Home Contra Costa County Winter Spare the Air Alert in Effect for Wednesday

Winter Spare the Air Alert in Effect for Wednesday

by ECT

A Winter Spare the Air Alert has been issued for Wednesday, February 1, 2017 in the Bay Area. The 7th of the Winter Season.

Wood burning is banned both indoors and outdoors on Tuesday for the full 24 hours.

First-time violators of the Wood Burning Rule will be encouraged to take a wood smoke awareness course to learn more about the health impacts from wood smoke and the weather conditions that lead to unhealthy air quality in the winter. Those violators who choose not to take the course will receive a $100 ticket.

Second violations are subject to a $500 ticket, with the ticket amount increasing for any subsequent violations.

Air quality in the Bay Area is forecast to be unhealthy. It is illegal for Bay Area residents to burn wood or other solid fuels in fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts, pellet stoves, outdoor fire-pits, or other wood-burning devices.  This wood-burning ban will be in effect for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southern Sonoma and southwestern Solano Counties.

“Wood smoke from the Bay Area’s 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves continues to be the largest source of wintertime air pollution in the region,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “The Air District’s more stringent amendments to our wood-burning rule serve to further protect public health from wood smoke pollution.”

Winter air pollution is mainly caused by particulates or soot pollution from wood smoke. Smoke from wood-burning fires is linked to illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease, and is especially harmful for children and the elderly.

For more information about the Wood Burning Rule, or to check before you burn, visit www.sparetheair.org or call 1-877-4NO-BURN.

You can also call 1-800-430-1515 and register to receive automatic phone calls when a Winter Spare the Air Alert has been called.

To see the current air quality forecast visit www.sparetheair.org.

New Requirements Now in Effect starting November 1:

  1. Anyone whose sole source of heat is a wood-burning device must use an EPA-certified or
    pellet-fueled device that is registered with the Air District to qualify for an exemption. An
    open hearth fireplace will no longer qualify for an exemption.
  2. Bay Area residents who begin a chimney or fireplace remodeling project that costs over
    $15,000 and requires a building permit will only be allowed to install a gas-fueled, electric or EPA-certified device.
  3. No wood-burning devices of any kind may be installed in new homes or buildings being
    constructed in the Bay Area.


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