Burning Issues

The New York Times: September 22, 2006
New Air Pollution Rules Rankle Health Groups
"Previously, U.S. law allowed 65 micrograms of soot particles per cubic meter of air; the new rules call for a limit of 35 micrograms."

2003 Australia:

California Proposed Ban on Wood Burning. Dec. 2002


News: From Marfa, Texas. Nov. 23, 2002 reported by R.C.

I want to let you know that your literature really helped my battle to stop the burning at our compost/recycling center. It ins't a dump - the garbage is hauled 100 miles away to Pecos, but is for things the trash co. won't take such as old furniture, applliances, TV's, computers, metal, tires, leaves, cut down trees, weeds, paint cans. A man was on duty to seperate and oversee the recycling bins but he didn't do it and everything got mixed in the compost pile. Once a year in Texas, all high school and colleges have home coming nite with a huge bonfire. (Remember the TX Aggies one that collapsed several years ago and killed several students?) The city used it as an excuse for the kids to have it and get rid of the years accumulation and for the volunteer fire dept. to have practice of putting it out. Only they didn't get it out- and it moldered, reignited and burned for weeks to months. I got nowhere with the former mayor, or city manager. Called my assemblyman for help, who called TNRCC (the air quality board) I talked with them too and the man was impressed with my knowledge gained from your info. TNRCC came out and said the fire must be 100% out before morning when they returned. The entire city crew, volunteer fire dept. and fire dept from Alpine ( in the next county) worked all day and nite to get it out. The city was fined. Then the next year a repeat. TNRCC found TV's, furniture, paint and spray cans, etc. in the ashes. Heavy fines and lots of City overtime. The new city manager and mayor actually read the info and discussed with me. City bought $35,000 chipper. Man on duty seperates carefully and the gate is locked when he isn't there.

Kids had a bonfire on the the football field of twisted newspapers. Out in 30 minutes! The first mayor lied to the assemblyman aid - said (it was a) small fire that the winds caused to flare up during the nite. I provided newspaper photos showing a hugh fire with flames 6 times taller than the kids as evidence. He had the nerve to call me up to chew me out for causing him problems. I told him off like Ive never done before. He is a bully and not used to being talked back to, so he was really taken aback.

I hope to tackle the Alpine compost burning next. Thanks again so much for your information.


(Click on Blue to go to further information.)

December 2002: Kokkari Update No progress has been made. SF officials and polititians refuse to protect public health. This is only one of many of wood smoke stinking SF restaurants. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District continues it's long history of ignoring public health and welfare. Please boycott Kokkari and other wood burning restaurants (burning up to 1,000 pounds of wood a week). They are real killers both for the staff, and the neigborhood.

A recent trip to the SF Modern Museum, had a gauntlet of wood smoke restaurants (very in you know) polluting the street and Moscone Center parking lot to pass through to get to it. The officials of the BAAQMD allow this kind of severe enviromental degradation in all the 100 towns they are responsible for. Only Berkeley has put their foot down banning any new ones. One feels that honest education from the district could turn the tide toward more sane cooking fuels. Copy information and flyers from this web site and lobby and picket ( up wind of course). Ask owners to change. Inform employees of the danger to their health. [ED.]

Jan. 13, 2002 Hi-rise in SF punished for public meeting about wood smoke from Kokkari Restaurant. See below "Wood Burning in San Francisco".

Jan. 10,2002
Sydney Fires Continue to Burn. They are a Disaster. Comparison to winter wood burning fires :Report from Dorothy L Robinson
Armidale Air Quality Group
"Air pollution in Armidale
looks like: http://lash.une.edu.au/~drobinso/eastarm.jpg
We've all seen the smoke from the bushfires in Syndey and know the
horrific level of smoke. I also heard reports that the incidence of
respiratory complaints has doubled. Yet, despite Sydney's massive smoke problems, daily average measurements in East Armidale were often worse than the worst daily averages currently reported by the EPA for Sydney. " (Excerpt)

Jan. 9, 2002 It is not safe to breathe smoke particles: Why are we not protecting US firefighters?

