Air is a life supporting resource that needs to be protected. Although Northland's air is generally of a high quality, there is air pollution from anthropogenic activities – things humans do – particularly around urban areas.
In order to protect our air quality, the Northland Regional Council developed the Regional Air Quality Plan (RAQP) for Northland. The plan gives guidance to those using our air resource, in addition to specifying rules on what discharges into air are allowed.
The Council has been monitoring air quality in the region since 1996. The main purpose of air quality monitoring is to find out where air pollution might affect human health. The Council has an ongoing programme monitoring pollutants such as particulate matter (PM10) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) in places that are suspected of having occasional poor air quality.
In addition to ambient air monitoring, the Council monitors activities that involve a discharge to air and investigates environmental incidents where the main resource affected is air.
Photo: Smoking chimney in Hikurangi