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AQMD To Issue Mandatory "No Burn" Alerts

Violators of the bans on the burning of firewood during smoggy "No Burn" periods could face fines up to $500.

From the South Coast Air Quality Management District:

During late fall and winter, fine particulate (PM2.5)levels can rise to unhealthy concentrations during stagnant atmospheric conditions. Starting today, under the South Coast AQMD’s “Check Before you Burn” program, mandatory no-burn alerts will be issued on days and in specific areas where PM2.5 levels are forecast to reach unhealthy levels.  

“While fireplaces are cozy, wood smoke from these fires is a serious public health threat,” said Barry R. Wallerstein, AQMD’s Executive Officer. “Residents can play an important role in helping to clean the air and protect their family’s health by checking before they burn.”  

During a no-burn alert, residents in affected areas are not allowed to burn wood or manufactured fireplace logs in their fireplaces or outdoor fire pits.  During a typical Southland winter, 15 to 20 no-burn alerts are expected to be issued from Nov. 1 through the end of February.   

To learn if a mandatory no-burn alert has been issued for a particular area of the Southland, residents can:

  • Sign up at www.AirAlerts.org to receive electronic e-mail notices when a no-burn alert is issued for their area;
  • Enter their ZIP code at www.aqmd.gov to see if a no-burn alert has been issued for their area; or
  • Call AQMD’s 24-hour Check Before You Burn toll-free line at (866) 966-3293.  

This winter, AQMD will partner with local TV station ABC 7 to help deliver air quality messages during news weathercasts. Now in its third year, Check Before You Burn is part of AQMD’s Healthy Hearths initiative and Rule 445 to protect public health by reducing harmful fine particulate pollution during winter months. The program was voluntary during 2010 but became mandatory last year.  

Alerts are issued when PM2.5 levels are forecast to exceed the federal health standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over a 24-hour period. Alerts are issued one day in advance and last for 24 hours. For example, an alert issued on a Monday is in place from Monday at midnight (just after 11:59 p.m. Monday) until Tuesday at midnight.  

Residents who burn wood in their fireplaces when a no-burn alert has been issued could be fined $50 as a first-time violator. They would also have the option of completing a wood smoke awareness course in lieu of the fine. For a second violation, the fine increases to $150 or instead of the fine a resident may install a permanent gas-fueled fireplace. Third time violators will receive a $500 fine or instead may fund a project that will benefit the environment. 

Multiple violations are accrued only if they occur during a single wood-burning season, November through February.  

To report a suspected violation, residents may call 1-800-CUT-SMOG (1-800-288-7664) or use the online complaint feature at www.aqmd.gov.   Properties located 3,000 feet above sea level, low-income households or those without natural gas access are exempt from curtailment requirements. Campfires, beach bonfires and ceremonial burning are also exempt from mandatory curtailment.  

To encourage residents to convert their existing wood-burning fireplaces to clean-burning gas logs, AQMD’s popular Gas Log Incentive Program offers residents a discount of up to $200 to convert their existing wood-burning fireplace to a clean-burning gas log set. Residents using clean-burning gas logs are not subject to the curtailment program.  

Fireplaces and other wood-burning devices are actively used in an estimated 1.2 million households in the Southland. They emit more than five tons of harmful PM2.5 emissions per day in the South Coast Air Basin -- more than four times the amount of PM2.5 emitted from all of the power plants in the Southland.  

From November through February, when wood burning is at its peak, it is estimated to cause more than 10 tons per day of PM2.5 emissions. PM2.5 is a serious public health threat associated with a wide range of adverse health effects. The California Air Resources Board has estimated that PM2.5 pollution from all sources in the Southland could result in about 5,000 premature deaths per year.

Southern California has some of the worst PM2.5 air quality in the nation. Since wood smoke is such a serious public health threat, most areas of Central and Northern California – in addition to many other areas and cities across the nation – have had mandatory wood-burning restrictions in place for several years.   

For more information on the Check Before You Burn program, the Healthy Hearths initiative, health impacts from wood smoke and the Gas Log Incentive Program, visit www.healthyhearths.org.

