The RMA Quality Planning Resource

Agrichemical spray drift

Policy AQL7 of the (operative) Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan provides measures for avoiding agrichemical spray drift, and is supported by a range of both regulatory and non-regulatory methods to achieve the policy.

NZS 8409:2004: Management of agrichemicals
Published by Standards New Zealand - September 2004
Provides practical and specific guidance on the safe, responsible and effective management of agrichemicals, including plant protection products (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides), veterinary medicines, fumigants used in rural situations and agricultural use of detergents and sanitizers.

Air quality management areas

The Waikato is an extremely diverse region from an air quality perspective. To address this, Waikato Regional Council has gazetted 20 urban areas as airsheds for the purposes of the national environmental standards for air quality. These include areas where the national PM10 standard is currently exceeded and is being actively managed to achieve compliance by mandated deadlines.

However, the gazetted airsheds also include areas that do not currently exceed the PM10 standard. Some of these urban areas are earmarked for future population growth. Waikato Regional Council is thus strategically managing air quality in all urban areas to avoid and/or mitigate future exceedances of the PM10 standard.

Best practicable option

Policy 6.1.3.4 of the Waikato Regional Plan promotes using the best practicable option approach under appropriate circumstances. The plan includes thorough explanation and principal reasons to support this policy.

Rule 9.1.9 of the Operative Regional Air Quality Plan for Northland includes comprehensive requirements for agrichemical application and uses the best practicable option approach.

Buffer zones and separation distances

Policy A5-1.8 of the Nelson Air Quality Plan specifically addresses location issues with respect to discharges to air. Method A5-1.8.viii of this policy advocates the physical separation of incompatible activities through zoning, buffer areas, covenants or similar mechanisms.

Catch all rule

Rule 6.1.9.2 of the Waikato Regional Plan provides a best practice example of a discretionary catch all rule.

Codes of practice

EnviroPork: The pork industry guide to managing environmental effects has replaced the Code of Practice: Pig Farming (1997). The purpose of EnviroPork is to provide a basic guide that is applicable to all pig farmers, irrespective of size and type of production system. EnviroPork gives an overview of how the RMA works and highlights activities on the farm that may have an impact on the environment.

The Department of Labour's Code of Practice for spray painting involving the use of iso-cyanates.

The Ministry for the Environment's Factsheet For Workshops On Air Pollution And Dust Control.

Cross-boundary effects

Cross-boundary effects are recognised in Section A5-1.10 of the Nelson Operative Air Quality Plan.

District plan / regional plan integration

Issue 5.4 of the Waitakere City District Plan identifies air quality as a significant resource management issue and includes provisions relating to the air quality effects of land-use decisions.

District plan rules

Rules rur20-rur31 of the New Plymouth District Plan differentiates zones and includes minimum separation distances to manage any potential amenity and reverse sensitivity effects on land uses.

The Franklin District Auckland Council District Plan Operative Franklin Section 2000 contains objectives, policies and methods relating to amenity, and conflict between activities in rural areas. Refer to: part 16, rural issues; part 17, objectives policies and methods, rural.

Health effects of air pollution

Updated Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand Study , Kuschel et al. March 2012
This study estimates the impacts (mortality, morbidity and economic cost) of air pollution on health in New Zealand. Estimated impacts are split by source (traffic, domestic, industry, natural).

Home heating

Chapter A5 of the Nelson Air Plan includes objective A5-1, policy A5-1.6 and supporting methods to reduce emissions from home heating.

Rule 36.3.7.5 in the (operative) Tasman Resource Management Plan has a point-of-sale rule that requires non-compliant wood burners to be upgraded when a house in sold.

Nelson City Council has developed a home heating tips webpage on its website. The page includes a number of resources including clean home heating methods and better burning tips. This is an easy to use resource for the public.

Integrated management

Method 6.1.7 in the Environment Waikato Regional Plan clarifies the respective roles of the regional and district councils, and how the relationship between air quality functions and the effects of land uses will be managed.

Information requirements for resource consents

The Ministry for the Environment's Good Practice Guide for Assessing Discharges to Air from Industry provides detailed guidance on the assessment of discharges to air, including information requirements for resource consent applications.

The Auckland Regional Council TP 152, Assessing Discharges of Contaminants to Air (draft) also provides guidance for applicants in the Auckland region.

Section 3.4 of the Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan includes detailed schedules for specific activities for applicants in the Canterbury region.

