Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is celebrating the fact that Hastings and Napier met their national air quality targets this year.
The results are backed up by a recent home heating survey that shows a significant reduction in air quality (PM10) emissions over the past 15 years since the Regional Council’s Heat Smart programme began.
“Well done to Hastings and Napier for meeting the targets – we’ve got cleaner and healthier air for our community to breathe as a result,” says Regional Council Principal Scientist Air Kathleen Kozyniak.
Air quality rules are set under a national standard. The rules allow one exceedance each year for Napier and three for Hastings. An exceedance occurs when more than an average of 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air of PM10 (Particulate Matter smaller than 10 microns) is measured over a 24-hour period.
The Regional Council’s recent urban home heating survey shows significant reductions in PM10 emissions from 2005 to 2020. The survey asked over 1,000 people about their home heating in Napier, Hastings, and Havelock North. It also looked at transport, shipping, industrial and commercial activities, and domestic outdoor burning.
“Domestic heating was the main source of air pollution in airzone 1 of the airsheds, responsible for around 85% of daily emissions in winter. Shipping and outdoor burning came in below this. This works to more than 1,300 kilos of PM10 emitted across the three urban areas on an average winter night,” says Dr Kozyniak.
“While these results are positive for our region, they don’t mean we can be complacent. We still need to aim higher for the health of our community,” she says.
Regional Council Sustainable Homes programme manager Mark Heaney says he’s pleased with the results of the survey.
“Napier hasn’t had any air quality exceedances in the last five years and Hastings has had a solid decline, thanks to people changing how they heat their homes. Since 2005, we have replaced 12,067 wood burners which shows how much the community care about protecting their air quality and their health, he says.
“We’re committed to making Hawke’s Bay air cleaner and healthier. We offer the Sustainable Homes programme with support to replace non-compliant wood burners across Hawke’s Bay to help fund warmer, drier and healthier homes. This also includes a Good Wood scheme in partnership with approved dry wood sellers.”
If you see any illegal burning or smoky chimneys let the Regional Council’s pollution hotline know on 0800 108 838.
While this is a win for urban areas, rural areas are struggling with the issue of outdoor burning. Air quality rules will be considered in the wider Regional Resource Management Plan review which is scheduled to begin in 2021.
Find out more about our air quality monitoring.
14 September 2020
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