Re­gional coun­cil warns on fires

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By CHE BAKER

Cen­tral Otago res­i­dents emit­ting ob­nox­ious smoke from their fires and caus­ing ill-health to their neigh­bours can ex­pect warn­ings and pos­si­ble fines by Otago Re­gional Coun­cil staff this win­ter. ORC di­rec­tor re­gional ser­vices Jeff Don­ald­son said staff would be keep­ing a closer eye on emis­sions from res­i­den­tial ad­dresses and they would be trav­el­ling around the re­gion check­ing for smoky fires. Res­i­dents with fires that were not up to stan­dard would re­ceive a warn­ing let­ter ask­ing them to im­prove what they were burn­ing and could face a $300 fine. A 2011 Health and Air Pol­lu­tion in New Zealand re­port found pol­lu­tion killed an aver­age of four peo­ple ev­ery year in Alexan­dra, two in Cromwell and 20 in Dunedin. It also said chil­dren un­der 5 liv­ing in Alexan­dra, Cromwell, Clyde and Ar­row­town were twice as likely to be ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal with a res­pi­ra­tory ill­ness com­pared to chil­dren in Wanaka, Queen­stown, Kingston or Hawea. Cen­tral Otago topped the list of the worst pol­luters in New Zealand and up to 60 per cent of the re­gion’s air pol­lu­tion was caused by un­clean heat­ing, such as open fires and mul­ti­fuel burn­ers. Coun­cil air pol­lu­tion mon­i­tor­ing re­ports show Alexan­dra has breached the National En­vi­ron­men­tal Stan­dard (NES) daily aver­age air pol­lu­tion thresh­old of 50 mi­cro­grams per cu­bic me­tre four times this year and Cromwell and Clyde had both ex­ceeded it once. Un­der the coun­cil’s Otago Air Plan, pol­lu­tion lev­els (PM10) should not ex­ceed the NES more than once a year from this year.

Photo: CHE BAKER 625481779

Hang­ing around: Smog over Clyde and Alexan­dra seen from the Clyde look­out two years ago.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.