Chilly winter exposes council's smog challenge
Page 1 of 2 ......1:16PM Sunday July 13, 2008
By Chris Ormond


A blanket of smog hangs over Masterton.

A calm and chilly winter has exposed the challenge faced by local councils battling to reduce chimney smoke pollution before 2013.

Environment Ministry air quality guidelines say there should be a maximum of 50 pm10 (fine particle emissions) per cubic metre over a 24 hour period.

In 2013 the guidelines will be enforced and there will be severe consequences for breaches as they are seen as a significant health risk to the public.

Many towns and cities throughout the country have breached those levels many times already this winter.

In Hawke's Bay, levels are already as bad as they were for the entire winter last year.

The vast majority of the problem has been put down to smoke from home fires being trapped in inversion layers during calm and cold weather.

More here.