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ARC welcomes cleaner fuels

ARC welcomes cleaner fuels

3 August 2006

The Auckland Regional Council welcomes the Government announcement today that cleaner fuels are on the way.

ARC has been actively campaigning for improved fuel specifications, to help clean up Auckland’s air, since its high profile 0800 Smokey campaign launched in August 2000.

ARC Environmental Management Chair Dianne Glenn says today’s announcement is a big step in the right direction.

“Motor vehicle emissions are the largest single cause of Auckland’s air pollution so the Government’s cleaner fuel initiatives will go some way to improving Auckland’s air quality,” says Cr Glenn

“Auckland’s 740,000 vehicles, which emit thousands of tonnes of toxic air pollutants, are responsible for up to 80 per cent of the region’s air pollution,” says Cr Glenn.

Cr Glenn says although she welcomes today’s announcement, more needs to be done to improve Auckland’s poor air quality because it is a serious threat to the health of Aucklanders.

“A recent report to the Ministry of Transport by health experts around the country estimates that air pollution causes at least 486 premature deaths per year in the Auckland region. 58 per cent of these (253) are due to motor vehicle emissions.”

“We also recently announced that the National Environment Standards for ambient air quality were breached in the Auckland region,” says Cr Glenn.

A recent study by ARC shows that Aucklanders want cleaner air and more stringent standards for air emissions, says Cr Glenn.

“In the study, 87 per cent of respondents agreed that New Zealand should legislate the level of emissions permitted from cars, and 59 per cent of respondents were also aware that air pollution from motor vehicles causes asthma and other respiratory problems. Also 95 per cent of people surveyed agreed that every car owner has a personal responsibility to reduce the amount of air pollution from their car,” says Cr Glenn.

“Making sure your vehicle is regularly tuned is the easiest way to lower emissions, as a poorly-maintained vehicle can release as much as 10 times the emissions as a well-maintained vehicle,” says Cr Glenn.

“ARC is looking forward to seeing further government initiatives which will help clean-up the region’s air and achieve the 53 per cent emissions reduction needed by 2013 in order to meet National Environmental Standards,” says Cr Glenn.

ENDS

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