Kimberley City Council gave the Wood-Burning Appliance Emissions Control Bylaw its first three readings on Tuesday night, with a plan to adopt it at the next regular Council meeting in two weeks.
The purpose of the bylaw, explained Coun. Don McCormick, is to enhance air quality and give Council the tools to monitor and enforce sub-standard burning of substances such as garbage or wet wood.
The bylaw also establishes a minimum standard of replacement of wood stoves, as well as supports the ongoing wood stove exchange program.
The bylaw has been in the works for quite some time, but has been delayed by the issue of outdoor wood furnaces. Advocates have attended Council to argue in favour of the outdoor appliances but this bylaw does not allow for them.
“The reality is preservation of healthy air,” said Coun. Darryl Oakley. “These outdoor furnaces are not designed for municipalities, they are designed for acreages. It’s a good bylaw.”
“An important feature of this bylaw is that it has some teeth,” said Mayor Ron McRae. “It gives the City the ability to deal with certain situations. We are not out to get people, but just deal with situations.”
“Wood will be a major part of energy in Kimberley,” said Coun. Kent Goodwin. “If we keep a healthy air shed, there will be more opportunity for wood burning. In the end, if there is no compliance after trying to deal with a situation through other means, this bylaw gives us the ability to issue tickets, or shut a stove down. But that is the last thing we want to do.”