New No Burn Fireplace Rules expected In Central Valley

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Residents of the San Joaquin Valley can expect to spend less time in front of the fireplace this winter.  Clean air officials are planning to call for more “NO Burn” 
nights…when the use of wood burning fireplaces is prohibited. 
The new fireplace restrictions are required to meet federal EPA guidelines. 
If approved they’d dramatically increase the number of nights valley residents couldn’t use their fireplaces…unless wood burning is the only source of heat in the home.
For instance…in Stanislaus county…the number of no burn nights would increase from one …to nine under the new rules.  San Joaquin county would go from six no burn days declared in 2006 to at least nine next winter.
Valley Air Pollution Control District planner…Jessica Hafer says the public has expressed mixed feelings about the proposed changes… 
“We’re hearing from people who are concerned about their economic ability to keep warm this winter…and from the other side we’re hearing from other people who are even concerned about the health effects in their neighborhoods…”
The valley air pollution control district is expected to vote on the plan in October…and the rules could go into effect as early as this year. 
More public hearings are scheduled on the proposed fireplace restrictions in coming weeks.  There’s one tonight in Stockton at the San Joaquin Valley council of governments building.