Wood Fireplaces and Stoves: A Burning Issue At Tonight’s Council Meeting

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Wood burning fireplaces and wood stoves is probably about the last thing you expected to read about in the middle of a hot July day. However, experts are increasingly concerned about the impact of wood smoke on the level of particulate matter in the area during the winter. According to a chart provided by the city of Davis staff report, the city of Davis appears to be right on the board between needing a mandatory solid fuel burning curtailment and the requirement of building new cleaner burning devices.

In 2004, the Yolo Solano Air Quality Management District passed a rule to prohibit the installation of new non-certified fireplaces or wood stoves. But as we will see shortly, that rule helps, but does not alleviate the problem. According to the staff report, the rules set forth meet federal standards but not state guidelines.

The Davis City Council in January of this year asked the Natural Resources Commission to review this issue of wood burning restriction and to make recommendations to council. They made two recommendations. First, eventual complete wood burning prohibition. Second, “until the date certain for complete prohibition, initiate a permitting system for open hearth and EPA appliances that enables burning on days with certain meteorological conditions, based on wind speed.”

The city staff however is not recommending the council follow the advise of the NRC.

“For the City to establish a new program by October 2008 is ambitious at best. The infrastructure for forecasting wind conditions, permitting, advertising and enforcement would all have to be constructed between now and October. Granted, some of the framework for education is there, but not the material and specifics for this program.”

Furthermore:

“Staff is recommending that the City fully participate in the YSAQMD voluntary no burn programs. This could involve posting information on the City web page, including the information in City publications and any other action that would get the word out to educate the public on the adverse effects of wood smoke. The goal is to inform the citizenry of the hazards of wood burning.

Spend the next season working with the air district on developing/reviewing additional programs that would address the wood smoke air pollution. It seems that since the YSAQMD is at times, out of compliance on State PM levels, this may be starting place for a more stringent level for future restrictions. In addition to the public education efforts noted above, any large scale restrictions or bans on wood burning would require substantial public outreach and engagement.”

A group called Yolo Clean Air is not happy with staff’s recommendation. In a letter to the Davis City Council dated July 28, 2008, Alan Pryor writes:

“Staff’s comments seem to be completely and diametrically opposed to the NRC recommendations in that the NRC unanimously voted to recommend “‘wood-burning appliances should be eliminated as completely as possible as soon as possible” while staff is recommending that “the City fully participate in the YSAQMD voluntary no burn programs. “…and…”Spend the next season working with the air district on developing/reviewing additional programs”. Quite honestly, this is exactly where the process bogged down three years at the NRC. Nothing was accomplished then as a result and nothing will be accomplished by the current round of studies if staff’’s comments are accepted and implemented.”

He continues:

“It would seem by staff’’s comments that the biggest objections of staff to the NRC recommendations as proposed have to do with the amount of time staff feels they would have to spend implementing the ordinance.”

Mr. Pryor looks for a compromise solution to bridge the gap between the action he deems necessary and the city staff’s recommendation.

“As such, we have proposed what we believe is a very fair compromise that virtually removes all work required by the city staff including the provision for licensing or permitting. In our compromise, we have also suggested a much more gradual phase-out of EPA Phase II wood stoves as long as restrictions on when they can be safely used are included. This is in recognition of the fact that some folks have just purchased EPA Phase II wood stoves in good faith that they were doing the right thing (even though doing the right thing would have meant installing a natural gas-fueled stove or insert instead). However, we are sympathetic to their concerns and we believe our new compromise before the Council is reflective of that.”

When I first heard about the possibility of banning wood burning stoves, I was rather outraged at the notion. After all, walking through a town during a cold winter day, it is rather a cozy to walk around and see the fireplaces going and smell the burning wood. That’s of course if you do not have allergies. But then you look at the levels of particulate matter produced by wood burning stoves and the possible health impacts and it paints a very different picture.


Source: Yolo Clean Air

The issue came up during the campaign at the Sierra Club candidate’s forum. That gives us insight into three of the council members views.

Sue Greenwald simply said:

“I am in favor of looking into an ordinance for banning wood burning.”