Plan provisions to meet the national environmental standards for air quality

Chapters 5 and 6 of the Nelson Air Quality Plan sets out objectives, policies and rules on how the Council proposes to achieve compliance with the air standards, as well as managing pollutants not included within the air standards. The Plan includes a straight line path projection for PM10 and objectives, policies and rules to achieve the straight line path. The plan is comprehensive and clear - and working well in practice. The figure below shows improvements in Nelsons air quality since 2001.

 

airshed a yearly data                     

Source: Nelson City Council, 2012

Methods to manage air quality effects from transport

Assessment criteria and methods for assessing discharges to air from transport are provided in the Ministry for the Environment's Good Practice Guide for Assessing Discharges to Air from Land Transport.

The Nelson Resource Management Plan includes objectives (D010.1), policies (D010.1.1, D010.1.3 and D010.1.4) and rules (e.g. RUr.46) relating to the construction of major new roads. Assessment criteria include the noise and air emissions from the road and taking account of the nature of nearby activities.

Chapter 8 - Transportation of the Auckland Council District Plan Operative Manukau Section 2002 contains issues (8.2.2), objectives (8.3.1), policies (8.4.1) and rules relating to managing air quality effects from transport.

Monitoring provisions

Nelson City Council's Operative Air Quality Plan includes comprehensive monitoring provisions. The Plan specifies a range of indicators to measure progress towards specific and measurable anticipated environmental results.

A number of regional councils around New Zealand provide real-time ambient air quality monitoring data on their websites:

Outdoor burning

Tasman District Council has produced the "Good Practice Guide to minimise smoke emissions from outdoor burning" to reduce the adverse air quality effects arising from outdoor burning. This good practice guide is a non-regulatory method described in Chapter 34 of the Tasman Resource Management Plan.

Policy development

Waikato Regional Council Air Quality Strategy

Published by Waikato Regional Council – July 2011

This policy document focuses on compliance with the PM10 standard in the Waikato region. It clearly identifies council’s role and responsibility regarding air quality management in the (extremely diverse) Waikato and sets out a strategy for achieving compliance. Importantly, it acknowledges the need to work closely with local authorities as well as providing important social context (e.g. population, median income) and estimates of health impacts from air pollution in each airshed.

Ngāpuna Dust Operational Plan

Published by Bay of Plenty Regional Council – January 2012

This policy document focuses on compliance with the PM10 standard in the Ngāpuna industrial estate of Rotorua. It outlines a staged approach whereby council will work with industry initially to encourage and educate, moving to light handed enforcement and more education and then finally to enforcement action to ensure compliance by 2016.

Tangata whenua

Whanau Ora Health Impact Assessment
Published by the Ministry of Health 2007

The Whanau Ora Health Impact Assessment tool is a formal approach used to predict the potential health effects of a policy on Maori and their whanau. It pays particular attention to Maori involvement in the policy development process and articulates the role of the wider health determinants in influencing health and well-being outcomes.

The Updated Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand Study discusses, and quantifies, air pollution impacts for Maori in New Zealand. This builds on research by Hales et al. (Hales S, Blakely T, Woodward A. (2010). Air pollution and mortality in New Zealand: cohort study, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. doi:10.1136/jech.2010.112490).

Wood burner references

AS/NZS 4012:1999: Domestic solid fuel burning appliance - Method for determination of power output and efficiency
Published by Standards New Zealand - July 1999
Specifies a method and requirements for determining the heat output and efficiency from batch feed solid fuel burning appliances.

AS/NZS 4013:1999: Domestic solid fuel burning appliances - Method for determination of flue gas emission
Published by Standards New Zealand - July 1999
Specifies a method and requirements for determining the rate of particulate emission from batch feed solid fuel burning appliances.

AS/NZS 4886:2007: Domestic solid fuel burning appliances - Pellet heaters - Determination of flue gas emission
Published by Standards New Zealand - February 2007
Specifies a method and requirements for determining the rate of particulate emission from pellet burners.

AS/NZS 5078:2007: Domestic solid fuel burning appliances - Pellet heaters - Method for determination of power output and efficiency
Published by Standards New Zealand - February 2007
Specifies a method and requirements for determining the heat output and efficiency of pellet burners.

AS/NZS 2918:2001: Domestic solid fuel burning appliances - Installation
Published by Standards New Zealand - November 2001
Specifies requirements for appliance and flue installation for solid fuel burning appliances in dwellings.