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Joining forces to improve air quality

Monday 5 December 2005

Joining forces to improve air quality in Rotorua For immediate release:

Rotorua people will be urged to join forces with Environment Bay of Plenty to improve air quality in the city over the next eight years.

Rotorua’s urban area was recently declared a Local Air Management Area after failing to meet new national standards set by the Ministry for the Environment. The standards are based on levels of particulate matter, the very small particles suspended in air. Particulate matter (PM10) is generally created by poor combustion in vehicles and by wood-burning fires. High levels can have serious health effects, including respiratory problems.

Because of the classification, the regional council has to find ways to reduce levels of particulate matter to the required standard by 2013.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s group manager regulation and resource management Paul Dell says a working party will be set up to give the local community a voice on the issue. It will include representatives from community groups, iwi, the industrial sector and Rotorua District Council.

“It is imperative that we involve the community because the solutions will impact on them.” Mr Dell says.

In parallel with the working party, Environment Bay of Plenty will launch a number of scientific investigations. A key focus will be to understand more about the source of the problem. “The source is likely to be a combination of factors such as home heating, backyard burning, industry and motor vehicles. We need to find out exactly which ones have the most impact.”

ENDS


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