City launches woodburner study

SARAH DUNN
Last updated 12:58 18/07/2014
Rebecca Wu
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ
AIR TEST: Nelson City councillor Luke Acland, right, and Tasman District Council scientist Paul Sheldon with new air quality monitoring equipment in Brook St.

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The Nelson City Council is carrying out an air quality survey to see whether it can allow more woodburners to be used in the city.

Councillor Luke Acland, who is the new chair of the Woodburner Working Party, described the Domestic Emissions Inventory survey of 1300 households as a "stocktake".

Council staff will make calls and visit people at home over the next four weeks, as well as travelling around the district to look at smoke emissions and other points of interest.

Data relating to vehicle and industrial emissions would also be collected.

Acland said the survey was the first of its kind undertaken since 2006. It was prompted by a perception that the Nelson district had excelled in cleaning up its air quality, and Acland said members of the public had started asking "quite reasonable" questions about whether it was time to allow more use of woodburners.

He said the working party was gathering data on the current air quality situation to see whether the council could offer any flexibility in that area. The party would model different scenarios and present its conclusions to the council in November.

Acland said he hoped those who participated in the survey would be honest, as the data would only be useful if it was correct.

He confirmed those who reported activity that was against the rules would not be pursued by the council unless somebody else placed a complaint or the activity was spotted independently.

"We're really keen for people to be upfront with their answers, because this informs what's going on."

The council also unveiled a new air monitoring machine at a reserve in Brook St yesterday. The machine is shared with the Tasman District Council and covers hydrology monitoring as well.

Tasman resource scientist Paul Sheldon said the machine would be kept in the area for around a year before being moved to other sites. It measures the weight of particles in the air using a filter.

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- The Nelson Mail

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