Following a competitive tender in 2011, we were selected to assist the Bay of Plenty Regional Council with implementing the Ngāpuna Dust Reduction Operational Plan. This involved visiting and drafting individual dust management plans for over 30 industrial and commercial sites in the Ngāpuna industrial estate of Rotorua.
In most cases this was fairly straightforward, with requirements to minimise vehicle speeds and use sprinklers on unsealed areas. However, a number of sites agreed to implement more expensive measures such as sealing trafficked areas. The dust management plans were all voluntary, and the majority only draft status, so we were not certain how things would go in practice.
In May 2013, we were engaged to assist with follow-up site inspections and to finalise outstanding draft plans. Louise Wickham (Emission Impossible Ltd) accompanied Sherryn Owen (BOPRC) on over 30 site inspections and were really impressed to see how much work had been undertaken since late 2011. Where necessary, the vast majority of sites had taken measures to avoid or mitigate emissions of dust. In particular, Castlecorp deserves special mention because they had the inspired idea of converting large areas of unsealed land on their site into market gardens to provide food for the Salvation Army.
We think the key to the success of this project was the forward work undertaken by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in getting good science to underpin policy at the start. The Ngāpuna Dust Reduction Operational Plan is clear and reasonable, starting with education and moving through to enforcement. Coupled with a fair and overtly transparent approach, Council succeeded in getting nearly every site in Ngāpuna involved. This meant that everybody took ownership of sorting out their own site and created a sort of peer pressure to ensure progress.