Don Saylor gave a long-winded answer that read remarkably like the staff report. The synopsis of his answer was this:

“While I want to withhold judgment until hearing from the NRC, I think we will probably see a combination of further restrictions on burning using specific appliances, incentives and rebates for purchases of cleaner EPA appliances, and more awareness of the issues pertaining to wood burning and the environmental effects.”

It will be interesting to see how he reacts to the NRC recommendation that differs from staff’s recommendation.

Finally Stephen Souza probably gives a somewhat less committed answer than even Councilmember Saylor.

“There are already restrictions in place on new construction and new installation of fireplaces or wood burning appliances. The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District’s Rule 2.40 requires the use of pellet fueled heater or EPA certified heaters. We should also require that at the time of sale, remodel or a certain date that all fireplaces that do not meet Rule 2.40 be replaced or rendered inoperable.

We can also promote a self-imposed program of “Don’t Light Tonight” whereby residents do not use their fireplaces or woodstoves when air pollution is approaching unhealthy conditions.”

It will be interesting to see what happens, though it seems likely given the stated positions of the three candidates that won election, that the staff recommendation will win out.

I will be very interested to see if this issue has resonance for the readers of the Vanguard. As I said, it seemed a bit nebulous for me until I saw the data.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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133 thoughts on “Wood Fireplaces and Stoves: A Burning Issue At Tonight’s Council Meeting”

  1. Neal

    If this is not a regional issue, but rather a local neighborhood issue, why don't we just figure out if anyone in our local vicinity has problems breathing and then just not burn in those areas. Why punish everyone, when everyone does not have someone in their neighborhood who has breathing problems? If I am deathly allergic to bees, I might have a problem with my neighbor raising bees, but I wouldn't care if someone across town had bees. We need to bring some common sense back into this argument. It may be too late now to change the …new…law, but I will continue to burn the few times I do. What is so wrong with having a fire once a week for 3 hours? I doubt that is causing all these air problems.

  2. Anonymous

    With PG&E positioning itself to rape us more thoroughly, there is no way in hell I'm giving up my stove in the winter. The City Counsel is going to have to pry the logs from my cold dead fingers.

  3. Anonymous

    With PG&E positioning itself to rape us more thoroughly, there is no way in hell I'm giving up my stove in the winter. The City Counsel is going to have to pry the logs from my cold dead fingers.

  4. Anonymous

    With PG&E positioning itself to rape us more thoroughly, there is no way in hell I'm giving up my stove in the winter. The City Counsel is going to have to pry the logs from my cold dead fingers.

  5. Anonymous

    With PG&E positioning itself to rape us more thoroughly, there is no way in hell I'm giving up my stove in the winter. The City Counsel is going to have to pry the logs from my cold dead fingers.

  6. Point of fact

    Well the orders are not really coming from the City Council, they have little choice but to increase the restrictions or face state and federal fines–which I'm sure they'-) be more than happy to pass along to YOU. I imagine that will be a bit larger than your PG&E bill. Maybe not this year, but relatively soon.

  7. Point of fact

    Well the orders are not really coming from the City Council, they have little choice but to increase the restrictions or face state and federal fines–which I'm sure they'-) be more than happy to pass along to YOU. I imagine that will be a bit larger than your PG&E bill. Maybe not this year, but relatively soon.

  8. Point of fact

    Well the orders are not really coming from the City Council, they have little choice but to increase the restrictions or face state and federal fines–which I'm sure they'-) be more than happy to pass along to YOU. I imagine that will be a bit larger than your PG&E bill. Maybe not this year, but relatively soon.

  9. Point of fact

    Well the orders are not really coming from the City Council, they have little choice but to increase the restrictions or face state and federal fines–which I'm sure they'-) be more than happy to pass along to YOU. I imagine that will be a bit larger than your PG&E bill. Maybe not this year, but relatively soon.

  10. Doug Paul Davis

    I want to add a point here:

    I had no intention of writing a story on this. A member of the community sent out an email yesterday and it made it easier to get enough information to write something. I still really wasn’t going to write about this.

    It’s not a story that is likely to generate a ton of interest. Maybe I’m wrong, we’ll have to see. Containerization turned out to be a much bigger issue than I thought at the time as well.

    And yet, I kept thinking that no one really knows about this issue.

    No one really knows that the city council is about to make a decision that will impact a much larger percentage of the population more directly than most. And yet there was not a word on it in the paper other than their usual agenda listing.

