Past studies and investigations have shown that Blenheim, and in particular Redwoodtown, have the poorest air quality in terms of PM10. PM10 is also a problem in certain areas of Picton. On average there are three to five exceedances of the National Environmental Standards (NES) for PM10 in Blenheim; most of these are measured at the Blenheim Bowling Club in winter.
Wintertime (May to August) is when meteorological conditions (cold, still air conditions) are most conducive to elevated PM10 concentrations and it is also the time of year when solid fuel (wood and coal) is burned for home heating. PM10 is measured over 24 hours from midnight to midnight. Fine particulate matter from the air is deposited on a filter; the darker the filter after sampling, the poorer the air quality.
- PM10 monitoring sites located in Blenheim and Picton
- Compliance with the NES for PM10 in Blenheim for the first time
Management options being considered to reduce PM10 concentrations in Blenheim:
- Ban on open fires
- Ban on urban outdoor burning
- Replacement of woodburners after 15 years
- Apply the NES for woodburners to all solid fuel burners
- Trends analysis to determine how PM10 concentrations have changed in five years