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Wood Smoke Reduction Program
THIS LETTER IS A WARNING FOR VIOLATING A WINTER SPARE THE AIR ALERT.
BURNING IS RESTRICTED WHEN AN ALERT IS IN EFFECT. A FUTURE VIOLATION MAY RESULT IN A CITATION AND A FINANCIAL PENALTY. On [DATE, TIME], burning during a Winter Spare the Air Alert was observed at [ADDRESS]. Burning wood or other solid fuel when an Alert is in effect is a violation of air pollution Regulation 6, Rule 3: Wood Burning Devices. This new air pollution regulation was adopted July 9, 2008. It prohibits the burning of any solid fuels (any wood, or wood-based product such as manufactured or pressed logs or pellet products) in a fireplace, woodstove, wood-burning fireplace insert or any other device, when the Air District declares a Winter Spare the Air Alert in order to protect public health (ref BAAQMD Regulation 6-3-301). This ban does not apply to a gas-fueled heating device or an electric-powered heating device. To avoid burning during a Winter Spare the Air Alert burn ban, Bay Area residents should: “Check Before You Burn” Listen to local TV or Radio News; Call 1-877-4NO- BURN; or Check www.sparetheair.org Individual efforts are critical to improving the air we all breathe. We appreciate your help and thank you for your cooperation. If you have questions about the Wood Smoke Reduction Program, please see the reverse side of this letter and/or call the Compliance Assistance Information line at: (415) 749-4999. Over
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District
939 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
Wood Smoke Air Pollution
Wood smoke contains fine particulate matter pollution. Wood smoke comes from burning not only firewood, but any solid fuel. Manufactured and pressed logs, as well as fuel for pellet stoves, are solid fuel and create wood smoke when burned. The fine particles in wood smoke can bypass your body’s natural filters in your nose and throat and end up in your lungs. These particles are so small they can even enter into your blood stream. Health studies have shown that breathing this pollution is a serious public health issue because it causes health problems such as: • • • Aggravated asthma; Chronic bronchitis; and Premature death in people with heart and lung disease.
The Air District is responsible for protecting Bay Area public health through clean air regulations. The Air District adopted Regulation 6, Rule 3: Wood-burning Devices to reduce the harmful particulate matter air pollution from wood-burning devices such as wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves and fireplace inserts. This regulation reduces particulate matter by an estimated 6 tons per day. The Air District’s Wood Smoke Reduction Program aims to educate Bay Area residents about the public health issues associated with particulate matter air pollution from wood smoke and gain the public’s cooperation to refrain from burning when the air quality is unhealthy. This new regulation makes it illegal to burn any solid fuels when a Winter Spare the Air Alert is declared by the Air District. The Air District may have rebates available to help you upgrade your fireplace or old wood stove to one that uses natural gas. If you would like to upgrade your fireplace or wood stove to a cleaner burning, gas-fueled device please check with the Air District at www.sparetheair.org. Please take a few minutes to look over the enclosed information. It explains how to find out when a Winter Spare the Air Alert has been declared, contains valuable tips on how to avoid visible smoke from a fireplace or wood stove, and provides information on limited exemptions from the regulation.