    Few know that this is even up for discussion. The last thing anyone is thinking about at the end of July is burning wood in their stoves this winter. I think that is a real atrocity of our democracy. I’m fine with the tougher standards, I think burning wood is a health hazard, but people should have an opportunity to know about it and weigh in before the council makes their decision tonight. Just my two cents.

  11. Doug Paul Davis

    I want to add a point here:

    I had no intention of writing a story on this. A member of the community sent out an email yesterday and it made it easier to get enough information to write something. I still really wasn’t going to write about this.

    It’s not a story that is likely to generate a ton of interest. Maybe I’m wrong, we’ll have to see. Containerization turned out to be a much bigger issue than I thought at the time as well.

    And yet, I kept thinking that no one really knows about this issue.

    No one really knows that the city council is about to make a decision that will impact a much larger percentage of the population more directly than most. And yet there was not a word on it in the paper other than their usual agenda listing.

    Few know that this is even up for discussion. The last thing anyone is thinking about at the end of July is burning wood in their stoves this winter. I think that is a real atrocity of our democracy. I’m fine with the tougher standards, I think burning wood is a health hazard, but people should have an opportunity to know about it and weigh in before the council makes their decision tonight. Just my two cents.

  12. Doug Paul Davis

    I want to add a point here:

    I had no intention of writing a story on this. A member of the community sent out an email yesterday and it made it easier to get enough information to write something. I still really wasn’t going to write about this.

    It’s not a story that is likely to generate a ton of interest. Maybe I’m wrong, we’ll have to see. Containerization turned out to be a much bigger issue than I thought at the time as well.

    And yet, I kept thinking that no one really knows about this issue.

    No one really knows that the city council is about to make a decision that will impact a much larger percentage of the population more directly than most. And yet there was not a word on it in the paper other than their usual agenda listing.

    Few know that this is even up for discussion. The last thing anyone is thinking about at the end of July is burning wood in their stoves this winter. I think that is a real atrocity of our democracy. I’m fine with the tougher standards, I think burning wood is a health hazard, but people should have an opportunity to know about it and weigh in before the council makes their decision tonight. Just my two cents.

  13. Doug Paul Davis

    I want to add a point here:

    I had no intention of writing a story on this. A member of the community sent out an email yesterday and it made it easier to get enough information to write something. I still really wasn’t going to write about this.

    It’s not a story that is likely to generate a ton of interest. Maybe I’m wrong, we’ll have to see. Containerization turned out to be a much bigger issue than I thought at the time as well.

    And yet, I kept thinking that no one really knows about this issue.

    No one really knows that the city council is about to make a decision that will impact a much larger percentage of the population more directly than most. And yet there was not a word on it in the paper other than their usual agenda listing.

    Few know that this is even up for discussion. The last thing anyone is thinking about at the end of July is burning wood in their stoves this winter. I think that is a real atrocity of our democracy. I’m fine with the tougher standards, I think burning wood is a health hazard, but people should have an opportunity to know about it and weigh in before the council makes their decision tonight. Just my two cents.

  14. Anonymous

    Wood is a renewable fuel, which should count for something. Based on the data though, something along the line of Souza’s thinking makes sense. Phase out the open-hearth, inefficient fireplaces. Unfortunately, the track home builders all put those into their houses. But the truth is they are terribly energy inefficient both in the amount of heat actually captured and in the constant air draft that allows heat to escape up the even when the unit is not running. The EPA certified units are expensive though, on the order of $5,000 plus.

  15. Anonymous

    Wood is a renewable fuel, which should count for something. Based on the data though, something along the line of Souza’s thinking makes sense. Phase out the open-hearth, inefficient fireplaces. Unfortunately, the track home builders all put those into their houses. But the truth is they are terribly energy inefficient both in the amount of heat actually captured and in the constant air draft that allows heat to escape up the even when the unit is not running. The EPA certified units are expensive though, on the order of $5,000 plus.

  16. Anonymous

    Wood is a renewable fuel, which should count for something. Based on the data though, something along the line of Souza’s thinking makes sense. Phase out the open-hearth, inefficient fireplaces. Unfortunately, the track home builders all put those into their houses. But the truth is they are terribly energy inefficient both in the amount of heat actually captured and in the constant air draft that allows heat to escape up the even when the unit is not running. The EPA certified units are expensive though, on the order of $5,000 plus.

