I hereby give notice that an ordinary meeting of the Regulatory and Bylaws Committee will be held on:

 

Date:                      

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

9.30am

Reception Lounge
Auckland Town Hall
301-305 Queen Street
Auckland

 

Regulatory and Bylaws Committee

 

OPEN ADDENDUM AGENDA

 

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Cr Calum Penrose

 

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Denise Krum

 

Members

Cr Bill Cashmore

 

 

Cr Linda Cooper, JP

 

 

Cr Alf Filipaina

 

 

Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM

 

 

Member John Tamihere

 

 

Cr John Watson

 

 

Member Glenn Wilcox

 

 

Cr George Wood, CNZM

 

Ex-officio

Mayor Len Brown

 

 

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse

 

 

(Quorum 5 members)

 

 

 

Rita Bento-Allpress

Democracy Advisor

 

16 October 2014

 

Contact Telephone: (09) 307 7541

Email: rita.bento-allpress@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 

 


Regulatory and Bylaws Committee

21 October 2014

 

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                        PAGE

  

12        Introduction of a new Air Quality Bylaw                                                                     5   

 

    


Regulatory and Bylaws Committee

21 October 2014

 

 

Introduction of a new Air Quality Bylaw

 

File No.: CP2014/12495

 

  

Purpose                              

1.       The purpose of this report is twofold.  Firstly to recommend to the governing body that a bylaw is the most appropriate way to manage emissions from indoor fires to improve public health and meet our statutory obligations under the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2004.  Secondly, to recommend that the governing body adopts the attached Statement of Proposal (which includes a summary of information and the proposed Air Quality Bylaw 2015) for consultation using the special consultative process of the Local Government Act 2002. 

Executive summary

2.       Indoor home heating fires produce small particulates (PM10 and PM2.5) that are a serious air pollutant which can cause adverse health effects.  Home heating fires are estimated to be responsible for 41 per cent of total annual PM10 emissions in urban areas and 43 per cent of total annual PM2.5 emissions.  On a typical winter’s day, however, home heating emissions account for 75 per cent of PM10 and PM2.5 emissions. 

3.       In Auckland indoor open fires and older (pre 2005) non-compliant solid fuel burners cause about 85 per cent of PM10 emissions from indoor home heating because of their inefficiencies and age. Open fires in particular are the least efficient form of home heating and are about 15 per cent energy efficient (compared to 65 per cent efficiency required for new wood burners); they also emit much more fine particulates than new wood burners.

4.       The Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2004 (AQNES) introduced ambient air quality standards, including for PM10 particulates.  The threshold concentration for PM10 is 50 micrograms per cubic metre is expressed as a 24-hour mean.  An airshed is classified as polluted on and from 1 September 2012 if the airshed average exceedance of the PM10 threshold (averaged over the immediately prior 5 year period) is more than one per year.  The Auckland urban airshed (see appendix one of the statement of proposal) is officially polluted because over the last five year period the exceedances of the PM10 threshold averages more than one per year– it averaged two.  From 2016 the regulations allow only one exceedance of the threshold concentration of 50 micrograms per cubic metre in a 12-month period.  A halving in emissions from indoor fires in the Auckland urban airshed will be required in order to meet this requirement. 

5.       A proposed bylaw is recommended for the management of indoor fires to reduce the emissions of fine particles from open fires and wood burners.  The proposed bylaw will:

·  largely continue existing general rules on what can and can’t be burned in all indoor fires in the Auckland Council area to limit nuisance and adverse health effects.  However, with the making of the bylaw in 2015 the restriction on the burning of low sulphur coal is expanded to prohibit the use of coal for home heating

·  largely continue existing regional and AQNES emission and efficiency standards for all new home heating fires except those in rural areas

·  introduce with the making of the bylaw in 2015 rules requiring the removal of (pre 2005) wood/coal burners that do not meet the design (emission) and thermal efficiency standards of the AQNES and the disablement of indoor open fires in the Auckland urban airshed by the owner of those fires before a property is sold

·  introduce a proposed prohibition on the use of existing indoor open fires in the Auckland urban airshed on 1 October 2016,

·  introduce a proposed prohibition on the use of existing wood/coal burners in the Auckland urban airshed that do not meet the design (emission) and thermal efficiency standards of the AQNES on 1 October 2018.

The bylaw will include provisions that will allow the council to require the permanent decommissioning of indoor fires where the fire owner fails to comply with the prohibition on its use.

