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Council to carry out fuel usage survey

14 February 2019

Householders across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being urged to take part in a survey that is being conducted to identify the extent of domestic fuel usage.

The survey is part of a Fuel Use Report research project carried out by a team of consultants, appointed by Council, to look into Fuel Usage in the Council area.

As part of their work, the consultants, Social Capital (North West) CIC, will be engaging with the public.

Encouraging the public to participate in the survey, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle said the results of the survey would greatly assist in making an assessment of potential air quality issues that may arise due to burning of domestic solid fuel.

“I would encourage the public to assist us with this research work by participating in the survey. Through public engagement we hope we can get as many people as possible involved so that we can get an accurate picture of the extent of domestic solid fuel usage across our Council area that will in turn help us to put into place an action plan to improve air quality across the Council area.”

Mark McChrystal from Council’s Environmental Health Department explained researcher will be knocking on doors across the Derry and Strabane area over the coming four weeks urging people to participate in the survey by responding to a number of questions.

He explained that the survey and report has been grant aided by the Air and Environmental Quality (AEQ) team of the Department for Agriculture, Environment and rural Affairs (DAERA).

DAERA are currently in process of completing an Action Plan to redress exceedance of the Health Target Value for Benzo(a)pyrene, a hydrocarbon associated with emissions from domestic solid fuel burning, among other sources, in the Derry area.

He explained: “The information collated will be used to assist Council and DAERA to come to an informed decision on the possible declaration of Smoke Control Areas, in which there are restrictions placed on the burning of certain fuels in order to ensure that public health is not compromised by air quality pollutants from the burning of domestic solid fuel.”

The survey will be undertaken at various locations in the Derry and Strabane areas and is expected to take around four weeks to compile.

The report is expected to be submitted to Council later this year.  It is intended that air quality dispersion modelling will then be undertaken, based on the Fuel Use. It is expected that the survey results will also map any areas where exceedance of the Health Target Value for Benzo(a)pyrene is predicted.