Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Air Quality, Improved Results for Hawke’s Bay

17 October 2012

Air Quality, Improved Results for Hawke’s Bay

Napier had much clearer air this winter and in Hastings the overall level of pollution has dropped noticeably.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council scientists and the Heat Smart programme team reported the positive results to Councillors this week.

“It’s great to see air quality improving across our cities as residents make an effort to upgrade their home heating and insulation, but we can’t ease up as there’s still a way to go to get consistently clear air in winter,” says Councillor Kevin Rose, Chairman of HBRC’s Environment and Services Committee.

The National Environment Standard for Air Quality sets a standard of 50 micrograms per cubic metre of PM10 (particulate matter, mostly in smoke from household fires) averaged over 24 hours.

In Napier the NES has typically been exceeded 3 to 5 times a year at the Marewa Park site. This year, for the first time since continuous monitoring began, there was not a single exceedance. The highest concentration was 49.4 micrograms per cubic metre, just below the NES limit of 50 micrograms.

In Hastings the NES has been exceeded up to 28 times one year, but this year only 10 times. The overall concentration of PM10 was also lower this year; the highest level recorded - 60.4 micrograms per cubic metre - was the lowest winter maximum since continuous monitoring began at the Mayfair site.

This year HBRC installed a monitoring site at Awatoto where the NES was exceeded on one occasion in July - the concentration reached 51.3 micrograms per cubic metre.

HBRC also carried out a PM10 screening monitoring in Waipukurau from June 2011 to June 2012.

“This was to see if permanent monitoring would be necessary in the town, but for the most part air quality was good or excellent,” said Dr Kathleen Kozyniak, HBRC’s senior scientist, air and climate.

She told Councillors that on most monitoring days in Waipukurau PM10 was less than 16.6 micrograms per cubic metre, and the highest concentration recorded was 41 micrograms.

Over the past year HBRC has also commissioned additional work to investigate the air pollution issue.

Golder Associates worked on air quality modelling to estimate the amount of reduction in emissions needed to meet the National Environmental Standard (NES) for PM10 and to investigate the movement of PM10 between and within airsheds. This research showed that very little of the PM10 in Napier’s air zone originates in Hastings and vice versa. However within airsheds, dispersal is significant with smoke drifting into areas, especially from the south.

Environet Ltd assessed whether improvements to domestic heating would be enough to achieve the NES. Air quality and climate are closely linked, as wind and cold temperatures have a role in dispersing pollutants and providing the conditions which lead to the need for home heating.

Both HBRC and Environet Ltd take winter weather into account when comparing PM10 concentrations from year to year. This is done by taking the average of PM10 concentrations only on days when the NES is most likely to be exceeded, otherwise known as “normalised” concentrations, and is a widely accepted practice amongst Regional Councils.

Environet Ltd assessed that, in both Napier and Hastings, the normalised winter PM10 concentration in 2012 was lower than the previous 6 years. They also concluded that the rules and incentives currently in place through HBRC’s Heat Smart programme should be sufficient to achieve the NES.

The main focus of HBRC’s Heat Smart programme is the phasing out and replacement of domestic fires that do not meet current national emission standards. To meet exceedance targets for PM10 it has been estimated that HBRC would need to financially support the replacement of 10,000 domestic fires by 2020. The fire replacement target for Heat Smart up to 30 September 2012 was 1094 and the actual number of replacements taking up HBRC grants/loans has been 1515, and the number accessing EECA subsidies has been 2637.

Home insulation incentives and the Dry Wood Scheme also contribute to the reduction of PM10. Since 2009, 766 homes have taken up HBRC financial assistance for insulation. “Compared to national trends for insulation and clean heat uptake through EECA schemes, Hawke’s Bay continues to perform well, with 23% of houses in the Napier and Hastings airsheds accessing funding, compared to a national average of 13%,” said Heat Smart Manager Mark Heaney.

HBRC Agenda Item is available here.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Digital Evolution: Scoop Independent News Launches "Operation Chrysalis"

From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.

"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.

"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them." More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news