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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Waikato Regional Plan » Waikato Regional Plan (online version) » 6.1 Regional and Local Air Management » 6.1.12 Implementation Methods - Combustion Processes for Fuel Conversion to Useful Heat, Electricity or Work

6.1.12 Implementation Methods - Combustion Processes for Fuel Conversion to Useful Heat, Electricity or Work

6.1.12.1 Permitted Activity Rule – Combustion of Fuel for Heat Release

The discharge of contaminants into air from burning the following fuels for the purpose of generating useful heat, steam, power or electricity:

  1. Natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas with a rate of heat release not exceeding 10 megawatts
  2. Wood and wood products (with the exception of wood that has been treated), paper and paper products with a rate of heat release not exceeding:
    1. five megawatts from activities lawfully established or authorised before the date of notification of this Plan
    2. two megawatts from activities lawfully established or authorised after the date of notification of this Plan
  3. Diesel, kerosene, petroleum, coke, coal, charcoal, oil (excluding waste oil*) or non chlorinated alcohols with a rate of heat release not exceeding five megawatts

is a permitted activity subject to the following conditions:

  1. As specified in Section 6.1.8, conditions a) to e) of this Plan.
  2. The limits in this Rule shall not be used as a means for disposal of those materials restricted by Rules 6.1.13.1 and 6.1.13.3 of this Plan.
  3. The sulphur content of fuel must not exceed one percent by weight.
  4. The concentration of particulate matter at the point of discharge must not exceed 250 mg/m3 at zero degrees Celsius, one atmosphere pressure and dry gas basis.
  5. The chimney height shall be at least three metres above the highest point of the roof or any other roof within 20 metres of the chimney.

Exclusion to Rule 6.1.12.1:
The generation of useful heat that is for domestic home heating and does not exceed 40 kW is not covered by this Rule and does not require consent under the presumptions of s15 of the RMA. The generation of useful heat for sources not exceeding 40kW per building is excluded from any need to comply with conditions a) – e) of this rule.

Advisory Notes:

  • If good practice is applied in conjunction with this Rule then adverse effects beyond the boundary from this scale of activity should not occur.
  • Good practice guidance currently exists for the operation of coal fired boiler installations less than 5 MW (gross) capacity.1
  • The conversion of fuel to useful heat for sources not exceeding 40kW per building are covered by the non-regulatory methods in 6.1.5 of this Plan.
  • With regard to parts 1 and 3 of this rule, if any of these conditions are not complied with then the activity is a discretionary activity in accordance with Rule 6.1.9.2.
  • With regard to part 2 of this rule, if any of these conditions are not complied with then the activity is a restricted discretionary activity in accordance with Rule 6.1.12.2.

6.1.12.2 Restricted Discretionary Activity Rule – Combustion of Wood-Based Fuel for Heat Release

The discharge of contaminants into air from burning the following fuels for the purpose of generating useful heat, steam, power or electricity:

  1. Wood and wood products (with the exception of wood that has been treated), paper and paper products with a rate of heat release exceeding:
  1. five megawatts from activities lawfully established or authorised before the date of notification of this Plan
  2. two megawatts from activities lawfully established or authorised after the date of notification of this Plan;

is a restricted discretionary activity (requiring resource consent) subject to the following standard and term:

  1. As specified in Section 6.1.8, conditions a) to e) of this Plan.

Waikato Regional Council will restrict discretion on the following matters:

  1. The location of the combustion plant on the site.
  2. Stack/chimney height.
  3. Emission control equipment.
  4. Discharge limits for particulate matter.
  5. Discharge limits for other contaminants likely to be in the discharge.
  6. Efflux velocity.
  7. Fuel quality and fuel storage.
  8. Monitoring.
  9. Effects on ambient air quality.
  10. Application of Best Practicable Option.
  11. Duration of consent.
  12. Administration charges.
  13. Requirement for a Management Plan.
  14. Effects on the relationship tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their identified taonga.

Advisory Notes:

  • Information requirements to enable the assessment of any application under this Rule are as set out in Section 8.1.5.1. In addition assessment shall also take into account the matters identified in the policies in Section 6.1.3 of this Chapter.
  • If any of these conditions are not complied with then the activity is a discretionary activity in accordance with Rule 6.1.9.2.

6.1.12.3 Controlled Activity Rule – Existing, Lawfully Established Combustion of Coal and Gas for Heat Release up to 50MW

Unless permitted by Rule 6.1.12.1, the discharge of contaminants into air from the burning of coal or gas for the purpose of generating useful heat, steam, power or electricity that was lawfully established or authorised before the date of notification of this Plan, is a controlled activity (required resource consent) subject to the following standards and terms:

  1. Those specified in Section 6.1.8 conditions a) to e) of this Plan.
  2. Any change in the activity shall not change the character or increase the scale or intensity of any adverse effects of the activity on the environment.
  3. There shall have been no successful enforcement action taken by Waikato Regional Council in relation to that air discharge in the two years prior to the consent application being lodged.
  4. The combined heat release of the combustion appliances shall not exceed 50MW.

Waikato Regional Council reserves control over the following matters:

  1. Measures to avoid, remedy or mitigate the adverse effects on neighbouring dwelling places or properties;
  2. The method of discharge, including stack design and exit velocity;
  3. Emission control equipment, its operation and maintenance;
  4. Combustion equipment operation and maintenance;
  5. Fuel use, quality (including sulphur content), storage and handling;
  6. Requirement for a management plan;
  7. Emission limits (concentrations and/or rates) on the discharge;
  8. Monitoring and requirements for sampling points;
  9. Effects on the relationship tangata whenua as Kaitiaki have with their identified taonga; and
  10. Duration of consent.

Advisory Notes

  • Information requirements to enable the assessment of any application under this rule are as set out in Section 8.1.5.1. In addition assessment shall also take into account the matters identified in the policies in Section 6.1.3 of this chapter.
  • If any of these conditions are not complied with then the activity is a discretionary activitiy in accordance with Rule 6.1.9.2.

 

Explanation and Principal Reasons for Adopting Methods 6.1.12.1 to 6.1.12.3
The unit megawatt (MW) is used in the above rules to measure heat. In these rules the term refers to the combined heat output of all the appliances on a site. Where more than one fuel type is used on the site the combined heat should not exceed the lowest MW threshold of the fuel types.

These rules cover the use of internal or external combustion engine boilers, heating appliances, electrical generation plants or other fuel combustion for heat or energy, but excludes the disposal of wastes and materials listed in the rules in Section 6.1.13 of this Plan.

Rule 6.1.12.1 permits the combustion of various fuels at different energy production thresholds. Where these fuels are considered to be cleaner burning the thresholds are set at higher levels. This encourages the use of cleaner burning fuels as they have less adverse effects to air quality than lower quality fuels. Domestic sources are permitted under the RMA and are not addressed by these rules. Their effects are addressed by the methods in section 6.1.5.

Rule 6.1.12.2 addresses Policy 2 of this Chapter by allowing discharges to air while ensuring there are no adverse effects to the ambient air quality. The more stringent rule allows for higher energy production thresholds for wood based combustion processes. The status of the Rule allows Council to exercise discretion over a range of factors that either influence the adverse effect on air quality, or facilitate the gathering of monitoring information pertaining to the discharge.

Rule 6.1.12.3 provides for a potentially simplified consent process for existing coal and gas fired boilers up to 50MW because the effects from existing plants are generally known and can be dealt with by the inclusion of appropriate conditions.

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