Air Quality Control Bylaw Review

Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback, consultation on the Air Quality Control Bylaw review has concluded.

Air Quality Control Bylaw Review

Final decision and bylaw can be found here.

Since 2010 this bylaw, which is enforced by Bay of Plenty Regional Council, has been a key tool for improving Rotorua air quality. Developing and implementing the Bylaw has been a collaborative process between Rotorua Lakes Council and the regional council.

The proposed revised bylaw contains a number of changes, many of which are minor and are included for additional clarity, and to ensure consistency with the regional rules. However, some changes will affect what types of burners can be installed in houses within the Rotorua airshed. A brief overview of the

Final decision and bylaw can be found here.

Since 2010 this bylaw, which is enforced by Bay of Plenty Regional Council, has been a key tool for improving Rotorua air quality. Developing and implementing the Bylaw has been a collaborative process between Rotorua Lakes Council and the regional council.

The proposed revised bylaw contains a number of changes, many of which are minor and are included for additional clarity, and to ensure consistency with the regional rules. However, some changes will affect what types of burners can be installed in houses within the Rotorua airshed. A brief overview of the changes follows.

The interpretation section contains a number of definitions of terms that are used in the bylaw, the biggest being the inclusion of definitions for each different type of solid fuel burner (coal burner, indoor open fire, multifuel burner, pellet burner, woodburner).

The Point of Sale rule previously required any non-complying solid fuel burner to be removed or replaced in a house before it was sold. There are two key changes to this:

  1. Indoor open fires must now be rendered inoperable and may no longer be replaced with another type of solid fuel burner.
  2. The rule now applies to all buildings in the Rotorua airshed.

A new clause has been added that requires written/photographic evidence of the removal or replacement to be provided to either Rotorua Lakes Council or the Bay of Plenty Regional council.

The “Restriction on Installation of Solid Fuel Burners in New and Existing Houses” rule, known as the New Burner rule, has changed. Previously the rule permitted the installation of solid fuel burners provided they complied with the design standard and thermal efficiency standard of the NESAQ. There are three substantial changes to this rule:

  1. Installation of new burners where there is currently no solid fuel burner installed is limited to pellet burners.
  2. Woodburners may be permitted provided that they replace a woodburner, coal burner, or multifuel burner.
  3. Woodburners must meet a design standard of 0.5 grams particulates discharges per kilogram of dry wood burnt.

Once again, this rule now applies to all buildings, not just dwelling houses.

When considering the proposed revised bylaw for the special consultative procedure, Council requested a social and economic impact report be provided. This report will be available for Council when final deliberations on the revised bylaw are undertaken in August.

Full details of the draft bylaw including Statement of Proposal, the proposed bylaw and submission form are available on this website, from Rotorua Library, Council’s Customer Service Centre at 1061 Haupapa Street, or by phoning Council on 348 4199 during normal office hours. Council is seeking feedback on this proposal. Submissions may be made online or in any written format.

Anyone who makes a submission and who wishes to be heard in support of that submission will have an opportunity to appear before Council to speak to their submission on 13 July 2017.

Submissions should reach Council by 4pm, Friday 30 June 2017.

Council looks forward to receiving your comments.

Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback, consultation on the Air Quality Control Bylaw review has concluded.
  • Reasons for Proposal

    about 2 years ago

    This Statement of Proposal has been prepared to fulfil Council’s obligations under the LGA and to provide sufficient information to the community for well-informed discussion on the amended Bylaw.

    Problem definition

    The National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (NESAQ) set a limit of 50μg/m3 for fine particulates (or PM10). This limit is not a "safe" concentration for fine particulates, but provides an acceptable level of protection for human health while still allowing for normal activities. The current deadline for compliance is no more than three exceedances per year by September 2016, and one per year by 2020.

    Currently,...

    This Statement of Proposal has been prepared to fulfil Council’s obligations under the LGA and to provide sufficient information to the community for well-informed discussion on the amended Bylaw.

    Problem definition

    The National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (NESAQ) set a limit of 50μg/m3 for fine particulates (or PM10). This limit is not a "safe" concentration for fine particulates, but provides an acceptable level of protection for human health while still allowing for normal activities. The current deadline for compliance is no more than three exceedances per year by September 2016, and one per year by 2020.

    Currently, the Rotorua Airshed (the airshed) regularly exceeds this standard. During the 2015 calendar year, the airshed exceeded the standard 13 times.

