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Forum paves the way for progress on air quality

“Forum paves the way for progress on air quality”

September 3, 2001

An Auckland Regional Council-hosted Clean Air Forum 2001 has laid a foundation for addressing many of the issues which affect Auckland’s air quality.

Friday’s Forum brought together key players in the oil and automotive industries and the transport and health sectors, to discuss vehicle emissions and fuel specifications and their effect on air quality.

ARC Environmental Management Director Kerry Connolly says the forum participants showed a willingness to hold further workshops on many of the key issues. “With 80 per cent of Auckland’s air pollution caused by vehicle emissions it was heartening to see the willingness of all parties to work together to reduce emissions,” Mr Connolly says.

“There was also widespread agreement on desirable fuel specifications with a number of timing issues still to be worked through.”

Keynote speaker Mike Kenny of the California Air Resources board sounded a warning to all participants over the health risk of some particular aspects of New Zealand fuels.

With a wealth of international research behind him, Mr Kenny told the Forum that diesel particulate “causes cancer and causes death, its as simple as that.”

Mr Kenny identified the level of sulphur in diesel as one of three key air quality problems New Zealand, especially Auckland, faces. The other two are carbon monoxide emissions and the level of benzene in petrol.

Mr Connolly says the fact that Auckland’s diesel fleet is increasing rapidly and New Zealand diesel contains a higher level of sulphur than almost anywhere else in the world makes this aspect a priority for the region. “There’s no doubt that the forum confirmed this and the ARC will continue to work with all parties towards a variety of innovative solutions to Auckland’s air quality problem.”

For further information please call:
Kerry Connolly ARC Director of Environmental Management, Phone 366-2000 ext 7030, Mobile 021 273 9907;
Simon Roche, ARC Communications, Phone 366-2000, ext 8100, Mobile 021 656 380.

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