Householders in Derry and Strabane are being urged to take part in a survey that is being conducted to identify how much domestic fuel they use.
The survey is part of a Fuel Use Report research project being carried out by a team of consultants, appointed by the local council. As part of their work, the consultants, Social Capital (North West) CIC, will be going door-to-door over the next four weeks.
Encouraging people to participate, Mayor John Boyle said the results will greatly assist in making an assessment of potential air quality issue. He said: “Through public engagement we hope we can get as many people as possible involved so that we can get an accurate picture of the extent of domestic solid fuel usage across our council area that will in turn help us to put into place an action plan to improve air quality across the council area.”
Mark McChrystal from Council’s Environmental Health Department said the survey and report has been grant aided by the Air and Environmental Quality (AEQ) team of the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), which is completing an Action Plan to redress exceedance of the Health Target Value for Benzo(a)pyrene, a hydrocarbon associated with emissions from solid fuel burning, among other sources, in the Derry area.
He said: “The information collated will be used to assist Council and DAERA to come to an informed decision on the possible declaration of Smoke Control Areas, in which there are restrictions placed on the burning of certain fuels.”
The results will also map areas where exceedance is predicted.