Sandwell Council has launched a public consultation on proposals to make the borough a smoke control area.
Air pollution is a significant issue in Sandwell and some of the most harmful man-made air pollutants come from wood and coal burning stoves. Some fine particles are so small they can enter the bloodstream and cause damage to every organ in the body.
As part of a wider effort to help improve local air quality, Sandwell Council is proposing to replace the existing 51 separate smoke control areas with a single smoke control area that would cover the whole of Sandwell. Birmingham and Dudley already have similar legislation in place.
In a smoke control area, residents and businesses can only emit smoke from a chimney if they are burning authorised fuels, using exempt appliances or have official permission. Fines can be issued to people who break the rules.
An initial survey was carried out last year, which showed that 75 per cent of people agreed that all of Sandwell should be a smoke control area. The resulting proposals were agreed by Sandwell Council in December, and now require public consultation to become official legislation.
The consultation is running from Monday 9 May until Monday 20 June. To find out more, and to contribute your views, visit the consultation web page. A copy of the proposed smoke control order and the accompanying plan will also be available for viewing at Sandwell Council House on Freeth Street in Oldbury from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, during the consultation period.
For information and resources about other environmental issues affecting business in Sandwell, visit our going greener page.