The ‘refreshing’ quality of our Region’s air is the product of our landscape, wind patterns and limited industry.
Despite this, we need to make sure that we effectively manage common localized problems - such as spraying, dust, burnoff, odours and smoky fires to reduce the potential health effects. Horizons must monitor air quality, publicly report any breaches, and then work with our communities to reduce the source of any problems.
Taumarunui and Taihape (and to a lesser extent Pahiatua, Ohakune and Feilding) have winter-time air pollution problems that are largely caused by home fires used for heating. This must be improved by working with our community to provide warmer homes and cleaner forms of heating. If air quality is not improved, Horizons will not be able to issue new resource consents for air discharges in these areas.
Most of the air quality complaints in urban areas (especially Palmerston North) are as a result of backyard burning causing a nuisance to neighbours. To combat this, the proposed One Plan introduces rules that ban backyard burning and rubbish fires in urban areas.
In rural areas spray drift and odour are more of a problem. The proposed One Plan makes compliance with the New Zealand Standard for Management of Agrichemicals compulsory and introduces setback distances for activities that may cause an odour problem.