The Ministry for the Environment introduced national environment standards for air quality in October 2004. The 14 standards include:
- seven standards banning activities that discharge significant quantities of dioxins and other toxics into the air (prohibited activities);
- five standards for ambient (outdoor) air quality;
- a design standard for new wood burners installed in urban areas; and
- a requirement for landfills over 1 million tonnes of refuse to collect greenhouse gas emissions.
The standards are mandatory regulations introduced through sections 43 and 44 of the RMA. They automatically supersede local controls placed by local government unless the local government controls are stricter.
In addition, no new high temperature hazardous waste incinerators are allowed to be built, and from October 2006, the use of school and hospital incinerators will be banned unless they obtain a resource consent.
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