 

 

Recommendations

That the Regulatory and Bylaws Committee:

a)      recommend to the governing body of Auckland Council that it resolves (i) to (vi) as follows:

i)        that a bylaw is the most appropriate way for the council to reduce particulate emissions from indoor home heating fires to improve public health and to meet its obligations under the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2004.

ii)       that the proposed bylaw included in the attached “Statement of Proposal – Introduction of an Air Quality Bylaw 2015” (attachment A) is the most appropriate form of the bylaw.

iii)      that the proposed Air Quality Bylaw 2015 attached to the report (Attachment C) is not inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

iv)      that pursuant to sections 83 and 86 of the Local Government Act 2002, the statement of proposal and the proposed Air Quality Bylaw 2015 be adopted for public consultation.

v)      that the council commences the special consultative procedure pursuant to section 83 of the Local Government Act 2002 during November 2014.

vi)      that the Manager of Policies and Bylaws be authorised to make any minor edits or amendments to the statement of proposal (including the proposed bylaw) to correct any identified errors or to reflect decisions made by the Governing Body before public notification of the bylaw.

b)      that the Manager of Policies and Bylaws be authorised to make any minor edits or amendments to the statement of proposal (including the proposed bylaw) to correct any identified errors or to reflect decisions made by the Regulatory and Bylaws Committee before public notification of the bylaw.

 

Comments

 

Background

6.       Fine particulates arising from combustion processes (PM2.5 and PM10) can be inhaled easily and can lodge in the lungs and adversely affect human health.  In the summer months indoor heating fires in Auckland are the second largest contributor overall to air pollution (motor vehicles are first) but in the winter months PM10 emissions from these fires are the primary pollutant, causing 72 per cent of all PM10 and PM2.5 emissions in Auckland.

7.       A 2012 Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand (HAPINZ) study funded by the Health Research Council showed that each year in Auckland about 110 adults over 30 years old die prematurely because of small particle emissions from home heating fires.  The study also estimates that each year there are about 26 cardiac hospital admissions, 50 respiratory hospital admissions and approximately 190,000 reduced activity days because of this source of air pollution.  The health effects cost of air pollution from home heating fires is estimated to be approximately $624 million per year for Auckland.[source: Updated Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand Study prepared by the Health Council of New Zealand, Ministry of Transport, Ministry for the Environment and the New Zealand Transport Agency, March 2012 and the Auckland Council Air Quality Domestic Options: Cost Benefit Analysis Update, Technical Report 2013/09, August 2013].  The council estimates that community health benefits of at least eight dollars would accrue for every one dollar spent to reduce home heating fire emissions in Auckland. 

Legal obligations

8.       Auckland Council is required by regulation 16B of the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Air Quality) Regulations 2004 (AQNES) to ensure that by 1 September 2016, the exceedance of the PM10 standard set by the AQNES (averaged over the immediately prior 5 years) in a 12 month period is one or less in any of the airsheds in Auckland. The council does not presently meet this standard in the Auckland urban airshed (see appendix one of the statement of proposal) and in order to meet the standard, a halving of the emissions from home heating fires in the Auckland urban airshed will be required.  The present average is two.

9.       Since 1 September 2005 the AQNES has also set emission and efficiency standards for all wood burners installed on properties with an allotment size of less than two hectares.  The use of new indoor open fires has not been permitted in urban areas of Auckland by the Auckland Regional Plan: Air, Land and Water since it became operative in 2010.  Existing indoor open fires and pre AQNES installed wood burners in Auckland that do not comply with the AQNES standards are not currently regulated by any legislation. 

10.     Open fires and older, pre 2005 solid fuel (wood or coal) burners cause 85 per cent of PM10 emissions from home heating fires because of their inefficiencies and age.  Data from the 2013 census and from the Auckland Council Home Heating Survey in 2012 estimated that of the approximately 100,000 home heating fires in use in Auckland:

·        approximately 17,000 of those in use are open fires which are the most polluting and least efficient 

·        64,000 are old wood burners (pre 2005)

·        17,000 are AQNES-compliant wood burners and 1000 are AQNES-compliant pellet burners. 

Proposed measure to achieve the AQNES

11.     In addition to non-regulatory measures such as the raising of awareness and education, the council proposes to make the Air Quality Bylaw 2015 to achieve the standards of the AQNES and to provide for the health of its communities. The council is able to make the proposed bylaw under section 145 of the Local Government Act 2002 which allows a territorial authority to make bylaws for its district which protect the public from nuisance and which protect, promote and maintain public health and safety.  The Health Act 1956 requires local authorities to improve, promote and protect public health in their area. Regulation 28 of the AQNES allows a rule, resource consent or bylaw that is more stringent than the regulations to prevail over the regulations.

12.     Bylaws made under the Local Government Act 2002 have to be the most appropriate way of addressing the perceived problem, must be the most appropriate form of bylaw and must not be inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights.  As the proposed bylaw will have a significant impact on the public in the Auckland urban airshed, the special consultative process of the Local Government Act 2002 will be used for the adoption of the proposed bylaw. 

