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Timaru air monitoring station moves to Anzac Park

April 21, 2006

ECan’s Timaru air monitoring station moves to Anzac Park

Environment Canterbury’s air monitoring station in Timaru has been moved from the Timaru Main School in Grey Road to Anzac Park in Parkside, where it’s expected to provide ongoing pollution measurement.

Since monitoring cannot continue at the old site, it is timely to move the station now, so that measurements can continue through the winter uninterrupted.

Environment Canterbury senior air quality officer, Teresa Aberkane, says the area around Anzac Park may have worse air pollution than Grey Road and under the new National Environmental Standard, measurements should be taken at the “worst-case site”.

The station consists of instruments housed in a small building and these are used to measure suspended particulate pollution (or PM10) and other gases in the air as well as temperature, wind speed and direction. The National Environmental Standard for PM10 is breached between 35 and 53 times each winter in Timaru, generally from May to August, when evenings are cold, clear and calm and pollution doesn’t blow away.

Most of the pollution comes from home fires. A 2001 survey of air emissions in Timaru found that the majority of households relied on woodburners, open fires and multi-fuel burners for their heating requirements.

When the new station is full operational, hourly concentrations of PM10 will be displayed on Environment Canterbury’s website (www.ecan.govt.nz) and updated every few hours.

ENDS

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