Air Enforcement

Nationally, air emissions in 2017 were stated as being " on the wrong pathway for cleaner air" (EPA, 2019). Ammonia emissions rose by 2% that year and trends in increasing ammonia emissions are projected to continue out until 2030. The EPA, however continues to monitor air quality at a high standard (EPA, 2019).

The 2016 EPA report claimed air enforcement was 'Below Target'. This is a small improvement on the ‘Unsatisfactory’ performance in 2015 and ‘Minimum’ in 2014. Specific areas of interest within this include:

  • Performance assessment for solid fuel inspections improved from ‘Minimum’ in both 2014 and 2015 to ‘On Target’ in 2016. However, even though inspection numbers nearly doubled since 2012, there are still a number of local authorities not carrying out any inspections in this area.
  • Gradual improvements have also occurred in the areas of decorative paints and solvents inspections with ‘Below Target’ performance in 2016 compared with ‘Minimum’ and 'Unsatisfactory’ in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
  • Petroleum vapour enforcement continues to be neglected with an ‘Unsatisfactory’ assessment in 2016, the 3rd year in a row this occurred.
  • Enforcement of air indicators examined continues to be inconsistent nationwide, with some local authorities completing all planned inspections and others having a very low percentage completion rate.

Overall, 19 local authorities were 'Excellent', 5 'Above Target' or 'On Target', and 7 'Below Target', 'Minimum', or 'Unsatisfactory' with respect to air enforcement in 2016.

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