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ORC adopts Air Quality Strategy

The Otago Regional Council has adopted a new Air Quality strategy as a continuation of its active programme to address the region’s significant winter air pollution issues. Implemented in 2007, this programme included the setting of strict rules on emissions from domestic heating in urban areas where air quality is poor or at risk of becoming worse in winter.

Over the past 10 years, the ORC has provided education, community information and financial subsidies for the installation of insulation and new, lower emission domestic heating appliances.  Through Council’s Clean Heat Clean Air programme, over 1200 clean heat appliances have been installed in Otago towns.  Most of that work has taken place in the colder Central and Queenstown Lakes areas.  As a result, emissions from chimneys have been cut in half, but there is still a lot of work to do.

ORC’s Tanya Winter, Director Policy, Planning and Resource Management, said:

“The new Air Quality strategy reinvigorates Council’s approach to address air pollution in the region with the aim to achieving “clean air everywhere” in Otago.”

The adoption of the strategy follows on from a staged consultation process. The strategy was shared with key interested parties, then opened for feedback with the community between 9 April and 11 May 2018. During this public consultation, 20 submissions related to air quality were received, with 8 submissions to the proposed Long-Term Plan (LTP) considered.

Following the analysis of the feedback, ORC staff recommended amendments to the draft strategy to Council including the following:

• Highlighting the connections between air quality, housing and energy efficiency and the need for a more holistic approach to air quality management.
• Addressing industrial discharge and traffic emissions; and
• The protection of wahi tupuna and cultural values and committing to addressing those at a later date

ORC’s Tanya Winter, Director Policy, Planning and Resource Management, said:

“Council agreed that further feedback identifying ways to achieve good regional air quality will need to be considered over the forthcoming year, with any changes to the draft implementation being addressed through the annual plan process.”

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Tanya Winter - Director Policy, Planning and Resource Management –
tanya.winter@orc.govt.nz

Emma Schranz - Senior Media Advisor - 0276275894
emma.schranz@orc.govt.nz