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Baldock: UF welcomes air quality standards

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 15 July, 2004

Baldock: UF welcomes air quality standards

United Future's environment spokesman Larry Baldock today welcomed the Government's air quality standards package.

"This is the first step to plugging one of the major gaps in the way the Resource Management Act is administered - namely the lack of national environmental standards.

"The proper use of national environmental standards will mean that applicants under the RMA process will have more certainty, which translates to less unnecessary costs and delays," Mr Baldock said.

"I am glad the Government has started with air quality standards because high levels of air pollution, such as that in areas such as Christchurch and Nelson, is not only bad for people's health it is a clear sign that New Zealand's clean green image is under threat and does not necessarily represent the reality.

"I am also pleased to see that these standards have a realistic lead-in time which means there is a good chance they can actually be implemented and enforced without imposing undue economic hardship on those affected and without enabling local authorities to simply argue that implementation is impossible.

"Another sign that the new air quality standards are based on good practical scientific and economical criteria is that modern waste to energy plants have not been placed on the prohibited activities list despite calls by the green lobby to have them banned.

"If these plants meet the emission standards their designers' claim they can meet, they will provide viable alternative to landfills as well as a partial solution to New Zealand's energy shortages.

"Today's announcement is a great first step, and I look forward to seeing more national environmental standards developed in the near future. United Future has and will continue to work with this Government to improve the RMA and we are delighted to see so much progress now being made."

Ends.

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