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‘Mount Maunganui air quality most monitored in the country’

Mounties can now check local air quality in real time following the addition of 11 extra air sensors to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council monitoring network. The sensors build on the network of 11 existing highly accurate air quality monitors in the Mount Maunganui industrial area, where air pollution is most concentrated.

Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council Compliance Manager Stephen Mellor, said the addition of the new sensors means the council and the community now have a comprehensive network of equipment across both the industrial and residential area checking air quality 24/7.

“Mount Maunganui is a mix of residential and industrial zoned land, which means we’ve got residents living close to industrial activities. The new air sensors provide an indication of air quality in real-time, giving those interested an important local insight.”

“Effective air quality management relies on good data to back good decisions. These new sensors are not as robust as the monitors we contract an independent provider to operate in the industrial area, at some cost, but they do provide a real-time indicator of air quality across the Mount residential area and guidance on how to respond to it.

“Some of the community has been asking for this for a long time and we’re pleased we were able to find an affordable solution that meets their needs,” he said.

The air sensors were put to the test recently after smoke from a fire at Matakana Island put a lot of fine dust into the atmosphere, resulting in a number of calls to the Pollution Hotline.

“It was good to see the systems we have in place working as they should,” he said. “We received eight calls to the Pollution Hotline regarding this event in one night from as far as Greerton, and the air sensor downwind showed a spike in the data, right before the rain arrived.”

People can learn about the new air sensors or check the data in real-time by visiting www.boprc.govt.nz/mount-air or scanning the QR code on the sign at the base of any of the sensors.

 

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