Report Your Neighbor for Burning Wood on a Spare the Air Day

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Report Your Neighbor for Burning Wood on a Spare the Air Day

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:16 pm

Would You Report Your Neighbor for Burning Wood on a Spare the Air Day?

In two years, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has collected $800 in fines for illegal residential wood burning.

By Patch Staff
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5:44 am

Last winter, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District received 3,777 citizen complaints about residential wood burning during the season’s 15 Spare the Air days. Those complaints resulted in a total of 346 warnings to wood burners in nine counties and 13 tickets carrying a $400 fine. (Please see table below).

Aaron Richardson, a spokesman for the BAAQMD, said by email that the agency has only collected $800 in fines from the previous two winters, but that the chief point of banning wood fires on certain winter days is about improving air quality, not raising revenue. He added that early studies suggest that wood burning may be down by 15 percent from five years ago.

Here’s Richardson on how the BAAQMD enforces wood burning bans:

“We have about 70 inspectors on staff, and though not all of them are dispatched at any one time for wood burning duty, we send out patrols of various sizes on Winter Spare the Air days, depending on the day and availability.

“Inspectors must witness and document a violation to issue a citation. We track all complaints received and use those to help plan neighborhoods to patrol.

“They look for smoke, and are trained in smoke plume recognition and opacity, and they must go to the physical location of the fire to determine and document the source before writing a citation.”
Warnings and Tickets Issued for Wood Burning on Winter Spare the Air Days
Winter 2010-2011 (4 days of ban) Winter 2011-2012 (15 days of ban)
County Warnings Tickets Warnings Tickets
Alameda 5 0 10 0
Contra Costa 5 1 57 4
Marin 5 0 48 3
Napa 0 0 51 1
San Francisco 0 0 1 0
Santa Clara 13 1 32 2
San Mateo 2 0 31 1
Solano 0 0 8 0
Sonoma 29 0 108 2
Total 59 2 346 13

Source: BAAQMD

This season, first time offenders, who would have previously received a warning letter, will now be obliged to take an online class on the public health impacts of wood smoke.

While Thursday is not a Spare the Air day, the BAAQMD is asking people to voluntarily forgo wood fires.

source
http://losgatos.patch.com/articles/woul ... y-8c5e700e
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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