data assuming a lognormal distribution. I did this by calculating the Z-score of each substance emitted relative to national emissions. I then added the Z-scores for all the emissions of each site and divided by the square root of the number of emissions.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory twanger 10/5/07 6:38 AM
Your co ordinates for McCains in ballarat are significantly out. It is where you have marked Masterfoods which i think (i am not certain) are the same company but that is definately the site of McCains.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory BLHistory 10/13/07 7:09 PM
Heaps are out a tey bros meat works is sitting ontop of a private house.

Another mark is sitting on a street.
Re: Coordinates and placemark updates tegandrew 10/14/07 5:04 AM
Thanks to everyone who has publicly or privately suggested improvements to the location of the facilities in the placemark collections. I have tried as described above to improve the quality of the coordinates, but the fact is that a small proportion of the NPI coordinate data is incorrect. I suggest you go straight to the source and send them suggested corrections at their comments page. I have included the address of each facility in the bubble so you can try to find it yourself if you like.

On another note, I found that using RPD resulted in rather flat and uniform columns rising from each site. After a little statistical research I decided to assume the data is normal (it isn't) and calculated Z-scores which I then summed and amplified for each site to provide a height for the columns.

As a result of the above I have updated all of the relevant posts and attachments.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory humefamily 11/19/07 12:38 AM
Andrew, thank you for your diligence in posting the pollution index.
We however have been targeted at lot 7 North Yalverton Western Australia - as the Barwick Estate wines - this is not true. We are a small non-used lot which sometimes runs cattle. We don't use pesticides and would eventually like to get our organic license - so your post could be damaging for us in the future. I am not sure where in the area Barwick wines are but it is definitely not where you have posted your note.

Thanks for understanding
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory rescue_oz 11/25/07 10:07 PM
Humes Blacktown Concrete Facility is shown in my neighbours backyard, it is about 200 meteres east on the other side of the road, next to the steel mill and the fibreglass insulation factory, both of which produce a lot more pollutuion
Re: Community-contributed location correction tegandrew 1/14/08 2:43 AM
I have updated the placemark collections in this post and its sister post with a link in each balloon that will take you to a website I have created where you can quickly and easily change the location of a site using Google Maps.

I will use the community generated corrections to site locations to update the placemark collection on a regular basis. If I get a popular response I will package the corrected locations and submit to the NPI for updating of their source data.

So to all those who have pointed out inaccuracies in the location of sites - here is your chance to set the record straight!

Note that this placemark collection is in the Google Earth Community layer (both regular and "best of") and that it may take up to a month for changes to be reflected in those layers. All comments are welcome, especially on the corrections website I created.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory CountChocula 1/30/08 11:22 PM
I am in the business of emissions estimations. In my experience where combustion is the primary source of CO2 (as it is in almost every case) Carbon Monoxide is pretty close to 1% of CO2. This will get you within 5% of your number for GHG.

You can also download public statements from the Greenhouse Challenge programme in Australia for verification - but these are not facility specific.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory CountChocula 2/1/08 2:46 PM
I was trying to get this information from the Google Maps directory which would be a more mainstream path to the data but it doesn't come using any search terms I use.

How do I accomplish this, and if it is not already up there can you perhaps put it there. This would make it easier to search this information if we don't have google earth on a computer.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory robcall 2/2/08 4:49 PM
Riddell Road landfill is located at

Its a pity you're copying false site information all over google maps
Pollution is quite an emotive subject these days-particularly if YOU are dumping markers in somone elses backyard!
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory tegandrew 2/6/08 2:27 AM
Thanks very much for your suggested correction robcall. Pollution is an emotive issue and it is important to get the facts right. With over 3000 locations some are bound to be a bit out.

If you download the latest version you will find a link in each placemark balloon that will help you to quickly and easily correct the location using a visual Google Maps interface. I will then update the main posts on a weekly to monthly basis depending on the number of corrections submitted.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory Corkonian08 2/9/08 7:22 PM
You may no longer be interested in updating this but you have tagged the 7 mile workshop in the wrong place- it should be at 20 44 08S 116 45 37E, and incidentally the Shell depot at Parker Point is the tanks only, just southof your tag.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory tegandrew 2/11/08 4:15 AM
I have uploaded a new collection of the NPI with corrected locations for 9 sites based on community feedback, including every comment in this thread.
Looking forward to receiving many more corrections once these changes make their way into the community layer.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory Hill 2/11/08 8:20 PM
Please read the Inital post. You can help correct misplaced placemarks yourself.


There is now a link in each balloon to enable the Google Earth community to contribute corrections to the location of each site.

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Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory tegandrew 3/15/08 5:53 AM
At the suggestion of an anonymous member of the Google Earth Community I have included a URL in each placemark balloon that links to Wikipedia with the name of the site and the state. For example, /wiki/Big Power Station, Victora

Hopefully this will provide a deeper pool of information and encourage community collaboration on more contentious sites. In many cases there is already a Wikipedia entry for the site and they usually don't match the naming convention I have used, but the redirection capabilities of Wikipedia are excellent and easy to use. It is standard practice on Wikipedia to search for related articles before creating a new one - please do this yourself and use redirects where relevant.

This is somewhat of a new idea and I'm not a Wikipedia expert so all comments are very welcome.

