Bay of Plenty Regional Council has rolled out new infrared camera technology to help detect illegal non-compliant wood burner use in Rotorua.
The new thermal imaging camera technology detects thermal energy on chimneys and flues which show unlawful use of wood burners.
If use of illegal wood burners is identified, Council Compliance Officers will follow up with the occupants, Council said in a statement.
The cameras do not see-through walls or glass, nor show any human activity within houses, it said.
Regional Council Compliance Manager, Stephen Mellor says the new thermal imaging cameras support a staged approach to compliance and enforcement in the Rotorua Airshed and acknowledge the community’s continued efforts in improving wintertime air quality.
“Everyone needs to double check their wood burners to ensure that they are legal to use,” said Mr Mellor.
“Clean air is important for whānau, friends and protecting our environment. Please do your bit this winter and if you see our Compliance Officers about, remember they’re part of our community and working towards our collective goal of improving air quality.
“These heating rules are in place to protect our most vulnerable to the adverse health effects of air pollution. The health of our environment and communities is at the heart of what we do.”
Historically, Rotorua has some of the nation’s worst wintertime air quality, largely due to smoke from domestic home heating.
The Regional Council and the Rotorua community have worked hard to phase out old, inefficient solid fuel wood burners, and have seen notable air quality improvements over the past 15 years, the Council said.
This compliance initiative supports the ongoing efforts to improve air quality in the Rotorua airshed, it said.