Home heating fuel emissions

Local people have been asked to bear in mind the impact of certain home heating fuels on air quality.
Local people have been asked to bear in mind the impact of certain home heating fuels on air quality.

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane has issued a reminder to heed advice regarding the use of domestic home heating fuels in designated smoke control areas.

The smoke control areas were first introduced in Strabane in 2007, in a bid to improve air quality across the district.

The Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs meanwhile recently revealed it was monitoring high levels of air pollution over Derry City and Belfast.

Department officials attributed the elevated levels to road vehicles and home heating emissions combined with cold, calm weather conditions in which pollutants are not being dispersed.

The council is asking that the public and businesses are mindful of the environmental impact of smoke emissions from both commercial and domestic chimneys.

Mayor, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said that taking certain measures would ensure better air quality for everyone. She said: “An Air Quality Action Plan was implemented over recent years, which includes a range of measures aimed at improving public health.

“As a result air quality has improved dramatically since the introduction of smoke control areas, in particular in the Strabane area.

“It is important that these control measures are continued to ensure public health is protected. So I would ask everyone to be mindful - particularly over the colder months - of the consequences of burning home heating fuels for the health and well-being of everyone.”

Officers from council’s Environmental Health Service continue to undertake enforcement activities to ensure compliance with smoke controls, which includes the sale of non-smokeless fuels and the burning of such fuels in domestic and commercial buildings.