The onset of warmer, drier weather brings a greater chance of smoke and dust issues, and Taranaki businesses and households are urged to take care to avoid falling foul of environmental requirements.
“Everyone has a duty to comply with measures required to protect the quality of Taranaki’s air,” says Bruce Pope, Compliance Manager for the Taranaki Regional Council.
Objectionable smoke and dust can create traffic hazards, soil surrounding properties and pose a risk to animal and human health.
Mr Pope says those not complying with requirements will be talked to by officers.
“You may face enforcement action that becomes a time-consuming and potentially expensive hassle for you over the summer season.”
Those responsible for site works or even an empty section need to be aware of possible off-site effects and take action to mitigate them. This might include regular water-spraying and/or the covering of bare land with light vegetation or a temporary cover.
“We follow up all dust complaints and we do take enforcement action, including instant fines and prosecution, where warranted,” says Mr Pope.
Restrictions and requirements vary according to location and circumstances:
- Backyard burning is banned on all urban properties under 5000 square metres in any suburb or township that has a regular rubbish collection. See www.trc.govt.nz/backyard-burning/#backyard for maps of where the ban applies.
- While rubbish fires are permitted on urban properties larger than 5000 square metres, strict conditions apply and adverse effects must be avoided.
- The backyard burning ban does not apply to fires for cooking or heating, such as hāngī, barbecues or braziers.
- Burning in rural areas is permitted, but only under strict conditions including restrictions on what can be burned, its source, and management of environmental effects. For details, see www.trc.govt.nz/backyard-burning/#farm
- Farm vegetation can generally be burned without a resource consent, as long as smoke and odour are minimised to avoid effects on other people, the environment, visibility, or traffic. For more details, see www.trc.govt.nz/backyard-burning/#vegetation
- Any burning of industrial waste, no matter where it takes place, requires a resource consent from the Taranaki Regional Council.
All these requirements and restrictions are separate to and additional to any seasonal fire restrictions or permit requirements imposed by Fire and Emergency NZ. To check on FENZ requirements, go to www.checkitsalright.nz(external link) or call 0800 658 628.