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February 18 – EPA awards Strathfield Council funding for woodsmoke reduction

18 February 2014

Strathfield Council will be presented with a grant for $40,000 for a Woodsmoke Reduction Program from the NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday 18 February.

The Woodsmoke Reduction Program is an opportunity for councils to promote awareness about the effects of wood smoke on health and educate about the benefits of correct wood heater operation.

Strathfield Council’s successful grant application is made up of two components; $20,000 to be spent on undertaking a smoky chimney survey before and after the program and the other $20,000 on a community education program about the health impacts of wood smoke pollution and how to best operate wood heaters.

Based on previous air pollution investigations, Council has revealed that there are many cases of wood heaters in the area that are not maintained or cleaned properly, are using the wrong fuel or the installation or location of the flue is incorrect.

Mayor of Strathfield, Cr Daniel Bott said the grant is another great opportunity for Council to get a message out to residents.

“This grant is a new opportunity for Council to investigate an issue that has previously not been communicated. Air pollution from wood smoke can be difficult to investigate but this grant provides significant assistance to improving the air pollution in Strathfield,” Cr Bott said.

“I encourage any residents with wood heaters to contact Council if they require information about the guidelines for their use.”

Cr Sang Ok, Deputy Mayor of Strathfield echoed Cr Bott’s comments.

“Through this program, Council will aim to decrease any air pollution complaints received as well as ensuring that the owners of wood heaters are aware of how to maintain and operate them in accordance with best practices to minimise smoke nuisance.”

“It is great that Council can be among the recipients of this grant, and for the first time can target this issue,” Cr Ok said.