"Hi, I saw the web page and it caught my attention. I work as a fire fighter for the xxxxx Forestry. I work fire only, from February to May and September to November. I also get sent to other states as well during the summer months. As a fire fighter I am provided with all kinds of safety equipment Hard hat, Gloves, Goggles, Nomex Flame Resistant Clothing, Face Shroud, and a Fire Shelter. I have never been offered any protection for my lungs. Could you please forward me information or a source of information that will explain any long term health risks or concerns. Thank you in advance.

Jan. 9, 2002 NYTIMES Editorial: Rollback on Clean Air

"A proposal to weaken an important provision in the Clean Air Act is making its way to the White House for a final decision by President Bush.The recommendation, from the Energy Department and
The Environmental Protection Agency, is variously described as "tentative" and "informal" - in
any case, not final. One can only hope so. It is a bad idea, one of several to emerge from Vice
President Dick Cheney's task force on energy last spring. By rejecting it, the administration can
spare itself the kind of embarrassment it suffered when it tried to roll back the Clinton
administration's arsenic standard last year."

Jan. 9, 2002 NYTIMES: Judge Overrules Decision Allowing Logging of Burned Trees

A federal judge in Montana has blocked a Bush
administration decision that would have allowed logging at
the Bitterroot National Forest.

More info on Burning Issues Site. Clean Energy and Conservation

Jan. 9, 2002 NYTIMES: U.S. Ends Car Plan on Gas Efficiency; Looks to Fuel Cells

The Bush administration is walking away from a project to develop high-mileage gasoline-fueled vehicles and will support a plan to develop hydrogen-based fuel cells.

More on Fuel Cells on Burning Issues Site:

Wood burning in San Francisco

Hi Rise apartment building fighting for relief from Kokkari Restaurant wood smoke. (with website to View San Francisco holiday through air monitoring equipment.)

"Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 05:52:53 -0800
From: Brian Browne <h2oecon@pacbell.net>
BC= Black Carbon
UV = Ultra Violet

In an earlier communiqué I predicted we would be "punished" for
daring to challenge the mighty Kokkari Restaurant, 200 Jackson Street, SF
94111, on January 11, 2002 with a public meeting (50 attended - more would
have, but our management at the GGC has fought mightily to suppress
leafleting of tenants' issues) to discuss wood burning fire issues. You
asked how?

FYI -- At 8.20 PM on the 11th -- the night of Supervisor Peskin's visit
the black carbon reading was BC was 2275 and UV 2142 The restaurant
basically shut down their "power" operation to "pose" as good neighbors.
The following night (January 12) was a "B52 equivalent" attack and at 8.20
PM BC was 16,542 and UV 24,590. The latter exceed BOTH KOKKARI and the
FIREWORKS combined just after midnight on NYE
(see Dr. Fairley's paper).
Maybe we should call this area "Tora Bora" not the "Barbary Coast?" I think
Kokkari with these type "power raids" can quickly eradicate out our small,
brave and not so resilient "pocket of resistance." (kids, elderly, infirm,
etc.) Then maybe SF media will get off their bums and admit there is a
problem. I see this phenomenon as a perverse type role-reversal situation.
However, I doubt SF can still brag about being the "World's Greatest City?"
We greatly appreciate Supervisor Peskin responding on Saturday night to
review the "collateral damage." Last night was without doubt obscene. Where
do we go for fresh, unpolluted air? Go Niners. Maybe you could pass this
on to the Sydney press?


Jan. 2002: Fight to clean up Kokkari Restaurant on 200 Jackson St, SF.wood burning in San Francisco Meeting Jan.11, 2002 Please call Brian Browne 415-399-1642 also see these websites:

Aethalometer monitoring in Downtown San Francisco http://www.mageesci.com/sf/downtown_sf.htm
These are great charts of Wood smoke along with city living. Look at Christmas Eve. See how the smoke pollution fills the air and then it doesn't clear out until early morning. This is early data but very helpful.

