ORC seeking help to review air quality measures

Alexandra's air pollution problem is not made worse by the level of air pollution in Clyde, and...
Alexandra requires an improvement in annual average particulate matter concentrations to meet World Health Organisation guidelines. Photo: Lynda Van Kempen.
The Otago Regional Council has called for a global search for innovative approaches to improve the region’s air quality.

As the council prepares its next air plan, due to be notified next year, it is seeking help to review its previous work, including the 2018 Air Quality Strategy, Clean Heat Clean Air programme and the annual Burn Dry Breathe Easy education campaign.

Tender documents obtained by the Otago Daily Times show the council is seeking a recommendation for a proposed scope for its 2025 Air Quality Strategy and to identify "whether location-specific approaches, region-wide approaches, or a combination of both, would be most effective".

Successful bidders would review rules or strategies to improve air quality in other parts of the country as well as research case studies employed by local governments around the globe.

The consultants would make recommendations on how to improve air quality and check to make sure the strategies would not create issues elsewhere.

The request for proposals said the work required was not assistance in developing the air quality strategy itself.

Further, the work would not duplicate, but build upon an Environet report, "Air Quality Management in Otago", completed late last year.

That report evaluated the air pollution reductions required in Arrowtown, Alexandra, Cromwell, Clyde, Milton, Mosgiel and Dunedin.

It noted Alexandra and Cromwell required the most improvement in annual average particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations to meet World Health Organisation guidelines.

In those places a 57% reduction in annual average PM2.5 was required to meet the international target.

The places with the least improvement required in annual average PM2.5 were Mosgiel (a 23% improvement) and Dunedin (32%), it said.

It also said the main source of particulate matter in Otago towns was solid fuel burning for domestic heating, while noting a large proportion of households (more than 90%) had ceiling insulation, while only 40% of homes (excluding Mosgiel at 48%) had underfloor insulation.