  17. Anonymous

    Wood is a renewable fuel, which should count for something. Based on the data though, something along the line of Souza’s thinking makes sense. Phase out the open-hearth, inefficient fireplaces. Unfortunately, the track home builders all put those into their houses. But the truth is they are terribly energy inefficient both in the amount of heat actually captured and in the constant air draft that allows heat to escape up the even when the unit is not running. The EPA certified units are expensive though, on the order of $5,000 plus.

  18. Mike Hart

    Anonymous 7:45 has hit the nail the nail squarely on the head… the problem with being a “progressive” town is that it is typically at odds with being a “green” town. The problem is the poor people. Certified wood stoves cost a lot of money- poor people just burn wood (and debris, newspapers, oily rags and cereal boxes) as a way to lower their cost of heating.

    Same problem with auto emissions, the vast majority of auto emissions come from a relatively small minority of old cars being driven many years past their prime. If the danged poor would just switch to Priuses, we would have a huge impact on the air. Nothing like a ban on the smoke-belching 72 Impala’s to clean up the air, but wait, what if it is driven by an illegal immigrant to their unionized job at the University? Eek!

    You create a sensible rule to improve the environment, and the financial burden falls most heavily on the poor.

    DPD- this is a classic Davis issue. It will be interesting to watch those who consider themselves “Green” AND “Progressive” wrap themselves around the axle with angst about poor people filling the air with wood smoke.

    ps anonymous 6:49 “pry the logs from my cold dead fingers…” -hilarious!

  19. Mike Hart

    Anonymous 7:45 has hit the nail the nail squarely on the head… the problem with being a “progressive” town is that it is typically at odds with being a “green” town. The problem is the poor people. Certified wood stoves cost a lot of money- poor people just burn wood (and debris, newspapers, oily rags and cereal boxes) as a way to lower their cost of heating.

    Same problem with auto emissions, the vast majority of auto emissions come from a relatively small minority of old cars being driven many years past their prime. If the danged poor would just switch to Priuses, we would have a huge impact on the air. Nothing like a ban on the smoke-belching 72 Impala’s to clean up the air, but wait, what if it is driven by an illegal immigrant to their unionized job at the University? Eek!

    You create a sensible rule to improve the environment, and the financial burden falls most heavily on the poor.

    DPD- this is a classic Davis issue. It will be interesting to watch those who consider themselves “Green” AND “Progressive” wrap themselves around the axle with angst about poor people filling the air with wood smoke.

    ps anonymous 6:49 “pry the logs from my cold dead fingers…” -hilarious!

  20. Mike Hart

    Anonymous 7:45 has hit the nail the nail squarely on the head… the problem with being a “progressive” town is that it is typically at odds with being a “green” town. The problem is the poor people. Certified wood stoves cost a lot of money- poor people just burn wood (and debris, newspapers, oily rags and cereal boxes) as a way to lower their cost of heating.

    Same problem with auto emissions, the vast majority of auto emissions come from a relatively small minority of old cars being driven many years past their prime. If the danged poor would just switch to Priuses, we would have a huge impact on the air. Nothing like a ban on the smoke-belching 72 Impala’s to clean up the air, but wait, what if it is driven by an illegal immigrant to their unionized job at the University? Eek!

    You create a sensible rule to improve the environment, and the financial burden falls most heavily on the poor.

    DPD- this is a classic Davis issue. It will be interesting to watch those who consider themselves “Green” AND “Progressive” wrap themselves around the axle with angst about poor people filling the air with wood smoke.

    ps anonymous 6:49 “pry the logs from my cold dead fingers…” -hilarious!

  21. Mike Hart

    Anonymous 7:45 has hit the nail the nail squarely on the head… the problem with being a “progressive” town is that it is typically at odds with being a “green” town. The problem is the poor people. Certified wood stoves cost a lot of money- poor people just burn wood (and debris, newspapers, oily rags and cereal boxes) as a way to lower their cost of heating.

