Metro Vancouver considers residential fireplace ban

Illustration by Cara Seccafien

Illustration by Cara Seccafien

Some say other pollutants should be addressed first

By Colten Kamlade, Staff Reporter


Metro Vancouver has been talking about banning, or at least restricting, the use of residential fireplaces.

According to the Metro Vancouver website, residential fireplaces are one of the biggest sources of pollution in the region, and much like other air pollutants, the smoke from fireplaces can cause health complications. Moreover, wood smoke contains particles that are carcinogenic.

At this point, however, there are no laws that stop residents from using wood stoves or fireplaces.

“Residents are not prohibited from using a wood stove or fireplace provided they meet the conditions of the GVRD Air Quality Management Bylaw,” the Metro Vancouver website states.

The lack of regulation may soon end. According to the Metro Vancouver website, they want to have a serious conversation about the problem and how to solve it.

“Metro Vancouver is seeking input on introducing a phased approach to regulating residential wood smoke emissions from indoor residential wood burning in the region,” the website says.

Metro Vancouver has already hosted several events that provided information and a chance for residents to voice their opinions, but there will be more opportunities to contribute to the discussion. The Metro Vancouver website has an online comment form you can fill out, and you can also contact them via email.

Not all residents are happy with the proposed legislation. Steve Norman, a New Westminster resident, expressed his frustration to the New West Record.

“They are looking at $700 for an insert for each fireplace. It’s ridiculous,” he told the Record. “I think the idea of cutting down the atmospheric pollution is fine, but what are you going to do about all the other atmospheric causes? Fireplaces, I think, are a minor portion of it. The major portion is things like trucks and cars and industrial things. A thing that a lot of people don’t realize is how much cleaner the air is now than it used to be.”

Metro Vancouver has published a bylaw development consultation paper which suggests new legislation could be fully implemented by 2025.

“A phased approach is being proposed to the implementation of the potential regulation to manage residential wood smoke from indoor residential wood burning,” the paper says. “Summer restrictions could start in 2020, registration requirements for indoor wood burning appliances could apply from 2022, and restrictions on emissions of wood smoke could apply from September 2025.”


The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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