The national environmental standards for air quality were introduced in 2004 because of a strong need for action on ambient levels of particles in most parts of the country. The standards also laid the foundation for an effective management framework for other pollutants associated with land transport, such as oxides of nitrogen.
In addition to requirements to consider safe and sustainable regional land transport strategies, and national objectives to protect and promote public health, territorial authorities and/or requiring authorities must now consider the national environmental standards for air quality when granting new designations and land-use consents. The assessment of the impacts of land transport development on air quality can, however, be highly technical and complex.
In response to the need for guidance, in June 2006 the Ministry for the Environment published a Draft Good Practice Guide for Assessing Discharges to Air from Land Transport for consultation. A number of submissions on the draft document were gratefully received, and the guide was updated to reflect the comments and information provided.
This updated Good Practice Guide for Assessing Discharges to Air from Land Transport provides clear, comprehensive guidance on exactly how to consider the impacts on air quality from transport development. The guide promotes a three-tiered assessment approach and makes recommendations for which approach to adopt in a given situation. This document is aimed specifically at practitioners (consultants, council officers, scientists and reviewers) making assessments of the effects of discharges to air from land transport projects.
I am pleased to present this Good Practice Guide and encourage practitioners to adopt the recommended protocols in the interests of national consistency and technical best practice.
Acting Secretary for the Environment