    Same problem with auto emissions, the vast majority of auto emissions come from a relatively small minority of old cars being driven many years past their prime. If the danged poor would just switch to Priuses, we would have a huge impact on the air. Nothing like a ban on the smoke-belching 72 Impala’s to clean up the air, but wait, what if it is driven by an illegal immigrant to their unionized job at the University? Eek!

    You create a sensible rule to improve the environment, and the financial burden falls most heavily on the poor.

    DPD- this is a classic Davis issue. It will be interesting to watch those who consider themselves “Green” AND “Progressive” wrap themselves around the axle with angst about poor people filling the air with wood smoke.

    ps anonymous 6:49 “pry the logs from my cold dead fingers…” -hilarious!

  22. Corky Brown

    I cannot believe that this issue has escaped the city’s dragnet on outing non eco friendly lifestyle practices for so long.
    I grew up in the urban forest of Oakland where the right of passage for the Beaver Cleaver set was splitting rounds of local blown down Monterrey pines with a 12 lb. sledge and steel wedges. My dream Christmas present when I was twelve was not Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB gun that you could shoot your eye out with” but a McCullough 24in. bar chain saw. Thus my love for splitting wood and not atoms flourished until the mid 80’s when research proved that wood burning wasn’t so benign or eco friendly after all.
    During the Jimmy Carter sweater years, I converted all my rental housing heating to wood burning using Tiawanese knock offs of famous Swedish stoves. The shrine in my own home to Thor was a 20 ft high wall of field stone with a blazing hearth that could warm a Viking war party. Santa was never getting down that chimney alive!!!.

    Over the years the dirty burning first generation steel stoves ended up in the DWR metal recycling bin
    as found treasure for future wood burners who hadn’t yet realized what a polluting pariah they had become. The original brick and mortar fireplaces in other rentals were removed to allow for more wall space and lower insurance ratings. The Valhalla smoke lodge has been converted to natural gas which is always a better idea when you live in an all wood house.
    Now when I go out and walk the green belt on cold foggy nights,wood smoke pollution no longer stirs past fantasies of Paul Bunyon prowess.I now view it as a vestige of a bygone era when Hummers and 6,500sq.ft.McMansions collided with Al Gore’s “Inconvienent Truth”

  23. Corky Brown

    I cannot believe that this issue has escaped the city’s dragnet on outing non eco friendly lifestyle practices for so long.
    I grew up in the urban forest of Oakland where the right of passage for the Beaver Cleaver set was splitting rounds of local blown down Monterrey pines with a 12 lb. sledge and steel wedges. My dream Christmas present when I was twelve was not Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB gun that you could shoot your eye out with” but a McCullough 24in. bar chain saw. Thus my love for splitting wood and not atoms flourished until the mid 80’s when research proved that wood burning wasn’t so benign or eco friendly after all.
    During the Jimmy Carter sweater years, I converted all my rental housing heating to wood burning using Tiawanese knock offs of famous Swedish stoves. The shrine in my own home to Thor was a 20 ft high wall of field stone with a blazing hearth that could warm a Viking war party. Santa was never getting down that chimney alive!!!.

    Over the years the dirty burning first generation steel stoves ended up in the DWR metal recycling bin
    as found treasure for future wood burners who hadn’t yet realized what a polluting pariah they had become. The original brick and mortar fireplaces in other rentals were removed to allow for more wall space and lower insurance ratings. The Valhalla smoke lodge has been converted to natural gas which is always a better idea when you live in an all wood house.
    Now when I go out and walk the green belt on cold foggy nights,wood smoke pollution no longer stirs past fantasies of Paul Bunyon prowess.I now view it as a vestige of a bygone era when Hummers and 6,500sq.ft.McMansions collided with Al Gore’s “Inconvienent Truth”

  24. Corky Brown

    I cannot believe that this issue has escaped the city’s dragnet on outing non eco friendly lifestyle practices for so long.
    I grew up in the urban forest of Oakland where the right of passage for the Beaver Cleaver set was splitting rounds of local blown down Monterrey pines with a 12 lb. sledge and steel wedges. My dream Christmas present when I was twelve was not Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB gun that you could shoot your eye out with” but a McCullough 24in. bar chain saw. Thus my love for splitting wood and not atoms flourished until the mid 80’s when research proved that wood burning wasn’t so benign or eco friendly after all.
    During the Jimmy Carter sweater years, I converted all my rental housing heating to wood burning using Tiawanese knock offs of famous Swedish stoves. The shrine in my own home to Thor was a 20 ft high wall of field stone with a blazing hearth that could warm a Viking war party. Santa was never getting down that chimney alive!!!.

