Dudley Council is proposing to introduce a new borough-wide Smoke Control Order to tackle pollution.
The new order will make it an offence to emit smoke from the chimney of any home or business in the Dudley borough unless people can prove they are using authorised environmentally-friendly fuels.
Those caught in breach of the new order could face prosecution and court action, with fines of up to £1,000 for those found to be in breach of the regulations.
The new order will also make it an offence to acquire or sell unauthorised fuel in the Dudley borough, other than for a building or fireplace which is exempt under the regulations.
A six-week consultation period on the proposed new order starts tomorrow, with residents encouraged to have their say.
The authority does already have an order in place – the Dudley MBC Smoke Control Consolidation Order 1988. However it does not cover all properties in the borough. The existing order will be revoked and replaced by the new order if it is given the go-ahead at the end of the consultation period. It will mean the whole of the borough being declared a Smoke Control Area.
Nick Powell, head of environmental health, said:
“We are committed to doing all we can to tackle air pollution in Dudley and part of that work includes reducing smoke from chimneys.
“The majority of the borough is already designated as a smoke control area. But there are some properties which are currently excluded and this new order is designed to bring everyone under the same legislation to avoid inconsistencies or doubt. No properties shall be exempted from the new order.
“A consultation period has now started and we would encourage people who may be affected to have their say.”
Legislation was first introduced in the 1950s and 1960s to tackle “smogs” caused by the widespread burning of coal by industry and for heating in homes. The smogs were blamed for the premature deaths of hundreds of people across the UK. The Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968 gave local authorities powers to control emissions and to declare “smoke control areas”.
Details of authorised fuels and exempted appliances are available at https://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk
Anyone affected by the proposed order may object to its making before May 12th in writing to Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Environmental Safety and Health, 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, DY1 1HL. Alternatively residents can email EnvSafetyHealth.DUE@dudley.gov.uk