After an international agreement entered into force in 2005 to prevent air pollution from ships, the signatory nations were 86. However, New Zealand was not among them. This concerns the residents of Picton, a portside town, who are saying that the ships’ emissions can damage their health as there is not a mechanism to measure the emissions.
Residents of the city are concerned that shipping emissions are damaging their health. However, they don’t know by how much as there is no air monitoring in Picton since 2012?
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Victoria University’s Dr. Bevan Marten said that the air quality in Auckland, Tauranga and Wellington indicates that shipping is a key source of sulphur dioxide emissions. Namely, the burning of low quality bunker fuel oil produces nitrogen oxides and fine particulates, which can harm a human’s health.
However, the Picton Air Quality group decided to take action. According to local media, the city will establish its own air monitoring instrument on Picton’s waterfront. The device would measure four gasses plus particulate matter.
The Government will enable this initiative through funding, which will also be supplemented by the Picton resident and businessman Michael Ogilvie-Lee who will fund as well.
This project will help Picton learn what the air is and identify if there is a problem and what can be done to solve it.
Nevertheless, Interislander general manager Mark Thompson noted that their teams are trying to limit fuel consumption and GHG emissions. For this reason diesel engines produce smoke over short periods when starting and when changing load.
In addition, Mr. Thompson informed that their next generation of ferries will utilize new technologies to make sure even more fuel savings and emissions reduction.