    Over the years the dirty burning first generation steel stoves ended up in the DWR metal recycling bin
    as found treasure for future wood burners who hadn’t yet realized what a polluting pariah they had become. The original brick and mortar fireplaces in other rentals were removed to allow for more wall space and lower insurance ratings. The Valhalla smoke lodge has been converted to natural gas which is always a better idea when you live in an all wood house.
    Now when I go out and walk the green belt on cold foggy nights,wood smoke pollution no longer stirs past fantasies of Paul Bunyon prowess.I now view it as a vestige of a bygone era when Hummers and 6,500sq.ft.McMansions collided with Al Gore’s “Inconvienent Truth”

  25. Corky Brown

    I cannot believe that this issue has escaped the city’s dragnet on outing non eco friendly lifestyle practices for so long.
    I grew up in the urban forest of Oakland where the right of passage for the Beaver Cleaver set was splitting rounds of local blown down Monterrey pines with a 12 lb. sledge and steel wedges. My dream Christmas present when I was twelve was not Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB gun that you could shoot your eye out with” but a McCullough 24in. bar chain saw. Thus my love for splitting wood and not atoms flourished until the mid 80’s when research proved that wood burning wasn’t so benign or eco friendly after all.
    During the Jimmy Carter sweater years, I converted all my rental housing heating to wood burning using Tiawanese knock offs of famous Swedish stoves. The shrine in my own home to Thor was a 20 ft high wall of field stone with a blazing hearth that could warm a Viking war party. Santa was never getting down that chimney alive!!!.

    Over the years the dirty burning first generation steel stoves ended up in the DWR metal recycling bin
    as found treasure for future wood burners who hadn’t yet realized what a polluting pariah they had become. The original brick and mortar fireplaces in other rentals were removed to allow for more wall space and lower insurance ratings. The Valhalla smoke lodge has been converted to natural gas which is always a better idea when you live in an all wood house.
    Now when I go out and walk the green belt on cold foggy nights,wood smoke pollution no longer stirs past fantasies of Paul Bunyon prowess.I now view it as a vestige of a bygone era when Hummers and 6,500sq.ft.McMansions collided with Al Gore’s “Inconvienent Truth”

  26. Anonymous

    Air quality in Davis is a summer affair with the high-pressure inversion layer that sits over us. Wintertime weather usually mixes up the air/atmosphere quite well. We are a far cry from the smoke/fog that used to blanket London. Reduction/elimination of the use of open-hearth fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves with strict rules applying to new construction and remodeling seems a very reasonable approach.

  27. Anonymous

    Air quality in Davis is a summer affair with the high-pressure inversion layer that sits over us. Wintertime weather usually mixes up the air/atmosphere quite well. We are a far cry from the smoke/fog that used to blanket London. Reduction/elimination of the use of open-hearth fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves with strict rules applying to new construction and remodeling seems a very reasonable approach.

  28. Anonymous

    Air quality in Davis is a summer affair with the high-pressure inversion layer that sits over us. Wintertime weather usually mixes up the air/atmosphere quite well. We are a far cry from the smoke/fog that used to blanket London. Reduction/elimination of the use of open-hearth fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves with strict rules applying to new construction and remodeling seems a very reasonable approach.

  29. Anonymous

    Air quality in Davis is a summer affair with the high-pressure inversion layer that sits over us. Wintertime weather usually mixes up the air/atmosphere quite well. We are a far cry from the smoke/fog that used to blanket London. Reduction/elimination of the use of open-hearth fireplaces and uncertified wood stoves with strict rules applying to new construction and remodeling seems a very reasonable approach.

  30. Anonymous

    The graphs displayed are dramatic but do not represent how open hearth fireplaces are currently used. I would guess that almost no one fires up their open hearth fireplace 24/hrs a day. Most use their open fireplaces occasionally and only for a few hours to create a “warm and cozy” atmosphere in their living rooms when they plan to spend some time there.

