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Backyard burning ban

Backyard burning ban

Wednesday 9 August 2006

Backyard burning may be banned soon in urban areas.

Environment Bay of Plenty proposes to change its Air Plan to prohibit the burning of domestic rubbish and green waste on properties smaller than half a hectare.

Smoky fires are a common cause of strife in urban neighbourhoods. The regional council receives many complaints of this type every year.

“It’s an on going, serious and time-consuming compliance issue,” says group manager regulation and resource management, Paul Dell. It is also a health issue, because of dangerous pollutants in smoke.

Mr Dell says the ban would encourage people to recycle or compost household waste, which is better for the environment. Environment Bay of Plenty will discuss its proposal with local district and city councils to make sure householders have alternatives to burning, he explains.

Environment Bay of Plenty has suggested other changes to update the Air Plan, which was signed off in 2003. It wants to simplify some of the rules, particularly around agrichemical spraying and the notification of spraying. It also wants to include rules to cover fumigation and the use of fertilisers when discharged to air, such as by aerial topdressing.

The council adopted a draft of the revised Air Plan at its strategic policy committee meeting on Tuesday 8 August. It will now consult with industry stakeholders, councils and the community on the specific changes to the plan. Later, a revised draft will go to council to be adopted as a proposed plan change. The proposed plan will then be formally notified for public submissions.

The changes will bring the Air Plan in line with new national environmental standards for air quality.

ENDS

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