Air quality legislation

National Environmental Standards for Air Quality

In 2004, National Environmental Standards for Air Quality were introduced under the Resource Management Act and amended in 2011.

The standards:

·         ban particular activities that discharge significant quantities of dioxins and other toxics into the air

·         set limits for allowable levels of air pollution

·         set targets for meeting the air quality standards in polluted airsheds

·         require all new wood burners installed on properties up to 2ha to meet a design standard

·         require landfills over 1 million tonnes of refuse to collect greenhouse gas emissions

The Richmond Airshed is a Gazetted Airshed under this National Environment Standard.  Within this airshed, the Council is required to:

·         report on any exceedences in the airshed

·         monitor levels of PM10 in that part of the airshed where there is one or more people, and where the standard is breached by the greatest margin or the most frequently

·         report on air quality when and if the standards are exceeded

·         monitor to measure the effectiveness of the management options it adopts to improve air quality

·         reach a target of no more than three exceedances per year by 2016 of the air quality standard of 50 ug/m3, and once per year from 2020

·         If the airshed air quality does not meet the specified standards, resource consents for new discharges of particulates will be restricted.

Read more about the National Environmental Standards(external link) on the Ministry for the Environment website.

Council uses the following methods to meet our requirements under the Resource Management Act 1991:

·         policies to manage specific air quality issues in our District

·         rules relating to wood burners, discharges for industrial and trade premises, and outdoor burning

·         education and advocacy to promote the use of cleaner domestic heating sources, operation of wood burners and best practices for outdoor burning

·         the Good Wood Scheme

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