  31. Anonymous

    The graphs displayed are dramatic but do not represent how open hearth fireplaces are currently used. I would guess that almost no one fires up their open hearth fireplace 24/hrs a day. Most use their open fireplaces occasionally and only for a few hours to create a “warm and cozy” atmosphere in their living rooms when they plan to spend some time there.

  32. Anonymous

    The graphs displayed are dramatic but do not represent how open hearth fireplaces are currently used. I would guess that almost no one fires up their open hearth fireplace 24/hrs a day. Most use their open fireplaces occasionally and only for a few hours to create a “warm and cozy” atmosphere in their living rooms when they plan to spend some time there.

  33. Anonymous

    The graphs displayed are dramatic but do not represent how open hearth fireplaces are currently used. I would guess that almost no one fires up their open hearth fireplace 24/hrs a day. Most use their open fireplaces occasionally and only for a few hours to create a “warm and cozy” atmosphere in their living rooms when they plan to spend some time there.

  34. Don Shor

    “Wintertime weather usually mixes up the air/atmosphere quite well.”
    Actually, we have periods of high pressure in the winter that trap the valley fog, during which air quality can get quite poor. Voluntary burn restrictions can reduce that problem. If it’s December and foggy, don’t use your fireplace.

  35. Don Shor

    “Wintertime weather usually mixes up the air/atmosphere quite well.”
    Actually, we have periods of high pressure in the winter that trap the valley fog, during which air quality can get quite poor. Voluntary burn restrictions can reduce that problem. If it’s December and foggy, don’t use your fireplace.

  36. Don Shor

    “Wintertime weather usually mixes up the air/atmosphere quite well.”
    Actually, we have periods of high pressure in the winter that trap the valley fog, during which air quality can get quite poor. Voluntary burn restrictions can reduce that problem. If it’s December and foggy, don’t use your fireplace.

  37. Don Shor

    “Wintertime weather usually mixes up the air/atmosphere quite well.”
    Actually, we have periods of high pressure in the winter that trap the valley fog, during which air quality can get quite poor. Voluntary burn restrictions can reduce that problem. If it’s December and foggy, don’t use your fireplace.

  38. Doug Paul Davis

    The issue about poor people is a good one. It’s a similar problem with a lot of the retrofitting, energy efficiency, and solar power. That’s where if environmentalists are serious, and I think they are and need to be, they have to be willing step in with government help in the form of subsidies for lower income people–otherwise you are exactly right, you are just hurting people who rely on burning to heat their homes because they have to reduce energy bills during the winter.

  39. Doug Paul Davis

    The issue about poor people is a good one. It’s a similar problem with a lot of the retrofitting, energy efficiency, and solar power. That’s where if environmentalists are serious, and I think they are and need to be, they have to be willing step in with government help in the form of subsidies for lower income people–otherwise you are exactly right, you are just hurting people who rely on burning to heat their homes because they have to reduce energy bills during the winter.

  40. Doug Paul Davis

    The issue about poor people is a good one. It’s a similar problem with a lot of the retrofitting, energy efficiency, and solar power. That’s where if environmentalists are serious, and I think they are and need to be, they have to be willing step in with government help in the form of subsidies for lower income people–otherwise you are exactly right, you are just hurting people who rely on burning to heat their homes because they have to reduce energy bills during the winter.

  41. Doug Paul Davis

    The issue about poor people is a good one. It’s a similar problem with a lot of the retrofitting, energy efficiency, and solar power. That’s where if environmentalists are serious, and I think they are and need to be, they have to be willing step in with government help in the form of subsidies for lower income people–otherwise you are exactly right, you are just hurting people who rely on burning to heat their homes because they have to reduce energy bills during the winter.

  42. Richard

    Don Shor is correct, air quality in the winter is horrendous during protracted periods of tule fog, which can last for as long as two weeks.

    Mike Hart makes some interesting observations about class and environmentalism, ones that expose a fundamental failing of the environmental movement generally, it’s willingness to accept a combination of regulatory prohibitions and marketplace solutions that disproportionately hurt lower income people.

    His remarks about how poorer people often rely upon older cars more prone to polluting the air is apt, and I have always wondered, why don’t we have an incentive program whereby the government encourages people to buy new vehicles with high fuel econony and low emission features, say, substantial tax breaks in the amount of $2000-$3000 per car? Or, one could imagine other types of incentives as well.

