Posted by: Matthew | June 4, 2010

Woodburner users should pay a levy to increase environmental monitoring

I’ve been trying to find good data on air pollution and it is a pretty hit or miss affair in New Zealand. The Greater Wellington Regional Council doesn’t report that often (here is some though), and it is only this year they are going to start measuring in the Kapiti airshed. Even then it’s only one bit of monitoring equipment in any of the airsheds. I don’t think it is enough and both the monitoring and the reporting should definitely be increased.

Instead of the burden going onto ratepayers the people who make the pollution should pay a levy. So all households who have an open fire place, woodburner or outdoor chiminea thing should either pay a levy or, if they don’t want to, sign an affadavit saying they won’t use the woodburner. Spot checks could then apply to make sure the the signed-up non-use woodburners weren’t be used would be needed, but the cost of that can be added to the costs of the extra environmental monitoring.

It’s only fair that the polluter pays. The whole rationale for woodburners seems to be to push the external costs onto others.

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