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Regular air quality monitoring is costly and laborious, with often high capital cost associated with the installation of air quality monitoring devices. Various air pollutants (such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulates) can be monitored but much of the monitoring focus on particulate matter. Of the particulate matter, PM10 is monitored widely. PM10 is particulates <10 micrometres diameter which have the potential to cause lung diseases. Some councils measure PM2.5 as well.

If NES is breached for an air pollutant, regional council must publicly notify the breach at least monthly.