Assessing discharges of contaminants into air – draft

Auckland Regional Council
Auckland Regional Council
Publication date:

Air is important: we all need to breathe. Maintaining air quality at a suitable level for sustaining life can be affected by the many activities that discharge contaminants into air. Discharges into air can occur from humans, animals, industries, vehicles, residential properties, farms, roads and many other activities. The contaminants being discharged can include heat, water, odour, dust and hazardous air pollutants. Assessing effects from a discharge of contaminants into air can be very difficult and complicated. The effects can include nuisance odour and dust, impaired health and social and economic well being, reduced amenity, and in some circumstances reduced life expectancy and death.

Although many activities discharge contaminants into air this publication is chiefly aimed at assessing the effects from individual point sources. These sources may be industrial or non-industrial activities and may or may not require some form of resource consent. This publication does not deal with assessing the discharge of contaminants into air from diffuse sources such as motor vehicles.

Society’s growing interest in the environment means that this publication has a diverse audience including ‘technocrats’, consultants, lawyers, consent holders and applicants, the public, regulatory agencies and political bodies. This publication attempts to cater for this diverse audience and promote a wider understanding of how the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) approaches air quality. However, activities that require an in-depth assessment of the effects of any discharge of contaminants into air are generally complex and should be dealt with by parties skilled in these matters. This publication is primarily to assist professionals in this area.

This publication is intended to support the various statutory requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and cannot override any requirements or policies given in the RMA, Auckland Regional Policy Statement or Proposed Auckland Regional Plan: Air, Land and Water. Figure 1.1 shows how this publication is intended to fit within the RMA processes.

Essentially, the RMA and the Proposed Auckland Regional Plan: Air, Land and Water set out what activities require consents for discharging contaminants into air in the Auckland Region, and what activities are permitted provided certain criterion are met. This publication is designed to provide technical support for assessing whether activities meet the relevant assessment criteria when applying for a consent to discharge contaminants into air (air discharge consent) or the permitted activity criterion.

Auckland Regional Council TP152

Last updated: 2018-08-27