Comox council is taking a step to improve air quality and public health by creating a bylaw to prohibit wood stoves in all construction.
Council approved third reading at Wednesday’s meeting of Building Amendment Bylaw 1903 to not allow wood stoves in all construction, including renovations and additions with an exemption for existing wood stove efficiency upgrades.
At the Feb. 20 council meeting, council viewed a presentation by Breathe Clean Air Comox Valley regarding improving air quality and public health by addressing wood smoke. One option that was put forward was to prohibit the installation of new wood stoves in new and existing construction including outbuildings.
In his report to council, Richard Kanigan, chief administrative officer for the town said that Comox’s Official Community Plan bylaw notes that greenhouse gas emissions are a major concern as they are widely considered to be a major driver in climate change and the heating and electric demand of residential and commercial buildings contribute to GHG emissions.
Under the 2017 B.C. Best Practices Methodology for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the use of residential wood fuel, even with a zero per cent moisture content for heating purposes, emits more CO2 than natural gas or electricity.
Residents within the town who currently utilize a wood stove and chimney within their home will be unaffected by the change in the bylaw.
Residents who currently do not have a wood stove will not be allowed to install one in their existing home.