Unfortunately, the bylaws did not pass first reading. Council’s decision was based on staff input that claimed the bylaws would not be enforceable.
Breathe Clean Air strongly disagrees with this conclusion, and we are currently doing research into how other jurisdictions have implemented different types of bylaws to deal with wood smoke. We will be preparing our own report for Cumberland council.
Some Good News
The good news is that earlier this week Council directed Village staff to look into the permitting process for installing wood-burning appliances and the feasibility of refusing to issue permits that allow for their installation or use.
This is one important step in improving our air quality – we need to stop the increase in the number of stoves.
You can learn more about the Council meeting in an article in the Comox Valley Record, “Cumberland residents bring air quality concerns to council“.
The article also talks about the presentation by one Cumberland citizen who, in part, talked about the benefits of heat pumps over wood stoves. He also lobbied Council to pass enforceable bylaws that would regulate existing wood stoves.