    The people who are most likely to suffer harm or ill health as a result of poor air quality are the very young, elderly and those with respiratory problems such as asthma and other chronic illnesses such as heart disease. A summary of adverse consequences which result from compromised air pollution include:

    • Poor health
    • Reduced amenity value where the city looks unpleasant
    • Restricted economic development
    • Poor public perception (if Rotorua air quality is not improved, it will rise in the ranks of cities with poor air quality, discouraging visitors and economic development).
  • Key changes to the Bylaw

    about 2 years ago

    The Bylaw contains a number of changes to its regulations that differ from the original 2010 Bylaw. Many of these changes are minor, included for additional clarity, and to ensure consistency with the regional rules.

    However, some changes will affect what types of burners can be installed in houses within the Rotorua Airshed.

    Interpretation

    The interpretation section contains a number of definitions of terms that are used in the Bylaw. The biggest change to these definitions is the inclusion of definitions for each different type of solid fuel burner (coal burner, indoor open fire, multifuel burner, pellet burner,...

    The Bylaw contains a number of changes to its regulations that differ from the original 2010 Bylaw. Many of these changes are minor, included for additional clarity, and to ensure consistency with the regional rules.

    However, some changes will affect what types of burners can be installed in houses within the Rotorua Airshed.

    Interpretation

    The interpretation section contains a number of definitions of terms that are used in the Bylaw. The biggest change to these definitions is the inclusion of definitions for each different type of solid fuel burner (coal burner, indoor open fire, multifuel burner, pellet burner, woodburner). There is also some clarification of the definitions for "replace or replaced", "remove or removed", and "operable" (changed to "inoperable").

    Other minor changes have been made to assist interpretation.

    Point of Sale Rule

    The core requirement of the Point of Sale has been retained. This rule previously required any non-complying solid fuel burner to be removed or replaced from a dwelling house before it was sold. There are two key changes to this.

    1. Indoor open fires must now be rendered inoperable and may no longer be replaced with another type of solid fuel burner. Indoor open fires were phased out in May 2015 by the 2010 Bylaw. Discharges of particulates from this source are now considered to have been removed. Replacement of an indoor open fire with another type of solid fuel burner is therefore introducing a new source of discharges to the Rotorua Airshed, which will not achieve the outcome sought. It has been two years since the phase-out, sufficient time for homeowners to have installed a replacement solid fuel burner.

    2. The rule now applies to all buildings in the Rotorua Airshed. Previously the rule applied only to dwelling houses. Dwelling houses have a specific definition (taken directly from the RMA) that made it unclear whether it applied to buildings used for other purposes, such as businesses and accommodation.

    A new clause has been added that requires written/photographic evidence of the removal or replacement to be provided to Council. While this was usually provided by those affected by this rule, this clause makes the requirement explicit, and it is clear to the public what is required.

    New Burner Rule

    The "Restriction on Installation of Solid Fuel Burners in New and Existing Houses" rule, known as the new burner rule, has changed.

    Previously the rule permitted the installation of a solid fuel burner provided they complied with the design standard (1.5 grams particulates discharges per kilogram of dry wood burnt) and thermal efficiency standard (the ratio of useable heat energy output to energy input not less than 65%) of the NESAQ.

    There are three substantial changes to this rule:

    1. The installation of new burners where there is currently no solid fuel burner installed is limited to pellet burners. Pellet burners are the only solid fuel burner proven to have low emissions in real-life and are not as significantly affected by operator errors (such as burning rubbish) that increase emissions.

    2. Woodburners may be permitted provided that they replace a woodburner, coal burner, or multifuel burner. They may not replace indoor open fires nor any type of solid fuel burner that is designed for a purpose besides space heating (coal ranges, chip heaters).

    3. Woodburners must meet a design standard of 0.5 grams particulates discharges per kilogram of dry wood burnt. This is stricter than the NESAQ requirement. Research shows that woodburners discharge significantly more particulates in real life, due to operator error. However, the better the design standard (the lower the discharge) the better the woodburners performs in real life. Ensuring that the best possible woodburners are installed will help achieve the outcome sought.

    Once again this rule now applies to all buildings, not just dwelling houses.

    The design standard and thermal efficiency regulations from the NESAQ have been included as additional clauses to this rule for clarity.

    Minor changes

    Other minor changes include amending or removing redundant dates throughout the document, and some grammatical corrections.