Fire Rings Bill Passes Through Committee

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Fire Rings Bill Passes Through Committee

Postby Wilberforce » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:00 pm

Fire Rings Bill Passes Through Committee
posted: January 13th, 2014 05:44 pm | 3Comments

A bill that would protect beach bonfires throughout the state passed after a vote in the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources this afternoon.

The bill will now move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it is scheduled to be heard on Jan. 22.

Assembly Bill 1102 would require the South Coast Air Quality Management District “to work with local cities and other coastal oversight agencies to prove that there will be no loss of beach access, no harm to local economies, and that any environmental concerns are addressed before a city can remove the fire rings from the beaches in Orange and Los Angeles counties,” according to a news release sent by Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach). Allen and Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) co-authored the bill and spoke at today’s committee meeting.

In July, the South Coast Air Quality Management District voted to change the rules about beach bonfires; read our story here. The new SCAQMD rules take effect March 1.

The original bill sought to amend the state’s Health and Safety Code so that the South Coast Air Quality Management District “shall not prohibit a person from engaging in a beach burning for a recreational, ceremonial, or open burning conducted in a public coastal area marked by an accumulation of sand.”

The amended bill, according to the Orange County Register, states that Rule 444 will not become operative until the local agency, Newport Beach, gets a coastal development permit in a reasonable amount of time.

“The amended version of the bill also requires Newport Beach to reconcile its proposal to remove or move fire rings with the AQMD rule and get the Coastal Commission’s approval to do so,” the Register story states.

A meeting is scheduled Thursday with representatives from Newport Beach, the California Coastal Commission and the SCAQMD to discuss fire rings.

Corona del Mar residents Frank and Barbara Peters, outspoken opponents of fire rings because of the dangers of wood smoke, spoke at the committee meeting. Frank Peters said he often is asked why he moved near fire rings if he worries so much about wood smoke.

“Fifteen or 16 years ago, I had no idea of the toxic impacts of the fire pits,” he said. “Can you imagine the horror we felt when we looked into it?”

In a prepared statement released after the meeting, Allen said he sympathized with the need to reduce pollution in Orange County, but that the community needs to support any action to meet that need.

“Beach bonfires are an activity enjoyed by people from all across California, including those who cannot afford multi-million dollar beachfront homes,” his statement said. “This legislation will ensure that every Californian has access to our beautiful beaches through the affordable attraction of a beach bonfire…It would be hard to imagine the Orange County Coast without fire rings on the beach.”

The committee vote was 7-0 with two members not voting.

source ... committee/
• 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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