Also, I have updated the locations of another 9 sites based on your feedback.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory tegandrew 4/11/08 3:18 PM
This collection made it into the GEC layer in Google Earth on about 7 April. Since then I've received a ten-fold increase in location corrections. I have updated the collection at the top with a total of 60 community-contributed corrections. I have also repeated the geocoding using what seems to be an updated API.

The NPI released the 2006-2007 data on 31 March. Stay tuned for an update to the latest data. Now updated.

The NPI is holding a conference on 22-23 May at which I'll be presenting on what I've done with their data.
Major Update with 2006-2007 data tegandrew 5/8/08 7:11 AM
I have redone this placemark collection with the following enhancements and updated the above technical discussion to reflect the current situation.

The NPI released the 2006-2007 data on 31 March 2008. This is now incorporated into the placemark collection and the 2005-2006 data has been archived.

After some further reading and consideration I decided that using a normal distribution to compare sites was problematic as there are some very small emissions and very large ones. In order to linearise the data I took the natural logarithm off each emission, calculated the Z-scores then summed exp(Z) for each site and medium (air, water, land). I believe this provides a much more accurate means of comparing sites.

My other big post on the European Pollution Emission Register hasn't had any trouble with formatting in the community collection so I have included the full data in the top post. I'll keep the sister thread going for a while yet to avoid dead links.

Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions, criticism and encouragement.
Presentation to the NPI 2008 Conference tegandrew 7/27/08 6:30 AM
I made a 30 minute presentation and demonstration of the work discussed in this thread to the NPI 2008 conference. The presentation may be of interest or use to some so I have published it on my website.

On another note, there seems to be a technical problem with the NPI info in the community layers. It has disappeared from the Geographic Web layer and the version in the Gallery layer seems to be the very first one that I uploaded and is consequently not very good.
I encourage everyone to download the latest version from the top post in this thread. Stay tuned for the next community layer update...

Re: Presentation to the NPI 2008 Conference Diane9247 8/17/08 12:02 AM
Andrew -

I am amazed by the amount of work you are putting into this valuable post. Thanks for your ongoing diligence!

Less frequent updates from now on tegandrew 10/18/08 5:18 AM
Since the "Best of Google Earth Community" has been removed from an option within the layers I have had very few links from this post. There have been 3 location corrections made since 1 July 2008 compared to 78 made in June 2008. I find it hard to believe that the data set is suddenly highly accurate with respect to location and can only conclude that nobody is looking at it anymore.

The replacement of "Places" doesn't really compare. I believe that users of Google Earth are worse off for loss of access to a moderated collection of placemarks. I suspect that Stefan Green has found out the reason why in this post about politics.

The result is that I question the value of putting hours into something that not many people will look at. I'll keep updating the locations based on corrections received but may not update the whole data set in April 2009 when the NPI releases their new data, especially if they don't publish their unique site IDs as is the current pattern.

All replies or PM's are welcome.
Lead emissions tegandrew 10/26/08 3:38 AM
There has been some news coverage in Australia recently on lead levels in children's blood from industrial emissions. The main towns of interest are Mt Isa in Queensland with the Mt Isa Mines facility owned by Xstrata, and Port Pirie in South Australia with the Zinfex smelter owned by OZ Minerals following the Zinifex merger with Oxiana.

New England Journal of Medicine paper on child blood lead levels and IQ
This paper states "Blood lead concentrations, even those below 10 µg per deciliter, are inversely associated with children's IQ scores at three and five years of age, and associated declines in IQ are greater at these concentrations than at higher concentrations."

Some recent press:
Brisbane Times
The Australian

To get a perspective on comparative heavy metal emissions I created a KML collection of raw emissions. I think this goes some of the way to explaining why there are such problems in Mt Isa and Port Pirie. A little more pollution control and emissions reduction would be a very good thing.
Link to post
Link to download

I haven't attached the download directly to this post as I am trying to avoid duplicate placemarks appearing in the community layer.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory H2H3 4/6/09 7:58 PM
Congratulations on your graphic, textual and easily accessed NPI data on google earth.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory RustyEng 3/11/10 5:44 PM
Nomby (Cattle Feedlot at Billa Billa) is out by about 8km. Should be -28.308,150.290
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory daveroy 4/27/10 5:48 AM
Once again, you have jumped in and posted information you obviously know nothing about. Last time I challenged you -and I was not the only one- about accuracy, (some placemarks 25km out), and "facts", I received a half-smart reply. I vowed never to react to your ramblings again, however the number of people who take your postings as gospel has me very concerned. If I were to post what I would really like to say, the Administrator would not allow it, however I feel I must point out that your misinformation is extremely worrying.
By the way, your placemark at Boulia Qld (also in the wrong place) quoting the pollution from the Boulia Power Station was a classic. Having lived there, I can tell you that the "power station" is a shed containing two main diesel engines and a smaller back-up engine. In fact in my time they were ex council bus engines.
Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory daveroy 4/27/10 5:55 AM
Correcting my previous post today, the Boulia placemark is actually referred to as "Fossil Fuel Electricity Generation". While I appreciate this was most probably not your wording, it actually makes the whole situation even funnier.
Re: Norman Airport Mobil Depot Eyre2005 8/13/10 6:59 AM
Airport Road Normanton is at: -17.685,141.075

The placemark is presently at: -17.670, 140.815

Re: Australia's National Pollutant Inventory thatfamousguy 2/19/11 8:18 PM
Hi Andrew
I really like what you have done here.

Is here any chance you could put up information on pollutants that are released into waterways?

this would be interesting and help people avoid fishing, swimming, surfing or consuming polluted water.