Environment Waikato has come out strongly in support of measures to reduce motor vehicle emissions announced last week by Government.
The new Government initiatives include:
- Emission screening of pre-used imported vehicles as part of pre-registration.
- Regular emission screening of in-service vehicles regularly during their life on the road as part of warrant of fitness or certificate of fitness inspections from mid-to-late 2006. The Government will be taking the viewpoints of interested parties into account before deciding on details of the emissions screening initiatives.
- Education of vehicle users on the need for, and benefits of, regular vehicle maintenance and repair.
Environment Waikato has previously undertaken several major vehicle emission testing programmes in Hamilton and in towns around the Waikato Region. Over 30 percent of all petrol vehicles tested failed a standard carbon monoxide test and over 50 per cent of diesel vehicles failed an exhaust smoke emission test.
The Council has advocated for compulsory emission testing.
Regional Land Transport Committee Chairman David Peart said that with vehicle number increasing by between two to three percent each year and increased congestion in the Waikato Region, pollution from motor vehicles was increasing at a significant rate.
“Environment Waikato also supports the Government decision to change fuel standards to reduce the sulphur content of diesel and petrol fuels. These are being phased in over the next three years to help reduce vehicle emissions.”
Cr Peart said the Environment Waikato would be pushing for early introduction of low sulphur fuels throughout New Zealand as a positive early step to reducing motor vehicle emissions.
“The Council also supports the Government’s intention to take a leadership role where Central Government agencies would preferentially purchase low emissions and fuel efficient vehicles, where this is reasonably practical and within operational requirements,” he said.