Burnoffs rile neigh­bours

Per­mit not li­cence to pol­lute

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By CHE BAKER

Cen­tral Otago landown­ers are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil af­ter sev­eral com­plaints were made about large burnoffs pol­lut­ing the air and caus­ing a nui­sance to neigh­bours. ORC re­gional ser­vices di­rec­tor Jeff Don­ald­son said the coun­cil re­ceived 10 com­plaints in the past week through its Pol­lu­tion Hot­line about the burnoffs pro­duc­ing large vol­umes of smoke. ‘‘It’s all very well hav­ing a fire per­mit, but that does not mean peo­ple can burn when­ever they like,’’ Mr Don­ald­son said. ‘‘Peo­ple need to read their per­mit and ob­serve the ORC rules for dis­charges to air, which pri­mar­ily means not caus­ing ob­jec­tion­able and of­fen­sive smoke be­yond a prop­erty bound­ary.’’ Hav­ing an out­door fire per­mit for a bon­fire does not al­low landown­ers to burn in­dis­crim­i­nately and with­out re­gard for their neigh­bours and the en­v­i­ron- ment, he said. ‘‘With rea­son­ably heavy at­mo­spheric con­di­tions and a low in­ver­sion layer you don’t get dis­per­sion, all you get is smoke which lingers and pol­lutes the air,’’ Mr Don­ald­son said. Landown­ers needed to fac­tor in pre­vail­ing wind con­di­tions when de­cid­ing whether to light an out­door fire, Mr Don­ald­son said. ‘‘Peo­ple think­ing of burn­ing au­tumn prun­ings also must be aware that when there are still con­di­tions, it’s likely to be ac­com­pa­nied by a low in­ver­sion layer. ‘‘The smoke will be trapped un­der the in­ver­sion and may well cause a nui­sance to neigh­bours,’’ he said. The ORC will in­ves­ti­gate the com­plaints – which in­cluded fires near Cromwell, Alexan­dra and Clyde – it has re­ceived and landown­ers could face an in­stant fine of $300 and pos­si­bly fur­ther en­force­ment ac­tion, de­pend­ing on the sever­ity of the in­ci­dent.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.