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ARC fires broadside at Fuel Specifications Review

“ARC fires broadside at Fuel Specifications Review”

August 6, 2001

The Auckland Regional Council has today fired the first shot across the bows of the Government’s long-awaited Fuel Specifications Review discussion document.

ARC chairman Philip Warren says that this discussion document of the fuel specifications review fails to take heed of the urgency required when there are serious health and environmental consequences of dirty fuels.

The proposed timing of fuel improvements will see New Zealand lag two years behind the European standard of 50ppm of sulphur in diesel (Europe 2005). The United Kingdom has brought in 50ppm of sulphur diesel five years ahead of the European requirement by using fuel tax incentives.

“With only one refinery in New Zealand, it should be easy for New Zealand to move quickly to cleaner fuels.”

Mr Warren asks how long New Zealanders should have to wait to remove known toxic compounds from our fuel and ultimately our air – which will bring improvements to our health and environment.

“I can’t understand why we need to take two bites at the cherry when we could be going straight to 50ppm of sulphur in 2003/04.

“It is my impression that both Minister of Economic Development Jim Anderton and the Minister in charge of this project Paul Swain are genuine in their attempts to address these issues and that the timing proposed for the changes is up for debate.

Mr Warren says that it will be the voices of Aucklanders that help influence these dates and fuel levels and he urges Aucklanders to make submissions on this document.

“It is obvious that the Government is not getting adequate advice on the health and environmental perspectives on these matters.”

Mr Warren says environmental and health organisations throughout the country must take the opportunity to let the Government know what they think of the document.
ENDS
For further information please call:
Philip Warren QSO, JP, ARC Chairman, Phone 366-2045,
Kevin Mahon, ARC Air Quality Manager, Phone 366-2000 ext 8447, 369
Megan Perry, ARC Communications, Phone 366-2000 ext 7135,

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