An official airshed over the Mount Maunganui industrial area comes into effect today.
The new airshed will enable tighter rules, consent decisions and the ability to manage industrial discharges by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in a bit to improve air quality in the area.
Associate Minister for the Environment Nanaia Mahuta approved the airshed after the council requested more management tools to address poor air quality in the area.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council deputy chairwoman Jane Nees said looking after the region's air quality was part of the council's role as guardians of the local environment.
"The community have been concerned about the quality of air in the Mount Maunganui industrial area for some time and as a result, the council put a network of monitors in place across the area to better understand the problem," she said.
The monitoring was at a cost of $500,000 but since it has been in place, there had been a number of exceedances noted in air pollutants.
Under the new Mount Maunganui Airshed, new consent applications for activities that discharge fine inhalable dust cannot be granted, unless they can offset the pollutants in another way.
The fine dust can cause breathing and health problems, particularly for the elderly and children, and for those suffering from asthma.
"The new Airshed means we can specifically target industrial discharges in this area and introduce tighter restrictions if required," Nees said.
"While this won't address the odour issues we get hundreds of calls about each year.. this is a great step in the right direction."
For more information on Mount Maunganui industrial air quality, people can visit the Regional Council's website.