Since 1 May this year, the Regional Council has lodged two prosecutions, and issued 47 infringement notices and four abatement notices for illegal burning.
To make sure our air quality is healthy and safe, the Regional Council doesn’t allow outdoor burning in the Napier and Hastings airsheds between 1 May and 31 August every year.
“We want the air everyone breathes to be safe, and that’s why we’ve got these rules in place,” says Regional Council Regulation Group Manager Liz Lambert.
“We’ve been really strong on enforcing our regulation this winter season, and have been disappointed to issue so many notices this season. We’ve been enforcing our regulations both in and around the Napier and Hastings airsheds, and have had a lot of issues related to burning rubbish, which isn’t allowed.”
“We’ve got a month left of the rules being in place, and we know this is about education, so we’re doing our best to let people know the rules.”
Outdoor fires are permitted for burning orchard or vineyard material when food production trees are being replaced with others, when shelter belts need to be removed for redevelopment, or when landowners need to control disease. Ms Lambert says it’s a good idea to call the pollution hotline to check if you’re entitled to burn or not under these exemptions. Barbecue or hangi fires are still permitted.
Fires should not cause a nuisance to neighbouring properties, so industries that are permitted to light a fire should do so when weather conditions allow smoke to go upwards.
People also need to check with their city or district councils about any local bylaws regarding fires in the open air, and Fire Emergency NZ regarding fire bans and permits over the summer period.
To find out more about the burning rules head hbrc.govt.nz and search: #burning.
Anyone who has a problem with smoke from a neighbouring property can call the Regional Council's Pollution Hotline, which operates 24 hours, every day. If in doubt, call the Pollution Hotline on 0800 108 838.
26 July 2019
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