Ste. Anne's new by-law to restrict older wood burning appliances


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Ste. Anne de Bellevue council adopted a motion at its monthly meeting on Monday, March 9, that will eventually ban non-compliant fireplaces and wood burning stoves throughout the city.

Ste. Anne de Bellevue is moving ahead with its plans to ban wood burning in solid fuel-burning appliances that do not conform to current environmental emission standards after city council adopted a notice of motion at the monthly council meeting on March 9.

Ste. Anne’s is following the lead taken by the City of Montreal which adopted its own wood burning resolution in October, 2018 that affects all 19 boroughs on the island. Montreal prohibits all wood burning in fire places and wood-burning stoves unless they are certified to have an emission rate equal to or less than 2.5 grams per hour (2.5 g/hr) of fine particulate into the atmosphere.

Second leading cause of air pollution

“Particulate emissions from fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are the second leading cause of air pollution on the Island of Montreal,” Ste. Anne’s Mayor Paola Hawa told The Journal. “We’re just trying to be eco-responsible. People will have until 2025 to conform. This is where the industry and cities are going. We have to do something about air pollution. It’s time that we update our by-law.”

Residents who have older fireplaces can have them retrofitted and people with older wood burning stoves will have to replace them with a new appliance conform to the new particulate emission standards as specified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

PHOTO COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK

Ste. Anne’s Mayor Paola Hawa says the changes are a necessary part of the new environmental reality and are in line with the City of Montreal’s by-laws.

New reality

“Our proposal is to grandfather in the some of the older fireplaces and wood stoves but only within certain constraints such as when there is no electricity for more than a certain amount of hours. The use of all wood-burning stoves and fireplaces will be banned when there’s a smog alert. We’ll be doing basically everything that the City of Montreal is doing,” said Hawa.

“I have a wood burning stove myself so I can understand. During Christmas there’s that whole mentality of the wood burning stove and the crackling of the fire which is fine and dandy but that’s not our reality anymore so we have to adjust to what’s actually happening in the world right now,” said Hawa.

Upcoming public info meeting

The mayor isn’t certain how most people feel about the upcoming changes but said the motion that was adopted is to give people a heads up to the changes that are coming to its by-law. More information will be provided during a public consultation meeting that will be held sometime between mid- to late-April, said Hawa.

“We’re coming out of the season where people are using their wood-burning appliances so there’s no urgency behind it right now, but we want to have the new by-law in place by this autumn,” said Hawa.

“There are provincial programs that will provide grants to homeowners who that have fireplaces and wood-burning stoves to upgrade them to current standards, thereby becoming more eco-responsible.”

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