Appendix 1: Relationships to other Ministry and government programmes

Air Quality Management Programme

The Ministry's Air Quality Management Programme develops national tools and guidance to promote sustainable local air quality management. It aims to improve the quality, consistency and cost-effectiveness of monitoring and managing air quality in New Zealand. The Ministry works collaboratively with other government departments, councils and other stakeholders.

Current projects include:

  • development of guides on atmospheric dispersion modelling and assessing discharges to air
  • reviewing the Ministry's 1995 Guide to Odour Management under the RMA
  • preparation of a Particle Action Plan to address emissions of particles from all sources, but especially domestic fires, which may include a national environmental standard
  • consideration of indoor air quality - its likely impacts on people's health and responsibilities for its management.

Completed projects published by the Ministry include:

  • Good Practice Guide to Assessing and Managing the Environmental Effects of Dust Emissions (2001a)
  • Good Practice Guide to Monitoring and Managing Visibility in New Zealand (2001b)
  • Good-practice Guide for Ambient Air Quality Monitoring and Data Management (2000a)
  • Emissions Testing and Compliance Monitoring of Discharges to Air (1998c).

Organochlorines Programme

The Ministry's Organochlorines Programme recently sought comment on a draft Action Plan for Reducing Discharges of Dioxin to Air that includes a proposed national environmental standard for dioxin emissions. A large-scale monitoring programme was implemented in the early stages of this Programme to ascertain the level of dioxins and furans in different environments.

Hazardous Waste Management Programme

These 2002 Guidelines include air contaminants arising from the management of hazardous waste. The guideline values and Dioxin Action Plan will be taken into account in developing the Ministry's Hazardous Waste Management Programme.

Climate change policy

In general, both the ambient air quality guidelines and climate change policies aim to manage and, where appropriate, reduce the emissions of contaminants into the air. The Ministry aims to ensure that these programmes are complementary.

Government action on energy efficiency and renewable energy

Energy efficiency is at the heart of the Government's energy policy. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is responsible for achieving the Government's energy policy goals and, specifically, energy efficiency and renewable energy policy. EECA also supports and complements other Government actions to improve the nation's environmental and economic performance, with emphasis on the housing, transport, business, industrial and other sectors with significant energy use.

EECA's focus is on developing and implementing a diverse range of operational energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy conservation programmes. EECA was recently designated a Crown entity role under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2000. The Act has put EECA in a position to lead the Government's charge to engage all sectors of the economy in the drive towards greater energy efficiency and renewable energy uptake.

Many energy-efficiency improvements and greater uptake of renewable energy have direct benefits in terms of reducing air emissions. The links between reducing air pollution and undertaking energy efficiency measures will be examined on an ongoing basis.

Reducing vehicle emissions

The Ministry of Transport leads the development of policies to reduce vehicle emissions. It is currently implementing initiatives in the Vehicle Fleet Emissions Control Strategy (VFECS), and exploring additional measures.

The VFECS package includes:

  • developing a rule to formalise an emissions standards regime for vehicles entering the national fleet
  • providing information and tools to enable the use of environmental capacity analysis and local traffic management techniques to tackle local air quality problems
  • reviewing the automotive petroleum fuel specifications (led by the Ministry of Economic Development)
  • amending the Traffic Regulations to enable the police to enable drivers of excessively smoky vehicles to be fined more easily
  • reviewing the Ambient Air Quality Guidelines and air quality monitoring methods (led by the Ministry for the Environment).

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act

A number of the new air contaminants covered in this document are used (in liquid or other form) in manufacturing and other processes. As a result, their use - and to some extent their disposal - come under the provisions of the HSNO Act. However, ERMA may take some time to evaluate the chemicals and determine specific environmental criteria and conditions of use. Once this has been done, these regulations and requirements will have greater weight than the air quality guideline values.

Environmental Performance Indicators Programme

The EPI Programme develops and uses indicators to measure and report on how well we are looking after our environment. The Ministry is currently collating data and sorting out data management arrangements with monitoring agencies for the Stage 1 air indicators (see Table A1).

Table A1: Air indicators

Indicator Stage

Carbon monoxide

1

Particles (PM10)

1

Nitrogen dioxide

1

Sulphur dioxide

1

Ozone

1

Visibility

2

Particles (PM2.5)

2

Benzene

2

Lichen coverage and diversity

2