4 Apr 2010
A ban on the use of open fires and solid fuel burners that are 15 years or older starts on Thursday, April 1 in Christchurch. The ban operates from April 1 to September 30. People may be fined $300 if they have made no effort to replace and continue to use their old log burners/open fires.
Home heating, particularly from open fires and old inefficient woodburners is the major contributor of small pollution particles (known as PM10) that regularly reach unhealthy concentrations in Christchurch air during winter.
Ken Taylor, Environment Canterbury director of investigations and monitoring, said that Christchurch once had the dubious distinction of having the highest air pollution in Canterbury. However the introduction of incentives to convert to cleaner heating has made a real difference.
“More than 16,000 households have made the switch through Environment Canterbury’s Clean Heat Project and the whole Christchurch community benefits from cleaner air. This is a significant milestone for Christchurch air quality and people can look forward to continued improvements now that the rules are in place and enforceable.”
Mr Taylor said that this is a great achievement for Environment Canterbury on behalf of all who live in the city. It has been a number of years since the intention to introduce the air rules and the greatest gain will be to people’s health and to their enjoyment of the outdoors during winter.
“Simple pleasures like a walk on a clear winter evening, a bike ride across
town and rugby or netball training, without being bothered by winter air
pollution are all reasonable expectations for the Christchurch community. I
expect improving winter air quality to make a gradual but noticeable difference
over the coming years.”