Emissions from non-road engines can be a significant source of air pollution in some urban air-sheds. Non-road engines include:
- lawnmowers and leaf blowers
- recreational boats
- rail transport
- construction equipment (e.g. backhoes)
- agricultural equipment (e.g. tractors)
- industrial equipment (e.g. forklifts)
- utility equipment (e.g. generators and pumps)
Non-road engines are a significant source of pollution because they don't have the same advanced emission controls found on road engines. They emit sooty particles at much higher rates and contribute to ground level ozone formation. Ozone is a pollutant that impairs lung formation and is a key ingredient of smog.
In the context of air quality, the concern with ozone is the high levels that can occur at ground level. This issue is different from depletion of the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Read more about Ozone and Synthetic Greenhouse Gases
To aid in the management of these emissions the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts is working with state, territory and local governments as well as industry to identify the contribution of emissions from non-road engines to Australian air sheds.
Work is underway to develop management options to reduce emissions from the marine outboard sector and garden equipment sector, which have been identified as significant sources of emissions in urban areas.