by Chris Tobin
Environment Canterbury will be looking out for smoky chimneys in the evenings starting this month in South Canterbury.
Environment Canterbury’s Timaru operations manager Judith Earl-Goulet said from now until mid-July, staff will look for and observe smoky chimneys in the evenings in the Timaru, Geraldine and Waimate clean air zones.
“If needed, the team will leave behind information with advice on how to burn smoke-free,” she said.
“If households are using a wood-burner that our records show is non-compliant, we’ll be reminding them of the rules for their clean air zone and offering advice and support to help them upgrade to a compliant form of heating.”
As in previous years, the teams will communicate using written information. They will not be door-knocking.
“We are still strongly focused on taking an educative approach, supporting people through the air plan changes and the action they need to take,” she said.
Environment Canterbury director of air quality Tafflyn Bradford-James said the draft annual plan 2019-20 proposes a reduction in spending on air quality work, as community action over recent years has resulted in significantly improved air quality across most airsheds.
“Geraldine, Timaru and Waimate have also made good progress in recent years.
“There are requirements under the Canterbury Air Regional Plan that we need to continue to work with these communities to achieve, so we will have an ongoing presence on the ground and through supporting information about what needs to be done, and how we can help.”
Region-wide, there will continue to be a focus on providing information to residents on how to burn smoke-free and save on firewood, and about the support available to people needing to upgrade to cleaner heating technology, such as heat pumps or ultra low-emission wood-burners.