Timaru’s air pollution standards breached for the twenty-third time 

Air pollution standards were breached yet again in Timaru.

Timaru had its 23rd high population day on Wednesday – more than the number of breaches recorded by the same time last year and the first time air quality standards were breached this month.

The latest breach recorded by Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) monitoring station at Anzac Square showed the 24 hour average PM10 concentration for August 10 was 65 micrograms of suspended particulate per cubic metre of air.

PM10 refers to particulate matter in the air that is smaller than 10 micrometres in diameter. A reading more than 50 micrograms indicates “high” pollution under the national environmental standard.

Timaru had 15 high pollution days by July 4 last year. Since 2006, there have been anywhere between 27 and 37 days of high pollution by the same day.

So far this year, the Timaru station has recorded the most high pollution days of all centres monitored by the regional council.

Kaiapoi has had seven high pollution days, Rangiora has had six, Christchurch has had five, and Ashburton has had two. The Geraldine and Washdyke stations recorded one breach this year. Waimate has not had a high air pollution night so far this year.

All but two of Timaru’s breaches this year happened in June and July.

ECan’s Canterbury Air Regional Plan, which will become operative later this year, ultimately aims for Timaru to have fewer than three high pollution nights per year.

Timaru’s PM10 readings this year:

August 10: 65mcgs (9C, -6C)

July 27: 51mcgs (15C, -2C)

July 26: 56mcgs (11C, -3C)

July 22: 51mcgs (12C, -4C)

July 12: 69mcgs (10C, -4C)

July 11: 57mcgs (8C, 4C)

July 4: 60mcgs (19C, 2C)

July 3: 88mcgs (16C, 0C)

July 2: 62mcgs (11C, -5C)

July 1: 58mcgs (9C, -4C)

June 29: 57mcgs (12C, -1C)

June 22: 67mcgs (15C, 4C)

June 21: 56mcgs (10C, 5C)

June 18: 58mcgs (11C, 0C)

June 17: 74mcgs (17C, -3C)

June 16: 55mcgs (14C, -2C)

June 9: 70mcgs (16C, -2C)

June 8: 70mcgs (10C, -5C)

June 7: 73mcgs (11C, -3C)

June 6: 59mcgs (13C, -2C)

June 4: 51mcgs (15C, -2C)

May 2: 51mcgs

March 10: 55mcgs

(Sources: Environment Canterbury, Metservice)

Source: Timaru’s air pollution standards breached for the twenty-third time | Stuff.co.nz

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