Hi Rise apartment building fighting for relief from Kokkari Restaurant wood smoke. meeting Jan. 11, 2002.with website to View San Francisco holiday through air monitoring equipment.

Texas:Even the President of the United States doesn't know any better: Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2001 12:04:46 EST Subject: GEORGE BUSH WAS JUST ON TV, FROM HIS RANCH. HE SAID HE WAS GOING OUT TO CLEAR AND BURN SOME BRUSH. OUT IN THE WOODS.

Berkeley Law bans commercial wood burning ovens and fireplaces. Dec. 15, 2001 SF Chronicle. At last a success to protect public health! Congrats to Burning Issues Member Jamie Casebar. Burning Issues worked many hours and many years for this first step.

(Note however BAAQMD tells people 'How to burn". "Burn only hardwoods" says Tommie Mayfield. This is one more example of bureaucrats ignoring the science. A hardwood fire produces 30 grams of deadly particulate in an hour, Burning Issues advocates cleaning up wood smoke by not burning wood.

Michael Gersick, lobbyist of the California Hearths and Home Association criticized the science that links disease and wood smoke. Burning Issues and scientists have the facts. Gersick works hard, visiting the Lung Association, the real estate association and all the meetings of the CA ARB, BAAQMD, and the meetings of your town also. He also has been promoting law suits against cities that try to ban more wood burning appliances. One in the South Bay was funded by McNear Brick of San Rafel. Get Mad and donate to Burning Issues and help us inform the public with this health saving information. Use the science from this website and tell other people how deadly wood burning is. Gersicks statagy is the same argument statagy used by tobacco lobbyists for decades. When you see illegal rulings such as the ones below that allow more killing pollution you know your lobbyists have been hard at work.

EPA EXEMPTS California farmers from all clean air rules. 12/5/01

CA-Air-Review California Air Resources Board Proposes Air Quality Standards for Fine Particles:  Back grounder : Politics as usual : here is the flaw: --"No 24-hour PM2.5 standard is recommended. (The federal standard is 65 ug/m3, 3 year average of 98th percentile concentrations)." We need to stop wood burning and crop burning in CA. It is clear that the CA ARB, has not been out and measured fine particulate. This is a document to do nothing about the year round wood smoke that invades California air. How can you propose to do something about fine particulate and then not do anything about fine particulate? The ARB will as usual have endless meeting to do nothing right. The times of year when the fine particulate soars over 24 hour periods is during the wood burning season or in areas of year round burning of wood such as restaurants and factories fueled by wood.

November 30, 2001:  Draft Staff Report of the Air Resources Board and the
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is released for public
comment. The report is available at
www.arb.ca.gov/research/aaqs/std-rs/std-rs.htm.  Hard copies may be
requested from Ms. Jacqueline Cummins at 916-445-0753.  Technical questions
about the review of the standards may be directed to:

Richard Bode
Chief, Health and Exposure Assessment Branch
Air Resources Board
Email: rbode@arb.ca.gov

*Dec. 3- Dec. 18, 2001:  ARB holds six public meetings in Oakland,
Sacramento, Bakersfield, Mira Loma, El Monte, and Huntington Park, to
present their proposals and to respond to public comments.  The revised
schedule for the workshops is available at:
<A HREF="Http://arbis.ca.gov/research/aaqs/std-rs/std-rs.htm">Http://arbis.ca.gov/research/aaqs/std-rs/std-rs.htm</A>

*December 31, 2001:  Written comments on the Staff Report and the recommend
standards are due. Comments may be sent to:
Dr. David Mazzera
Air Resources Board
Research Division
P.O. Box 2815
Sacramento, CA 95612-2815
Email:  dmazzera@arb.ca.gov
Phone:  916-445-9488
Fax:      916-322-4357

Burning Issues
Box 1045
Point Arena CA 95468
Tel: 707-882-3601
Email: [pm10mary at mcn dot org]

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