Clean Air Bylaw coming...
What is the problem?
Tokoroa has air quality issues that we have to improve. The level of dirty air particularly during winter is too high; and exceeds national standards. We need to get it under control for two reasons: the health of our communities and more jobs for our people.
What about our health?
Dirty and smokey air is caused by old fires and what we put in them to burn. This nasty air is hurting us ALL. It is damaging to our lungs, especially for children and the elderly; and is having a bad effect on our health. The health status of people living in Tokoroa is the poorest in the entire region. Can we continue to harm ourselves and our neighbours in this way? No!
What about jobs and employment (economic development)?
If we don’t clean up our dirty air, new businesses or industry may not be able to set up in Tokoroa. There is a real possibility that we will lose new business opportunities, which means losing out on new jobs, new income, new development. Can Tokoroa afford to do this? No!
Why do we need a bylaw?
Because everything else has already been put in place... and we still need to do better! Education programmes have been in place in this district since 2004. Fully funded schemes and subsidies (including free insulation and assistance schemes) have been in place since 2005. Over the past eight years over a million dollars through Council, Regional Council, District Health Board and Central Government has been spent in Tokoroa on cleaning up our air. AND NOW, as a last option, we’re introducing a bylaw. This will be open for public consultation in October and November.
What will the bylaw mean to me?
In simple terms if you have an old woodburner (over 15 years old), a chippie, an open fire or a fire that can burn multi-fuels like coal you need to replace this appliance with a new government approved heating appliance. Options available are new wood burners, pellet burners and heat pumps.
What will it cost?
The cost is dependent on the existing appliance, removal, replacement and the subsidies you may be eligible for. Costs can only be calculated on assessment.
What if I can’t afford it?
There are a number of schemes in place to help you make this positive change. And we have a year to get this sorted, the proposed deadline for compliance is November 2013.
Where can I get more information?
Contact Council on 07 885 0340 or visit www.southwaikato.govt.nz.
We have focused on Tokoroa in this advert, and that’s because it is the biggest problem area; however this bylaw applies to the Tokoroa and Putaruru urban airsheds. So far this winter Putaruru has had no exceedances, which is great news. Tokoroa however has already had 14, this is not tracking well when compared to previous years.