Pollution hotline runs hot

Canterbury residents have been quick to complain about air quality, with nearly 1000 "environmental incidents" reported in four months.

Environment Canterbury's pollution hotline received 976 calls between April 1 2012 to June 30 2012. Of those, 70 per cent related to air quality.

The most common complaints were about smokey chimneys, agricultural or industrial odour as well as smoke from domestic and outdoor fires. However, the increase in demolition and construction from the earthquakes has also contributed to air quality complaints with dust from construction sites or quarries, particulates from abrasive blasting and other emissions from industrial businesses all included.

There were 212 complaints about water with Christchurch having the most incidents reported, followed by the Selwyn and Waimakariri districts. Discharges of effluent, sediments, industrial contaminants and fish kills into waterways were among the most commonly reported incidents.

Meanwhile, 69 complaints about land, mainly relating to clearing vegetation, gravel extraction, waster storage and disposal, and 11 coastal incidents, including wastewater discharges, oil spills and algal blooms were reported.

ECan investigated 866 of the 976 incidents and about 81 per cent have been closed off.

The Press