Posted by: Matthew | May 17, 2010

National anti-burn off laws needed to control pollution

It’s not just Kapiti, the Horowhenua and the Manawatu suffering from willy-nilly burning off. A friend climbed the water tower in Hawera the other day and said all of South Taranaki was polluted by burn-offs, and then there is this from the Otago Daily Times, about pollution on the Taieri Plain.

Smoke from laissez-faire burning off with lax controls, and very, very lax enforcement is a problem of national significance. Each of those crazy Otago landowners burning off down there near Mosgiel are creating smoke and odour nuisance problems beyond their property boundaries.

It is a complete myth that you can burn off and not cause smoke and odour nuisance. So no one who has a permit to burn actually complies with conditions of their permit, yet the permits still keep on getting issued, whether it is by the Dunedin City Council or the Kapiti Council.

We need new laws that take into account the real effects of wood smoke, and minimise the public’s exposure to it. A mathematical minimum is of course zero.

We need law reform now.

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