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

 

Air quality improving in the Waikato region: report


4 September 2019


Air quality is improving in the Waikato region, but indications are that Tokoroa is unlikely to meet national environmental standards next year.

That’s the finding of a report, Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Report for the Waikato Region – 2017, just released by Waikato Regional Council. The report provides an update on the state and trends of air quality at various urban locations around the Waikato region up to the end of 2017.

Senior regional council scientist Jonathan Caldwell said the main air pollutant of concern in the Waikato region is fine particulate matter.

“For health reasons we monitor the levels of particles that are small enough to be inhaled (PM10) and in some situations levels of PM2.5 which are even smaller sized particles able to penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream,” Mr Caldwell said.

“The good news is that we’ve found improving trends for PM10 levels in Tokoroa, Taupō, Te Kūiti and Putaruru and that’s mainly due to the installation of efficient woodburners or other home heating appliances,” he said.

But despite further air quality monitoring up to mid-2019 also indicating continuous improvement, Tokoroa is unlikely to meet the National Environmental Standard for Air Quality (NESAQ) compliance target of no more than one exceedance per 12 month period by September 2020.

Monitoring of PM2.5 over the last three years in Tokoroa indicates that compliance with the World Health Organisation annual average PM2.5 guideline, if adopted as a national standard through the current review of the NESAQ, is also unlikely to be met.

Emissions from non-compliant fireplaces and the burning of wet wood have been identified as the greatest contributors to poor air quality in Tokoroa.

To address air quality in Tokoroa, the Warm Homes Clean Air project was established in 2007 by Waikato Regional Council and South Waikato District Council.

The partnership project has included both full and partial subsidies for replacement of non-compliant woodburners with clean heat installations such as NES-compliant burners or heat pumps, as well as education and awareness campaigns around burning dry wood and correct operation and maintenance of woodburners.

“Additional or alternative intervention is going to be needed to improve Tokoroa’s air quality,” Mr Caldwell said.

In response, an air quality education and behaviour change plan has been developed by the regional council with the following objectives:
• Grow education, awareness and behaviour change around best practices for burning.
• Increase uptake of clean heat replacement incentive schemes offered by the councils.
• Facilitate community-led action for improving air quality.
• Understand the communities’ perspectives around community-led action for improving air quality.
• Explore, research and develop synergistic opportunities with other government agencies and regional partners.

The regional council has begun further engagement with key stakeholders and a shared vision to improve air quality has been established. The regional council will work alongside key stakeholders, including the community, to achieve these objectives.

The report can be found at: www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/tr201815.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels