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National Standards for health and environment

16 September 2003 Media Statement

National Standards for health and environment

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs has announced the preparation of a package of National Environmental Standards to protect human health and the environment.

National environmental standards are regulations developed through the Resource Management Act that apply as a national bottom-line control. Non-compliance with a standard will be an offence under the Resource Management Act.

"These standards will provide certainty for decision makers, industries and communities," Marian Hobbs said.

The first standards will control air-borne contaminants including particles, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and ozone. They would ban a range of other activities harmful to air quality such as the burning of tyres and landfill fires. They would also set emission standards for new domestic wood and coal burners.

The air standards will take effect by mid 2004.

Over the next year standards covering the collection of landfill gas, protection of human drinking water sources, application of biosolids (sewage sludge) to land and land transport noise standards for major roads will be developed.

"There is a high level of support for the development of standards from both local government and industry," Marian Hobbs said. "By creating bottom lines, the standards will provide certainty for industry during the resource consent process, and will stop those who continue to unacceptably pollute our environment."

Local Government, industry and the public will be able to comment on the proposed air quality standards in the next few months.

Details are available on: www.mfe.govt.nz/laws/rma/standards/index.html


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