Worst log burner and open fire fuels to be banned to tackle air pollution

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The most polluting fuels used for log burners and open fires are set to be banned to tackle air pollution.

Plans to reduce people’s exposure to particulate matter, which is rated the most damaging pollutant, are set out today in a new strategy announced by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove who has announced the most polluting log burner and open fire fuels will be banned as part of an ambitious strategy to tackle air pollution. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove who has announced the most polluting log burner and open fire fuels will be banned as part of an ambitious strategy to tackle air pollution. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire.

Stoves and open fires have become the single biggest source of particulate matter emissions and so only the ‘cleanest’ stoves will be allowed to go on are on sale by 2022.

The Government also intends to restrict sales of wet wood for domestic burning and apply sulphur and smoke emission limits to all solid fuels.

Sales of bituminous or traditional house coal may also be phased out.

Ministers predict the measures will cut costs of air pollution to society by £1.7bn every year by 2020, rising to £5.3bn a year by 2030 due to savings from public health benefits.

Mr Gove said: “While air quality has improved significantly in recent years, air pollution continues to shorten lives, harm our children and reduce quality of life.”

The Clean Air Strategy also includes changes to existing smoke control laws and new powers for local authorities to act in high pollution areas.

It follows a ruling from the European Union that air quality in Leeds - amongst other UK cities - must improve.

Leeds City Council is legally obliged to cut air pollution to within legal limits in the shortest possible time but its plans to introduce a Clean Air Zone in the city, as part of a £40m masterplan, are being redrawn after the Government asked for more evidence as to the scheme’s viability.

The zone would see high-polluting HGVs, buses and taxis accrue charges for driving in and around the city centre.

READ MORE: Making money is ‘not a priority’ for air zone