Owners of homes located in the Rotorua Airshed that still have non-compliant wood or coal burners are being reminded this is the last winter they can operate them.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council senior regulatory project officer Marion Henton says there are roughly 3000 non-compliant wood and coal burners left in the Rotorua Airshed which cannot be used after January 31, 2020.
“For more than 10 years we’ve been working on this complex issue with the help of Rotorua Lakes Council, the local community and other key stakeholders to upgrade and replace old, smoky fires to cleaner-burning technology.
“Thousands of Rotorua homeowners have upgraded their old fires to cleaner-burning technology and have helped clean up the air. This has made a difference but we still have a way to go to meet the safe and acceptable standards set by the central government.”
According to BOPRC, Rotorua has a wintertime air quality problem caused by burners that burn wood or coal and emit PM10 particulate matter.
The pollution affects the most vulnerable in the community including the elderly, young children and those with pre-existing respiratory and heart conditions are most at risk when air pollutants are high.
“Approximately 228 tonnes of fine particulates are discharged annually into Rotorua’s air. We need to reduce this by 60 tonnes to meet the safe and acceptable standards set by the Ministry for Environment.”
Marion says BOPRC has two schemes to help homeowners remove and replace non-compliant burners.
The Hot Swap Scheme allows old wood/coal burners to be swapped for electric heating and low and ultra-low emission wood burners.
Hot Swap is a loan offered to Rotorua ratepayers whose properties are in the Rotorua Airshed. Appliance supply and installation cost goes onto the property rates and can be paid back during 10 years. Some loans are interest-free and some are interest-bearing.
BOPRC also offers the Low Income Heating Grant, which is a free Ultra-Low Emission Burner or Heat Pump to owner-occupiers who meet certain criteria.
A non-complaint wood burner is one that’s been installed in a home within the Rotorua before September 1, 2005. Indoor open fires, chip heaters, coal ranges and Marshall heaters are illegal to use now.
To see if your home is located in the Rotorua Airshed boundary, see: http://boprc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=2b2cad8aff51463eb7913d4bfdb95639
For more information, see: https://cleanairrotorua.co.nz/