Ellen Zunino November 02, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Those of us who grew up here and remember the days when breathing was painful, our eyes burned and watered and, during the winter months, the smudge pots from Azusa to points east made the air black (and we prayed the wind wouldn't blow in our direction), really appreciate being able to breath cleaner air. In those days, home-based incinerators, fireplaces and barbeques weren't problems because the population wasn't what it is today and pollution was tied to manufacturing and agriculture. As the population grew the amount of pollution caused by cars and home-based sources grew with it and, over the years, replaced manufacturing and agriculture as major sources of pollution. Laws and regulations, like stop signs and traffic signals, increase in number as the population increases. Fewer people means fewer problems and fewer laws. If you want a more care-free life, you can't live in a densely populated area.
not Carl Peterson lll November 02, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Steve the web link is in the same circle of bias influence. They are semi-skillfully skewing data. The only heavy pro GW scientists are from those who already tied financially with it. Try the opposite approach and prove GW as false. I remember being on AOL15 years ago. If I remember right, Every site you went to was filtered through aol. You weren't really surfing the net, but didn't know it. That's why it is difficult to break.out of the propaganda. I am gone until ..... ? And anyway I'm hogging up this blog... When I'm back, I'll give you links....
T Q November 02, 2012 at 11:27 PM
They have a ban on new wood burning fireplaces now in new construction. But to have people turn in their neighbors for burning wood on the wrong day what are we a commie or Nazi society where we turn in friends, family and others because we perceive them to be different or non conforming to the beat of the government. It must make some people feel warm and fuzzy to fink on people .Oh you little brown shirts I feel sorry for the future.
Gayle M. Montgomery November 02, 2012 at 11:30 PM
I don't know about fireplaces, but I am going to start taking cell phone pix of license plates of drivers who flick their cigarettes outside their cars in fire season and send them to the local PD. If you must smoke, roll up your window, and keep your ash inside your own car!
Gary Edwards November 02, 2012 at 11:41 PM
what's that got to do with this topic? maybe you'll get a tix for using ur cell phone while driving.
not Carl Peterson lll November 03, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Steve B. This new info is a smoking gun of propaganda. I need to spend more time on it, but on first blush, this would be a smoking gun of the spread of propaganda.WIKIPEDIA HAS DELETED AND CHANGED OVER 5,000 ENTRIES THAT PROVE MANN(HOCKYSTICK CLIMATEGATE) IS FALSE. Google it. Wiki, and their global climate alarmist along with Mr. Mann himself have gone through wiki and altered thousands of entries that go against the Global warming lie. upon looking in to this I am also finding the same circle of people are now attempting to change history of the global COOLING "concensus" of the 70's Global warming is a religion that has no room for "heretics" like Galileo Just look at the universal knee-jerk reaction of ANY dissenting view. If Wiki with Mann, and another wiki GW alarmists altered reality........... Now once again I ask if this is true....is that enough for you to question the whole GW dabate? And once again you have to get out of the sphere of the propagandist influence.
not Carl Peterson lll November 03, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Just to be clear... the above info is new to me, and needs further learning.
joebanana November 03, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Since when does the AQMD legislate law? First the USDOJ say's med. marijuana patients can't own guns, uh excuse me, Department of violating international gun smuggling laws, you don't make the law, you're supposed to enforce it, but you break it, disregard it, ignore it, and trample it. Hugo, isn't the AQMD part of homeland security? the ones that purchased 1.2 billion rounds of hollow point ammo in the first half of the year?
joebanana November 03, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Every moronic alphabet department of government thinks they can just pass laws, like they were the Senate, or congress, or "the house" or something. Do they realize these "laws" they pass are illegal, and unenforceable? Is the DMV going to start making traffic laws?
Gayle M. Montgomery November 03, 2012 at 03:53 AM
It has to do with fire and smoke, Gary. Just this week alone, on Foothill Blvd between Santa Anita and Baldwin, I saw 2 different drivers on that tree filled road flicking ashes into the street. I don't know about you, but I found the forest fires we endured a few years back pretty hard on the lungs. I wouldn't take a picture while rolling, but I would do it at least to write down the number. One chick was middle aged in a yellow jeep. Top down, windows open, flicking for blocks.
