Sacramento air quality board rubber stamps a broad fireplace ban during winters' coldest months. An ordinance to limit fireplace use was instituted today to take effect in the coming cold winter months ahead.
The ban seems a little short on specifics, and open to abuse by county revenue hunters.
Air District Approves Wood Burning Restrictions
October 25, 2007
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District Board today approved restrictions on residential wood burning in Sacramento County that become effective December 1, 2007 and run through February 28, 2008 for the initial year. The health-protective restrictions will safeguard residents on days when particulate matter 2.5 is forecast to be high.
Residential wood burning is the primary source of particulate matter pollution during the fall and winter months. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution with significant health problems including decreased lung function, aggravated asthma, development of chronic respiratory disease in children (asthma), irregular heartbeat, nonfatal heart attacks and even premature death in people with heart or lung disease.
The levels of the restrictions are as follows:
Days when particulate matter is forecast to be 25 micrograms per cubic meter or above the District will call for residents to VOLUNTARILY not burn and to burn cleaner fires.
Days when particulate matter is forecast to be 35 micrograms per cubic meter or above the District will have a MANDATORY “No Burn” restriction. Only EPA certified fireplace inserts or pellet stoves will be allowed to burn.
Days when particulate matter is forecast to be 40 micrograms per cubic meter or above the District will have a MANDATORY “No Burn” restriction for ALL BURNING DEVICES (except gas fireplaces).
Anyone violating the mandatory restriction will be subject to a $50 fine or be required to attend a class on acceptable burning. During the first year of the restriction, however, the District will only issue warning letters to violators.
It will be the responsibility of residents to “Check Before You Burn” to determine if they are permitted to burn on any particular day. Information will be available through the Air District’s Web sites, www.AirQuality.org and www.SpareTheAir.com; by calling a toll-free number that will be active December 1; by subscribing to “Air Alert” for email or text message notification; checking the Sacramento Bee’s weather page or listening to local television weather reports.
CONTACT: Air District Media Line 916-874-4888