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CER Act used to realign Clean Air Zones

CER Act used to realign Clean Air Zones

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has used the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 to ensure new urban areas will be covered by the same air quality rules that protect existing residential areas of the region.

Acting on an application from Environment Canterbury (Ecan), the Minister has used Section 27 of the CER Act to amend the Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan (NRRP) and redefine some of the region’s Clean Air Zones.

Clean Air Zones are used by Ecan to manage air quality controls, which includes restricting the use of wood burners and ensuring the emissions created in a built-up area do not have an adverse impact on air quality.

The Minister’s decision has also inserted provisions for some low-emission woodburners to be used in these Clean Air Zones, which will give new home owners another heating option.

Mr Brownlee says amending the NRRP ensures the development of new urban areas does not have a detrimental effect on the wider community, and using the CER Act enables the change to be put in place as quickly as possible.

“It’s important to ensure the development of new areas of our region fit with the work Ecan has already done in improving our air quality,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Smog and emission levels have long been an issue for Christchurch, and despite the challenges we face since the earthquakes, we should not go backwards in our aim to improve quality of life.”

The realigned Clean Air Zones will apply to any land zoned for urban residential use from 11 June 2011.

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