Gayle M. Montgomery November 03, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Marty, what has you cranked tonight? LOL. I can see you running in circles and flailing your arms from here.
Gayle M. Montgomery November 03, 2012 at 03:56 AM
A search on the term Check Before You Burn indicates this is pretty much statewide and not just limited to our area.
Marvion November 03, 2012 at 04:52 AM
I'ma gonna burn my bible. http://www.greatphilosophy.com/debbie/
Dan Crandell November 03, 2012 at 04:55 AM
@joebanana ... Yes ...Finally a man who gets it. And that explains why it is "RAT On THY Neighbor" scam with a $500.00 fine. That state should split the fine with the whistle blower cause people would flock to this cash cow . The Brown Streak could finance his bullet train with this jewel or maybe make up for his failure on Prop.30. Thank you Mr. Banana.
not Carl Peterson lll November 03, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Gayleicans, The global warming alrmists are the ones flailing, screaming the sky is falling... the sky....Its just that the whole global warming being so false, and being a religion is crazy. The proof is there for anyone willing to do their own thinking.But like I say... you can lead a man to water...but give the girl liquer, to get there qui......no thats not it. speaking of getting there. I just finished a late trail run through the griffith Park mountains. Some of the haunted hay ride mannequins are still in the upper old zoo area. Am I weird if I think the women mannequins are sexy? LOL. A few yards later,absolute quiet, almost no light, a piano......I walked up and cracked the cold silence with the loudest holloween movie theme music I could give. Someone popped out of the dark and just started running away.....fast. Then the security gaurd came. The show was over. As I drove home I wondered....Should I have offered him money for one of the mannequins?
Lisa Hastings November 03, 2012 at 06:30 AM
This is unbelievable and sad that people are complaining about an effort to keep our air clean. Maybe those people should go visit a large city in a third world country, such as Manila or Mexico City where government oversight of air quality is lacking and see what it's like. Hello! Air pollution causes asthma in children and adults and poor air quality causes huge problems for people with lung disease.
not Carl Peterson lll November 03, 2012 at 07:06 AM
Hi lisa Everyone wants a good clean environment. Most are willing to make changes where needed. I think what we have here, as described on a chart, is the perceived intersection of the line of results(fireplace smoke), intersecting with the rising line of an attack on American tradition. While people may be willing to "go with the flow" to a point, the traditional home with a fireplace is part of the fabric of the American dream. It was the only heat for hundreds of years in America. It has been, and still is the focal point for generations. Memories of childhood on Christmas eve thinking about the coming morning. Later as you visit your parents with your young children, you can finally have a drink with your dad, and you still use the fireplace to glance at... Cause you know guys they need another point of focus while they bond. And I remember the first time I chopped wood without anyone over my shoulder. I was young but felt like a man knowing everyone was keeping warm because of my work. Even walking down the sidewalk with the smell of pine smoke fills all your emotions, as you remember the first time you were in love....and year after year .... Every winter... It all comes back. Every one of those memories can flow back again, just by someone in the neighborhood putting a log on the fire......But now they want to take that away....
joebanana November 04, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Since any government agency can legislate laws now, how about a "no radioactive fallout day"? I mean, surely Japan falls under their jurisdiction. Or no diesel exhaust day.
joebanana November 04, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Do you have any idea what flouride in drinking waster causes, start with huge problem's for people with "childhood" disease. Have you any idea how much cesium-137 is pumping into our atmosphere, and oceans? And the jet stream blows right here, from Japan? Any ideas why the government is keeping this under tight wraps? How about the media? By the way, we live in a third world country.
not Carl Peterson lll November 04, 2012 at 01:50 AM
yeah joe...I am with you. by the way, did you know that their is a hugelyginormouslybig floating islands of Japanese radioactive stuff floating toward california from the earthquack? How about a Nobamaday?
not Carl Peterson lll November 04, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Steve B if you are still around...Even to my surprise, fireplace restrictions ARE part of the agenda 21 global one world ... ... Look up Democrats against agenda 21. This worldwide control movement is using the enviromentalist movement as on of its main vehicles. I thought this was nuts,and called them the "tin hat people".....but alas no one stirs...all is quiet..tick,tick,...we stick our heads in the sand...our freedom taken in the middle of the night tick...tick...tick our beds are burning...and we are sound asleep..tick...tick...tick...
