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Air pollution plans to tackle wood burners

Air pollution plans to tackle wood burners

  • 22 May 2018
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Plans to tackle sources of air pollution - such as wood-burning stoves - put too much responsibility on local councils, critics say.

The government, as part of its clean air strategy, wants to clamp down on all sources of pollution, including coal-burning and ammonia from farms.

Campaigners welcome the consultation, but say it does not go far enough.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said it would be "disproportionate" to have a uniform ban on certain fuels.

He said the air pollution effects in rural areas of fuels, such as diesel or coal, are significantly less compared to urban areas as they are dispersed.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: "What we've got here are a series of proportionate measures which we hope will deal with what is a big public health issue."

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Ministers want to halve the number of people exposed to high levels of pollution from fine particles, known as particulates, by 2025.

One of the most contentious proposals is to reduce pollution from wood burners, which, along with solid fuels, cause 38% of particulate pollution.

But a source at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told the BBC there was no plan to ban existing stoves - or the burning of coal and open wood fires, which are far more polluting than wood burners.

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