Winter crackdown on wood burners

SHELLEY ROBINSON
Last updated 12:19 01/04/2014
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Environment Canterbury warns it will enforce bans on older wood burners this winter - the first time since the earthquakes.

Commissioner David Bedford said ECan had not enforced bans on older-style wood burners since the earthquakes, but would be targeting 8000 homes this year.

"Its been three to four years now and we feel now is the time to tighten up the enforcement side of things."

Teams would use thermal imaging technology to check chimneys and, if necessary, take action from next month.

However Bedford said exceptions would be made for those who needed it.

"If life is still pretty tough through the earthquakes or even if you were badly affected by flooding, please call and let us know."

He said fines of $300 would be used as a last resort.

Canterbury had seen some of the worst pollution nationally, but since bans were introduced for wood burners in 2002 high-pollution nights had decreased from 50 each year to about 15, he said.

Despite this, data showed Canterbury would not meet Government rules of no more than three high-pollution days a year by September 2016, Bedford said.

"Our current projections aren't that flash - we aren't going to make it."

Resuming enforcement and a review of air plan were some of the actions being taken.

ECan had been working with wood merchants to encourage them to sell only good burning wood.

"We want them to take some responsibility for what comes out the chimney at the end of the day," said Bedford.

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- The Press

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