not Carl Peterson lll November 06, 2012 at 04:52 AM
I am still still discovering...... 80% of the 20 billion in "green money" went to his campaign contributers. "the most transparent " administration, was his quote in 2008. "green", global warming agenda21, is the biggest hoax in our lifetime.
Ellen Zunino November 06, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Uh....would you expect people developing green technology to be conservatives? From the Freeper-like responses to this article, my guess is "No":-) The government is not making these loans directly but through banks which heavily lobby Congress for the opportunity to do so. If you follow the money, you'll always end up at the Capitol, not the White House. And you'll also find a huge input from Wall Street and/or the banks which profit from the cut they get off the top for administration and other costs no matter how well or poorly the individual companies eventually do.
not Carl Peterson lll November 06, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Ellen I had to look up freeper. I have never heard of the right wing material that the term originated from. 80% of green money to obama donors is the main element. No one has ever been able to prove my points false as described above. If you can..... Great! Let me know. Both parties have ushered in the final monetary collapse, coming soon. If you want to call that "freeper" right wing....ok, but not accurate.
Ellen Zunino November 06, 2012 at 05:58 AM
I'm a rational person who loves thinking with my brain and not reacting with my gut. Some things just don't make sense like not recognizing the impact of the 15 million+ people in the AQMD's area on the environment. Your freedom ends where my lungs begin I'm speaking as a person who remembers the Strontium 90 isotope testing of CA pastures, golf courses and school yards in the 1950s that were irradiated by the dust from above-ground nuclear tests in the US, the Pacific and the USSR and the restrictions on drinking cow's milk. The Pacific Ocean is a huge thing with complex wind patterns. The jet stream is thousands of feet in the atmosphere and, since there was no explosion at Fukushima, little Cesium 137 or any other radio-isotopes should reach it because, due to temperature and mass effects, there's little vertical movement between layers of the atmosphere.
Marvion November 06, 2012 at 07:33 AM
freep or freeper is 1960's slang of 'free press' coin vend news racks promo's. gogo green idiots are conspirator terroristherorist. So, perhaps some freenergyroscopicontrolls. Ya, kinda ah hard read.. 1st one to patent office wins, boo ya. O’ freenergyroboticontrolls. Hmm, freenergyrorbitalogicontroll. Lolz , this so not working. Freenergyrotation freenergyroscopic no? freenergyro gigigigy nope! Metered freenergyes? Lol, auto response disabled, sci -fi. moon walks
not Carl Peterson lll November 06, 2012 at 07:36 AM
Ellen I am not sure if your responding to me. my iPhone does not indicate what response was to who's. Look, I am with you 100% about others polution, and your lungs. I believe I made my points about the global warming hoax. So if I may let me respond to the "knee-jerk reaction. As we know, without almost any thought the positions on global warming issues follows party line. Right? I could tell you why if you are interested. I have had to do extensive research to conclude my beliefs. Most of the global warming screamers have done zero independent study. All this as I am called evil, ditto head freeper, right wing asshole....yet my points stand unchallenged. And hey think about it. Why do people faced with new information about this go out of their way to find personal fault rather than the possibility that the world you live in is not close to armageddon. Don't knee-jerk, learn what's behind the headlines.
not Carl Peterson lll November 06, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Hey Marvin, thanks for the clariv. Clar's. Carlifin....?!@ ##%<# fication.
joebanana November 06, 2012 at 11:14 PM
If our governments so worried about "green" products, why the ban on hemp, and/or cannabis? 2,500 or more different "green" products can be produced by this single plant. From paint, to, building materials, fuel, oil, long storage food products, plastic, clothes, paper, medicine, varnish, glue, shopping bags, canvas, rope, cancer cell killing properties are unmatched by anything big pharm can produce, not to mention all the other conditions that it has been PROVEN to treat, from glaucoma, to epilepsy, to multiple sclerosis, stress, menstrual cramps, and more. This isn't about "green", it's about control.
not Carl Peterson lll November 17, 2012 at 07:25 AM
joebanana, are you saying that the government suppresses hemp, or cannabis because of established big biz? I have been hearing people say this forever, but never gave it much thought. Do you have any favorite links? If it can do half of what you say, new large companies would replace the position of the others, and then they would be contributing the the political campaigns, thus a net gain for the politicians, as well as society. No?

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