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Invercargill’s air quality breaches national standards

Media Release

Invercargill’s air quality breaches national standards

Invercargill’s air quality is now in breach of the Government’s National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (NES).

The standards allow for one exceedance per year of the pollutant PM10, which is set at an average daily limit of 50 micrograms/m3. Invercargill had its first exceedance (52 micrograms/m3) on 1 May. It had its second exceedance yesterday (12 June) recording a daily average concentration of 71 micrograms/m3,putting Invercargill in breach of the NES.

Environment Southland monitors air quality and reports on the results during winter. The built up urban areas of Invercargill City and the Gore township are gazetted airsheds because they regularly exceed the national standards during winter.

Environment Southland Air Quality Scientist Owen West said the still calm, cold weather conditions would have had an impact in yesterday’s high recording of PM10 in Invercargill.

The primary cause of poor air quality in Invercargill and Gore during winter is due to the burning of coal and wood in home fires. The brochure Breathe Easy… Change is in the air was delivered to homes in the Invercargill and Gore airsheds last weekend outlining the home heating issues and options being grappled with in the review of the Regional Air Plan for Southland.

The review is also currently considering outdoor burning, agrichemical and fertiliser use.

For more information about air quality, air quality monitoring, airsheds and to view the Breathe Easy… Change is in the air brochure, please visit www.BreatheEasySouthland.co.nz


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