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Awatoto Air Exceedances a Mix

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council operates an air quality monitor at Awatoto to measure concentrations of particles in ambient air in this industrial and coastal area. The monitor can pick up pollutant particles emitted from industry, as well as wind-blown dust and sea salt. 

On 12 June 2018 air quality at this site exceeded the National Environmental Standard (NES) for Air Quality for particles 10 micrometres in diameter or smaller (PM10).  The exceedance was 57 micrograms per cubic metre of air (the NES limit is set at 50 micrograms per cubic metre).  This was due to sea salt from a stormy sea and on-shore wind.

Ravensdown at Awatoto also operates an air quality monitor as part of its consent, and provides data to the regional council. On 11 April their monitor recorded an exceedance of the NES for sulphur dioxide (SO2).  The NES limit is 570 micrograms per cubic metre averaged over a one hour period, but the monitor recorded 620.6 micrograms per cubic metre.

The SO2 came from the cold-starting of Ravensdown’s acid plant. In this process SO2 is normally released, but this large quantity exceeded the air quality standard and resource consent conditions. 

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council took enforcement action and issued an infringement notice, and the $1000 fine has been paid.

Note About Correct Abbreviations

Please note the abbreviation for micrometres is μm(not ‘mm’) and micrograms is μg (not ‘mg’).

27 July 2018

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