New live air quality information service
Thursday, 01 September 2005
People can now check the state of air quality in Alexandra and Mosgiel, through Otago Regional Council's new online information service.
The 'AirInfo' site www.orc.govt.nz/airinfo provides information received from recently installed monitoring equipment that measures the amount of suspended particulate matter in the air, temperature and wind speed on an hourly basis throughout the year.
The website allows you to check:
- levels of particulate matter (PM10), air temperature and wind speed each hour for the past two days
- daily averages of PM10 for the past 7 and 180 days
- whether or not the air quality meets the new National Environmental Standard for air.
Chairperson Stephen Cairns said that the equipment installed will help to define the air quality of Otago, providing better information on the timing of excessive PM10 episodes, with real-time data available to Council and the public via internet.
"The information we have from this winter hits home the fact that sometimes our air quality can be very poor," said Cr Cairns. "We really need to look closely at how Otago can clean up the air in its towns."
On 1 September a new National Environmental Standard (NES) for air quality comes into force that sets a maximum average daily PM10 concentration in air at no more than 50 micrograms of fine particles per cubic metre of air over 24 hours.
Previous monitoring undertaken by the Council shows there are several towns in the region where this standard is currently not being met. Most air pollution in Otago comes from smoke.
Under the new standard, from today all newly installed woodburners must have an emission of less than 1.5 grams of particles per kilogram of dry wood burnt, and a thermal efficiency of greater than 65%.
Regional councils throughout the country have until 2013 to clean up polluted air so they meet the national standard.
For more information
03 476 6448 or 021 190 117
Director Environmental Information and Services
03 474 0827 or 0274 943 900