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Solid Energy consent for pellet burners in Chch

June 29, 2006

MEDIA STATEMENT

Solid Energy gets consent for 405 pellet burners in Christchurch

Environment Canterbury has granted a resource consent to Solid Energy Ltd authorising the discharge of air pollution from 405 pellet fires to be used in new homes, home extensions or homes without an existing solid fuel burner in Christchurch’s Clean Air Zone 1 (the main urban area). The consent is for 35 years.

The Proposed Canterbury Natural Resources Regional Plan requires the owners of new houses or houses without an existing solid fuel burner or open fire in Christchurch to get a resource consent to install a solid fuel burner.

The 405 pellet fires are estimated to produce approximately four kilograms per day air pollution particles(or PM10) into Christchurch’s air. The applicant argued that the 405 pellet fires would be distributed throughout the city and that the increased four kilograms per day maximum emission rate would have no measurable effect upon pollution levels in the city.

In granting a consent for the group of burners, the hearing committee comprising Crs Richard Budd, Judy Waters and Ross Little said they were “satisfied that a robust product stewardship has been offered by the applicant,” and that the emissions from pellet fires were very low and well within acceptable limits. “We are satisfied that the actual and potential effect of granting this application will be minor and will have no measurable impact on the ability to meet the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality.”

The consent is subject to several conditions, among them that the consent holder, Solid Energy Ltd, provides Environment Canterbury annually with a list of addresses where pellet fires have been installed, that the pellet fires are serviced at least once every two years and that Environment Canterbury may each year review the conditions of the consent for the purpose of dealing with adverse effects on the environment.

In all, 30 submissions were made to the application - 27 in support and three in opposition. All parties to the hearing have been posted notice of the outcome this week, with a 15-working-day period to lodge any appeal on that decision. The hearing decision is on ECan’s website: www.ecan.govt.nz/Resource+Consents/Hearing-decisions.htm


ENDS

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