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First winter air quality exceedance for Hastings

Air Quality

Hastings has had its first air quality exceedance for 2017., search #airquality []

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council continuously monitors air quality at St Johns in Hastings and Marewa in Napier. The site at St Johns recorded an average level of 55 micrograms PM10 per cubic metre of air over the 24-hour period to midnight Monday.  Weather conditions mean that smoke levels in the air rose steadily from Sunday morning.   

“This was a little unexpected as Hastings was doing well this year.  However the combination of fine weather, low to no wind and cooler nights, with people lighting fires at home typically leads to smoke building up, even after a fine and sunny day,” says Dr Kathleen Kozyniak, HBRC air quality scientist.

Napier and Hastings have experienced winter air pollution for many years, caused by smoky air held close to the ground by an inversion layer. Small air particles - known as PM10 - are a health issue both inside and outside homes, especially for people with respiratory problems.

Napier has not had an exceedance of the air quality standards for two years.

The Council’s HeatSmart scheme is still available to help people stay warm. The benefit of this is warmer homes, with better air quality around our cities to reach the government’s limits required by 2020. The Council’s scheme also provides financial assistance to replace out-dated wood burners.

National Environmental Standard – Air Quality

The National Environmental Standard (NES) for air quality sets an acceptable limit for fine smoke particulate matter in the air (PM10) of 50 micrograms per cubic metre averaged over 24 hours. As of September 2016, Napier may only exceed the limit once a year. Hastings can exceed no more than three times, before reducing to only one exceedance a year by September 2020.

25 July 2017

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