13.     The requirements of the AQNES for wood burners and the provisions of the ALWP are not extensive enough to reduce PM10 concentrations in the Auckland urban airshed to ensure that Auckland Council meets the requirements of regulation 16B of the AQNES by 2016.  Without further regulatory tools, 2031 is the expected date of compliance with regulation 16B of the AQNES.  It is estimated that the total particulate emissions from home heating fires will need to be reduced by about 50 per cent if the AQNES were to be met by 2016.  The provisions of the proposed bylaw are likely to ensure compliance with the AQNES by about 2019, assuming the bylaw comes into force in early 2015. 

14.     As approximately 20-32,000 homes change hands each year in Auckland and only 4.4 per cent of all households actively use an indoor open fire for heating, any rule requiring the disablement of such open fires when a house is sold will only reduce the existing 17,000 open fires by approximately 900-1400 per year.  At this rate it would take more than twelve years to disable all indoor open fires, hence the proposal that the use of open fires in the Auckland urban airshed should cease on 1 October 2016. 

15.     It is also proposed because of the high level of PM10 emissions from solid fuel burners that were made before the standards of the AQNES came into force (2005), that prohibition in their use in the Auckland urban airshed come into force on 1 October 2018.  With these provisions and the prohibitions outlined above the council should meet the AQNES standard by 2018-2019. 

16.     General rules for air discharges which were included in the Auckland Regional Plan: Air, Land and Water have been included as permitted activity rules in the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.  The more specific rules for indoor (domestic) fires in the Auckland Regional Plan: Air, Land and Water have not been included in the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, so their inclusion in the proposed Air Quality Bylaw is appropriate.  Those specific rules prevent the burning of refuse, painted or treated wood, organic waste, high sulphur coal and other unsuitable materials in indoor fires.  Because coal fired indoor fires are amongst the dirtiest the bylaw proposes that the use of coal for indoor fires be prohibited on 1 October 2016.

Provisions of the proposed bylaw

17.     The proposed bylaw will introduce new requirements for Auckland.  The first (the point of sale rule) is a requirement placed on property owners from the date of the making of the bylaw to remove pre-2005 wood burners that do not comply with the AQNES and to disable any indoor open fires in the Auckland urban airshed before a property is sold.  It also prevents buyers from using a non-compliant indoor fire places located on their property, where ownership of that property has transferred after the bylaw has come into force.  The current restriction on the use of low sulphur coal is expanded to prohibit the use of coal for home heating from the date the bylaw comes into effect.

18.     The second new requirement in the bylaw is to introduce a proposed ban on the use of existing indoor open fires in the Auckland urban airshed from 1 October 2016.  This will allow users of indoor open fire places time to consider whether to purchase other forms of home heating to replace the open fire.  It is also recommended that a significant amount of publicity be given to this requirement and the council includes as much information as possible on the assistance a homeowner can get with home insulation and/or clean heating solutions if they are required to stop using their existing indoor home heating fire.  The statement of proposal outlines assistance available for home owners from external organisations and assistance that the council may provide. 

19.     The third new requirement is the proposal to introduce a prohibition on the use of solid fuel burners that were made before the standards of the AQNES came into force (2005) and this prohibition in their use in the Auckland urban airshed would come into force on 1 October 2018.  The implementation measures are similar to those required for the previous requirement but due to the larger number of non-compliant wood burners in use more time is provided for compliance.  As with the phasing out of open fires, a significant amount of publicity will be given to this requirement and options available to affected home owners. 

 

 

 

Consideration

Local board views and implications

20.     Workshops with local boards and portfolio managers were held in March and April 2014.  Most local boards were generally supportive of the proposal to reduce the harmful emissions from indoor home heating fires.  Some boards and portfolio managers who represent lower income residents were concerned about how a possible prohibition on open fires would affect low income families and the time that such a prohibition would come into force. Some boards suggested that publicity should be available highlighting alternative cleaner means of home heating if open fires and old wood burners could not be used. 

21.     Comprehensive feedback was received from the Albert Eden Local Board on the effects that indoor fires have on air quality, the implications of the proposed bylaw on their board area and some further measures to be considered.  The board’s feedback is attached as attachment D. 

Maori impact statement

22.     Two hui were organised to discuss this issue with iwi representatives.  Representatives from Ngāti Tamaoho Trust, Ngāti Tai ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust, Te Ara Rangatu o te Iwi o Ngāti Te Ata-Waiohua, Te Akitia – Waiohua Iwi Authority, Makarau Marae Maori Committee and Ngāti Paoa attended the southern hui.  Their main concern with the proposed bylaw is its possible effects on low income households and people in rental accommodation.  They supported funding for low income groups to replace existing wood burners and open fires as Maori make up a large proportion of the low income group.  Ngāti Whātua o Orākei were given information about the proposed bylaw at a later date. 

