Smoke and air pollution affects everyone but there are some simple steps you can take to reduce its impact.
Smoke from wood heaters is a major cause of air pollution and can harm the environment and your health. Council is working with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to reduce wood smoke in the Bega Valley Shire, and encouraging people to take the following steps to reduce wood smoke pollution:
Council has a factsheet to assist wood heater operators and the neighbours in understanding the legal obligations of operating a wood heater, a copy of the factsheet can be obtained here. More detailed information is available from the Wood-Smoke handbook: Wood heaters, firewood and operator practice on the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website. You can visit it here.
Wood heater ownership is on the rise in NSW. It is expected that, as gas and electricity prices rise, more people will install wood burning heaters. Homeowners are required by law to obtain permission from Council before installing a wood burning heater. If you would like to install a wood burning heater, you can fill in the application form or contact Council’s Customer Service team on (02) 6499 2222.
If you have difficulties with wood smoke pollution from a neighbour, let them know. Often people don’t realise that their fire is producing excessive smoke, because they are inside enjoying the warmth of their wood fire.
For more information contact the Environment Protection Authority on 131 555 or visit their website, or call Council's Customer Service team on (02) 6499 2222, as Council staff may be able to assist you.
Council has introduced controls related to burning vegetation and other matter in the open. Under the POEO (Clean Air) Regulations 2010 anyone burning in the open in the Bega Valley Shire must comply with Council’s Burning off in open areas Policy, to view the policy visit our Public Policies page and search for burning off in open areas. Should you require Council approval to burn vegetation you can fill in the application form or contact Council's Customer Service team on (02) 6499 2222.