· Northland's air is generally of a high quality however urban areas are susceptible to air pollution from human activities, particularly during the winter months
· In order to protect our air quality, Northland Regional Council (NRC) developed the Regional Air Quality Plan for Northland, which became operative in 2003.
· NRC has been monitoring air quality since 1996. The main objective of monitoring is to find out where air pollution might pose a risk to human health.
· Whangarei city is the most likely area to be affected due to its higher population density.
Continue to implement and improve a prioritised State of the Environment monitoring programme based on the Regional Policy Statement and Regional Plans:
· Monitor ambient air quality in line with the priorities of the National Environmental Standard for Air and the Regional Air Quality Plan, including background levels of dust, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide – ACHIEVED
· Report to the Council annually on environmental monitoring activities within three months of the end of the financial year - ONGOING
· Particulate matter (PM10) is sampled at three locations in Northland – Water Street and Robert Street in Whangarei and Donald Road in Kaitaia.
· During the 2007-08 financial year, PM10 levels did not exceed the National Environmental Standard at any of the three sites monitored.
· Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is monitored at one site in Northland – Taurikura Bay, opposite the New Zealand Refining Company Ltd at Marsden Point.
· Peak concentrations recorded in 2007-08 were consistently below the National Environmental Standard and below the current 24 hour ambient air quality standard.