Parksville wood stove users should be deeply concerned by the proposed bylaw regulating solid fuel appliances. Section 11 of the bylaw states that “No person shall operate a solid fuel burning appliance at any time when an air quality advisory has been issued and is in effect for the City of Parksville or adjacent electoral areas.”
There are a number of problems with this. First, Parksville does not have a facility for measuring air quality. The nearest facility is on Labieux Road in Nanaimo. So, any air quality advisory would be issued based on air quality problems in Nanaimo, not in Parksville.
Second, there is no provision for notification of residents of an air quality advisory. Certainly there would be no advance notice of an advisory. What that means is that any resident who has a fire going at the time an air quality advisory is issued would be in violation of the bylaw and would likely not even know it.
Further, the penalties for violating this bylaw include fines of up to $10,000. This leads the absurd situation where a resident might stoke the fire before bed and wake up to a $10,000 fine because of air quality in a community 30 km away.
This bylaw is up for final approval at the next council meeting on Wednesday. I urge anyone who uses a wood stove in Parksville to let the council know what they think about this before its too late.