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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news