Cleaner diesel on the way at last
“Cleaner diesel on the way at last”
July 23, 2001
Auckland Regional Council Chairman Philip Warren is delighted that Auckland will be supplied with lower sulphur diesel from next month – even if it’s only for a trial period to begin with.
The Government today endorsed a New Zealand Refinery Company proposal which will see only Auckland supplied with lower sulphur diesel for six weeks from early August followed by a six week nationwide trial period.
The ARC understands that will see sulphur in diesel drop from about 3000 parts per million to 1000ppm for Auckland and 1600-1800ppm in the nationwide trial.
“These reductions are a significant first step in addressing the diesel related air quality issue in Auckland and around the country,” Cr Warren says.
“But this is a beginning, not an end. There is no going back to the standard we have endured until now.
“We need to move forward because there is still much to be done to bring fuel standards in this country into line with the likes of Australia, the United States and Europe.”
The move to lower sulphur diesel comes following an ARC-led campiagn aimed at using exisiting oil refinery capacity to supply cleaner (1000ppm) diesel to Auckland.
Cr Warren says Auckland is the hub of the national problem when it comes to fuel quality with 700,000 motor vehicles in the region and 80 per cent of its air pollution caused by vehicle emissions.
Reducing the sulphur content in Auckland’s diesel will remove up to 1000kg per day of potentially carcinogenic particles out of the region’s air.
“If the Government is looking to see which trial is more effective the answer is obvious. Auckland has the biggest vehicle emission problem so targeting Auckland will produce the biggest gains,” Cr Warren says.
“Last time I looked there weren’t 700,000 cars spewing out exhaust fumes in Eketahuna, Kaikoura, Bluff or, dare I say it, Christchurch.”
Cr Warren says he wants to thank the thousands of Aucklanders who have got behind our campaign and all the organisations and individuals right around the country who have supported the cleaner diesel initiative.
“This campaign has shown what communities can achieve by taking action and working together with local government. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the region’s community on future issues.”
Cr Warren says he would like to think today’s announcement is a serious step towards long term progress.
“I can assure the people of Auckland we will continue to keep the Government and the oil industry honest on this issue.”
Cr Warren says he remains miffed that Mobil has held out so long against lower sulphur diesel for Auckland but in light of today’s announcement he is withdrawing his call for a boycott of Mobil service stations.
For further information please call:
Philip Warren QSO, JP
Mobile 025 987 934
ARC Director of Environmental Management
Phone 366-2000 ext 7030
Mobile 021 273 9907;
Phone 366-2000, ext 8100,
Mobile 021 656 380.