75,000 fireplaces may need to go

What are the British, Australian, and New Zealand governments doing to stop air pollution?

75,000 fireplaces may need to go

Postby Wilberforce » Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:32 pm

75,000 fireplaces may need to go
Last updated 12:17 21/10/2014

Tens of thousands of fireplaces could be snuffed out in Auckland within four years, under a new anti-pollution bylaw.

Air pollution and declining health are the driving factors behind a fireplace ban, which would be covered by a new bylaw set to be put in place by May next year.

Homeowners will be forced to remove pre-2005 wood and coal fireplaces by October 2018. The use of coal in indoor fires would be banned from May 2015.

Auckland has around 58,000 old pre-2005 wood burners running in homes, according to Auckland Council. There are 17,000 open fireplaces in city homes.

The new rules are covered by the proposed Air Quality Bylaw 2015 as Auckland must comply with Government's air pollution standards.

Auckland Council said indoor fireplaces produce PM10 air pollution particles which can cause serious health issues.

PM10 is found in fires, pollen and dust.

Each particle is smaller than the width of a strand of human hair, Helgard Wagener, manager of council's policies and bylaws department, said.

Another pollution particle, PM2.5, is also found in fires.

During winter 18 tonnes of air pollution is emitted daily - 75 per cent of that comes from domestic fireplaces, Wagener said.

Wagener said there is a $624 million social cost due to air pollution from indoor fires.

About 110 adults die prematurely each year because of indoor fire emissions and breathing-related illnesses, he said.

Home fire pollution is rife across Auckland, including Owairaka Valley, Waitemata and Otahuhu.

Owners would be made to remove fireplaces which do not comply with the bylaw but there is no instruction to replace the heating device.

Albert-Eden Local Board's Margi Watson said she was concerned for tenants living in poorly-insulated homes. If a fireplace was removed but not replaced it would impact on families' health, she said.

Wagener said they would rely on complaints from residents where non-complying fireplaces were running in order to enforce the bylaw.

Auckland has between 20 and 30 coal furnaces currently operating, he said. Some schools were already removing them.

Low-income households would be given financial help, including funding grants, to remove pre-2005 fireplaces under the proposed bylaw.

A point of sale rule would see non-compliant open fires and wood burners removed before a home is sold.

Councillor Calum Penrose, chairman of the city's bylaws committee, said council could not take a sledgehammer approach.

'I think we're going to take a pragmatic approach,' he said.

'If we don't do it, the Government will step in.'

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse said helping Auckland's vulnerable and improving health, rather than political grandstanding, is key.

Since Auckland was merged into the super-city four years ago, councillors have been attempting to condense 158 regional bylaws down to 30, Penrose said.

The Air Quality Bylaw will go out for public feedback and hearings would be held in February next year. The bylaw would be in play by May.


Auckland has around 58,000 old pre-2005 wood burners running in homes, according to Auckland Council.

There are 17,000 open fireplaces in city homes.

Pollution is measured within Auckland's urban airshed, which does not include Warkworth north of Auckland and the south's Pukekohe.

There are around 8000 Housing NZ homes in the super-city.

- Stuff

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/ ... need-to-go
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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