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This interactive map shows background air quality concentrations across New Zealand for two key pollutants – PM10 and NO2. The values shown exclude the contribution of nearby roadways and can be used with other tools such as the NZ Transport Agency screening model to assess the cumulative air quality effects of roading projects.

The Transport Agency has released a draft Background air quality guide [PDF, 3.3 MB] on applying these default values to project assessments and how to assess whether predicted air quality impact from a road project, combined with background air quality, is likely to result in air quality standards or guidelines being exceeded. Sometimes, in order to reduce scientific uncertainty and comprehensively assess air quality effects of a roading project, the default background air quality values may need to be supplemented with more site-specific information. Suitable data may already be available from regional councils, the Transport Agency or research organisations. However, roading projects with a high air quality risk, typically large projects in major urban centres, may require a dedicated monitoring campaign to better understand background air quality

Users can select their area of interest either via the Bookmarks tab (for regional council areas) or via the Search toolbar (just type in any address) or via the zoom (+ or -) buttons and dragging the cursor. Once in the right place, a click of the mouse brings up popups with summary data for NO2 and PM10. Summary traffic data will also pop up, if the location is on a state highway (shown as a red line). Use the layers tab to switch between PM10 and NO2.

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