In late July we submitted on the proposed amendments to the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (NESAQ). The submission, which was based on a very thorough report by committee member Peter Robinson, concentrates on the proposed change in particulate emission standards from PM10 to PM2.5, a much more rigorous way to set the national standard for pollution.
If you don't have time to read the whole thing, the gist of it is in the summary.
Changing to the WHO Guideline for PM2.5 from PM10 does not actually solve the problem for Arrowtown. It simply doubles the number of annual incidents of high daily particulate emissions in Arrowtown and makes it much more difficult to find a solution that is not based on banning all wood burners. AVA would prefer the rule changes be implemented once there is clear information about what to do in relation to existing wood burners and their health impacts on Arrowtown residents.
...In particular, the timetable for any major changes affecting wood burner use in the medium and long term needs to be understood. A clear strategy must be published for improving the reliability of the electricity supply to alternative “clean” heating options and needs to be in place prior to adopting the changes.
...AVA shares the aim of improving air quality in Arrowtown to ensure improved health outcomes for the residents. Significantly, the AVA is aware of the concerns of the residents relating to the health effects of not being able to afford to heat homes with alternatives to wood burners.