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Air Quality Monitoring 2006


Report: TR 2006/52
Author: Jeff Smith


This report presents results of ambient air quality monitoring carried out by Environment Waikato for the 12 months to September 2006. In previous years, air quality monitoring results have been reported on a calendar year basis however, starting in 2006, results are now reported for 12 months ending 1 September. Monitoring sites were located in Hamilton, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti, Taupo and Matamata.

The main air contaminant of concern in the Waikato region is suspended particles (PM10). In September 2004, the Ministry for the Environment introduced a National Environmental Standard (NES) for PM10 of 50 µg m-3 (24-hour average) with one allowable exceedence each year. The NES became effective from September 2005. In the 12 months to September 2006, concentrations of PM10 were measured at all locations, along with monitoring of benzene at three Hamilton sites.

The highest 24 hour average PM10 concentration for the 12 months to 1 September 2006 was 89 µg m-3 recorded at Taupo on 7 June 2006. Recorded concentrations of PM10 during 2006 exceeded the ambient air quality guideline of 50 µg m-3 on five occasions at Gillies Ave, Taupo. This might be extrapolated to around 15 exceedances over the year, because of the one-day-in-three monitoring schedule at Gillies Ave. Continuous PM10 monitoring at Taupo Primary School during 2006 failed to detect any PM10 exceedances, so the continuous monitoring station will be moved to a site that is more likely to represent the poorest air quality in the town.

Six PM10 exceedances were recorded at Te Kuiti for the 12 months to 1 September 2006 and the maximum 24 hour PM10 concentration was 69 µg m-3 measured on 28 June 2006. Two PM10 exceedances were recorded at Hamilton and the highest PM10 concentration of 68 µg m-3 was observed on 29 June 2006. In Tokoroa the highest PM10 concentration of 62 µg m-3 was observed on 29 June 2006 and nine PM10 exceedances were recorded for the year.

In Hamilton, Te Kuiti and Taupo, cool and calm conditions in 2006 were associated with higher PM10 concentrations and greater number of exceedances than during previous years. However, lower PM10 concentrations and decreased number of exceedances occurred in Tokoroa compared with previous years. The anomaly at Tokoroa is almost certainly a consequence of spuriously high PM10 data collected in 2004-2005 due to instrumentation error. Upgrade of the Tokoroa BAM in September 2005 has probably resolved this issue and subsequently resulted in accurate PM10 data.

The highest 24 hour PM10 concentration at Matamata was 34 µg m-3 on 7 June 2006 and no exceedances were recorded during the year.

Passive sampling of benzene at Hamilton for 12 months to 20 September 2006 showed concentrations were lower than results from previous years. For the first time since monitoring commenced in 2003, annual average benzene concentrations at all Hamilton sites were below the guideline value of 3.6 µg m-3 that will become operative in 2010. The most significant influence on ambient benzene concentrations in recent years is likely to have been the progressive reduction of benzene content in petrol from a nationally regulated limit of four per cent in 2002 to one per cent in January 2006.

Air Quality Monitoring 2006
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Table of Contents

  Abstract iv
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Reporting period 4
1.2 Dealing with missing data 4
2 Air quality monitoring in Hamilton 5
2.1 Concentrations of PM10 6
2.2 Meteorology 8
2.3 Concentrations of benzene, toluene and xylenes 11
2.3.1 2005-06 monitoring results 11
3 Air quality monitoring in Taupo 13
3.1 Concentrations of PM10 14
3.2 Meteorology 16
4 Air quality monitoring in Te Kuiti 18
4.1 Concentrations of PM10 19
4.2 Meteorology 21
5 Air quality monitoring in Matamata 24
5.1 Meteorology 26
6 Air quality monitoring in Tokoroa 28
6.1 Meteorology 29
6.2 Concentrations of PM10 33
6.3 Anomalies in the Tokoroa data 36
6.3.1 Elevated baseline 36
6.3.2 Water treatment activities 39
  Summary 42
  References 43
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