23.     Two iwi representatives attended the northern hui, representing Ngāti Manuhiri Settlement Trust and Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara.  Whilst most of their people are located outside of the Auckland Urban Airshed they are concerned about the effects the point of sale rule and open fire ban may have on Māori tenants and low income home owners. 

Implementation

24.     Information on the proposed bylaw and its requirements have been given to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand and the Auckland District Law Society.  The Real Estate Institute is familiar with these requirements because of similar requirements in Christchurch, Nelson, Tasman District and Rotorua. 

25.     Most property buyers purchase a Land Information Memorandum (LIM), from the council, when they are seriously considering purchasing a property.  The LIM must include specific information known by the council about that property.  The LIM can include other information such as the requirements to be placed upon the owner and the buyer of a property, by the proposed bylaw, if they are selling/buying a home containing an indoor open fire or a pre-2005 wood burner.  Arrangements have been made to include information on the requirements of the proposed bylaw on the LIMs so that this information is readily available to property buyers.

Assistance to low income households

26.     The council has considered four options to assist low income householders and tenants with managing the effect of the proposed bylaw on their ability to heat their homes.  These options are contained in Attachment B of this report and are:

·    making use of the council’s current rates postponement policy

·    making use of the council’s existing Retrofit Your Home programme

·    providing for remission of rates

·    providing additional grants to low income home owners in addition to the above measures.

Rates postponement policy

27.     Those home owners who are on a low income and who want to access the Retrofit Your Home programme may apply for a rates postponement so that they can afford to pay for the insulation and/or clean heating they require. Among the existing assistance and support schemes is an ability by the council to postpone the rates for residential properties.  This allows ratepayers who want to defer the payment of rates by using the equity of their property. This scheme also applies to those who may have financial difficulties or unusual circumstances, as long as they have the required equity in their property. 

Retrofit Your Home programme

28.     The Retrofit Your Home programme is an Auckland Council scheme designed to help deal with problems associated with houses that are draughty, not well insulated, and damp.  If the home owner is an Auckland Council ratepayer, is up to date with rate payments with a good payment history, the owner can apply for up to $5000 financial assistance to improve the insulation and heating of their house.  At the present time a 6.5 per cent per annum interest rate is applied to the amount loaned; this is similar to a mortgage under the current market but includes GST and administration costs.  This assistance must be repaid over nine years through a targeted rate included on the property’s rates bill.

29.     The approved retrofit items include:

· ceiling insulation

· under-floor insulation

· ground polythene vapour barrier

· insulation wraps for hot water cylinders and pipes

· efficient pellet or wood-burner

· heat pumps

· flued gas heating

30.     It is recommended that the current rates postponement policy and the council’s existing Retrofit Your Home programme be used to provide assistance to qualifying home owners as it is cost neutral for rate payers. 

Remission of rates

31.     The Long Term Plan 2012 provides for the remission of rates for miscellaneous purposes.  The objective of this scheme is to enable the council to remit rates in circumstances that are not specifically covered by other schemes in the rates remission and postponement policy, but where the council considers it appropriate to do so. 

Grants to low income home owners

32.     The council does not recommend that additional funding in the form of grants be made available as the costs of providing grants to home owners or tenants do not provide commensurate benefits and discriminates against those persons who do not qualify for assistance such as low income home owners and tenants who use other forms of home heating such as gas or electric appliances or who do not have any form of home heating.

Monitoring and enforcement

33.     While the enforcement of the bylaw will be reactive upon complaints being received by affected persons, more active monitoring of compliance will be required in cold winters when exceedances are possible.  The proposed bylaw empowers the council to require any owner of a premise who does not comply with the bylaw to permanently disable/decommission the indoor fire, to the satisfaction of the council. 

 

 

 

 

 

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

aView

Statement of Proposal - Introduction of the Air Quality Bylaw 2015

13

bView

Available options to assist vulnerable persons with home heating

49

cView

Proposed Air Quality Bylaw 2015

59

dView

Feedback on proposed bylaw from Eden Albert Local Board

95

      

Signatories

Authors

Colin Craig - Principal Policy Analyst – Planning Policies and Bylaws

Helgard Wagener - Manager Policies and Bylaws

Authorisers

Warren Maclennan - Manager North West Planning

Penny Pirrit - Regional & Local Planning Manager

 


Regulatory and Bylaws Committee

21 October 2014

 

 




































Regulatory and Bylaws Committee

21 October 2014

 

 











Regulatory and Bylaws Committee

21 October 2014

 

 





































Regulatory and Bylaws Committee

21 October 2014