Objective 7-2, Policies 7-5, 7-6 and 7-7, and the associated methods set out a framework to reduce or manage fine particle (PM10*) levels in order to meet the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards Relating to Certain Air Pollutants, Dioxins, and Other Toxics) Regulations 2004.

The Ministry for the Environment released these regulations in September 2004. One of the standards applies to PM10* which can adversely affect people’s health. The regulations require that airsheds are established where exceedance of standards is likely, that PM10* levels are monitored and reduced in those airsheds to the standards set in the regulations by 2013, and that resource consent applications in those airsheds are determined in accordance with regulations 17A and 17C, 18 and 19.

Monitoring results for wintertime PM10* between 2001 and 2003 confirmed that Taumarunui and Taihape exceeded the PM10* ambient standard and Ohakune, Feilding, Dannevirke and Pahiatua had the potential to exceed it. Policy 7-5 specifically targets Taumarunui and Taihape and Policy 7-6 targets Ohakune, Dannevirke, Feilding and Pahiatua at a response level consistent with the PM10* monitoring results mentioned above. Domestic home heating is the most likely main contributor to wintertime PM10* levels. Resource consent applications in the Taumarunui and Taihape airsheds must be determined as per regulations 17A and 17C, 18 and 19.

While Palmerston North remains under the PM10* ambient standard, monitoring will continue, to ensure that PM10* levels remain at an acceptable standard for the city’s population base.