Community, Environment

Picton pollution to be traced

A new pollution monitor gets the once over in Picton. Photo: Supplied.

Picton’s air quality is to be put under the microscope in a bid to better understand the town’s worst pollution offenders.

Along with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) Marlborough District Council staff have started a year-long study.

Several air quality transmitters and meteorological stations have been installed around the area.

The transmitters will record air quality through both a winter and a summer, operating from July until the end of winter 2020.

Council’s Environmental Scientist Sarah Brand says the study will enable a better understanding of the area’s sources of air pollutants and their significance throughout the year.

“Picton is a unique location, and with population and tourism growth combined with port and industrial activities, we need a greater understanding of the town’s air quality issues,” she says.

Fed-up Picton residents approached council with their concerns last year. The new transmitters are part of the council’s response to pollution concerns.

Continuous monitoring will provide a detailed record of both particulate and gases and where they originate from.

“Previous monitoring revealed that Picton’s topography plays an important part in air movement over the town, so it’s hoped the study will also provide a more detailed understanding of air flows over the area,” Sarah says.

“The study was developed to help address community concerns over the town’s air quality and its sustainable future.

“It has been encouraged and supported by a project team including Council, Te Atiawa, Port Marlborough, the Harbour Master, and community representatives Captain Paul Keating and Mr Brent Yardley.”

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