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

 


ORC finalist in Green Ribbon awards


ORC finalist in Green Ribbon awards


The Otago Regional Council has been named as a finalist in the public sector leadership category of the Government’s annual Green Ribbon environmental awards for its ongoing work with the community to improve air quality in the Otago region.

The Green Ribbon Awards are run by the Ministry for the Environment and recognise outstanding contributions by individuals, organisations, businesses, and communities to protecting and enhancing New Zealand's environment.

The awards are open to all individuals and organisations in New Zealand. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Parliament on June 5, which is World Environment Day.

Announcing the finalists, Environment Minister Amy Adams said improving air quality throughout the Otago region has been a priority for ORC, which has adopted a strategy of encouraging “best practicable technology” for new and renewing discharge-to-air-consents.

The minister said by working in conjunction with industrial and commercial interests, ORC had helped achieve reduce, or bring about commitments to reduce, the volume of smoke particles being discharged into the air by several tonnes over the last six years.

“The Otago Regional Council identified a specific problem, and dealt with it in a way that got stakeholder buy-in to achieve results. The strategy has already produced results, with further improvements in air quality expected,” Ms Adams said.

Nominations for the awards were assessed by a panel of judges for significant environmental benefit, measurable and tangible results, innovation, awareness-raising and going the extra mile.

Ms Adams said: “All the finalists have shown great dedication and initiative. I am looking forward to meeting them and learning first-hand about the great work they are all doing to help New Zealand’s environment.”

There are 11 award categories recognising individuals, businesses, communities, and youth, as well as larger organisations. There were 217 nominations received for the awards, which are being held for the 23rd time.

ORC director of resource management Selva Selvarajah said the council had incentivised resource consent applicants with coal-fired boilers to invest in upgrades and install modern, efficient technologies, including filtration of pollutants and conversion to woodchips or pellet technologies. It had done this by offering ‘grace periods’ for installation with 35-year term discharge consents to businesses and organisations seeking new or renewed consents for discharges-to-air.

These types of consents would ordinarily be granted for much shorter periods and might require public notification.

Many applicants had recognised the benefits to their business of installing cost efficient cleaner burning technologies, and the long-term certainty this gave them. In many cases substantial improvements had been made, Dr Selvarajah said.

“ORC’s vision is to ensure that Otago air is safe to breathe. We promote discharge standards that are likely to meet any international standards on emission rates.”

Approximately 15 industries and schools have already reduced, or committed to reduce their PM10 or sulphur emissions by the end of this year. In most instances, emissions have fallen by as much as 85 percent compared to original discharges.

Major industries that were previously discharging 25-50kg/hr of PM10 were now discharging 3-5kg/hr. Others that had been emitting 900 milligrams per cubic metre of air concentrations were now emitting just 50 milligrams per cubic metre of air

Many of Dunedin’s high schools and colleges have also significantly reduced their emissions, in some cases by more than 90 percent, by switching fuel sources from coal to wood chips, pellets, or gas.

“This is the sort of council work that often proceeds without fanfare, but it produces very visible and positive results for the community, all the parties involved, and the environment,” Dr Selvarajah said.
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Post Cab Presser: Inquiries And Consciences

    This afternoon the Prime Minister John Key announced that his cabinet had drafted terms of reference for the Havelock North water contamination inquiry... In response to questions on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister said he didn't think allowing National MPs a conscience vote was warranted. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news