    No doubt, Detroit and environmentalists would scream bloody murder for different reasons (Detroit, because many of the cars purchased would be Japanese, environmentalists, because, after all, we shouldn’t be subsidizing vehicle purchases, but mass transit), but the perpetuation of the current situation, where we are trying to force people into mass transit alternatives that don’t exist in most places around the country through higher fuel prices strikes me as dubious.

    As for the stoves, they are going to be a thing of the past, it is just a matter of time, unless the private sector creates a low cost one that eliminates most particulate pollution.

    –Richard Estes

  43. Richard

    Don Shor is correct, air quality in the winter is horrendous during protracted periods of tule fog, which can last for as long as two weeks.

    Mike Hart makes some interesting observations about class and environmentalism, ones that expose a fundamental failing of the environmental movement generally, it’s willingness to accept a combination of regulatory prohibitions and marketplace solutions that disproportionately hurt lower income people.

    His remarks about how poorer people often rely upon older cars more prone to polluting the air is apt, and I have always wondered, why don’t we have an incentive program whereby the government encourages people to buy new vehicles with high fuel econony and low emission features, say, substantial tax breaks in the amount of $2000-$3000 per car? Or, one could imagine other types of incentives as well.

    No doubt, Detroit and environmentalists would scream bloody murder for different reasons (Detroit, because many of the cars purchased would be Japanese, environmentalists, because, after all, we shouldn’t be subsidizing vehicle purchases, but mass transit), but the perpetuation of the current situation, where we are trying to force people into mass transit alternatives that don’t exist in most places around the country through higher fuel prices strikes me as dubious.

    As for the stoves, they are going to be a thing of the past, it is just a matter of time, unless the private sector creates a low cost one that eliminates most particulate pollution.

    –Richard Estes

  44. Richard

    Don Shor is correct, air quality in the winter is horrendous during protracted periods of tule fog, which can last for as long as two weeks.

    Mike Hart makes some interesting observations about class and environmentalism, ones that expose a fundamental failing of the environmental movement generally, it’s willingness to accept a combination of regulatory prohibitions and marketplace solutions that disproportionately hurt lower income people.

    His remarks about how poorer people often rely upon older cars more prone to polluting the air is apt, and I have always wondered, why don’t we have an incentive program whereby the government encourages people to buy new vehicles with high fuel econony and low emission features, say, substantial tax breaks in the amount of $2000-$3000 per car? Or, one could imagine other types of incentives as well.

    No doubt, Detroit and environmentalists would scream bloody murder for different reasons (Detroit, because many of the cars purchased would be Japanese, environmentalists, because, after all, we shouldn’t be subsidizing vehicle purchases, but mass transit), but the perpetuation of the current situation, where we are trying to force people into mass transit alternatives that don’t exist in most places around the country through higher fuel prices strikes me as dubious.

    As for the stoves, they are going to be a thing of the past, it is just a matter of time, unless the private sector creates a low cost one that eliminates most particulate pollution.

    –Richard Estes

  45. Richard

    Don Shor is correct, air quality in the winter is horrendous during protracted periods of tule fog, which can last for as long as two weeks.

    Mike Hart makes some interesting observations about class and environmentalism, ones that expose a fundamental failing of the environmental movement generally, it’s willingness to accept a combination of regulatory prohibitions and marketplace solutions that disproportionately hurt lower income people.

    His remarks about how poorer people often rely upon older cars more prone to polluting the air is apt, and I have always wondered, why don’t we have an incentive program whereby the government encourages people to buy new vehicles with high fuel econony and low emission features, say, substantial tax breaks in the amount of $2000-$3000 per car? Or, one could imagine other types of incentives as well.

    No doubt, Detroit and environmentalists would scream bloody murder for different reasons (Detroit, because many of the cars purchased would be Japanese, environmentalists, because, after all, we shouldn’t be subsidizing vehicle purchases, but mass transit), but the perpetuation of the current situation, where we are trying to force people into mass transit alternatives that don’t exist in most places around the country through higher fuel prices strikes me as dubious.

    As for the stoves, they are going to be a thing of the past, it is just a matter of time, unless the private sector creates a low cost one that eliminates most particulate pollution.

    –Richard Estes

  46. Alan Pryor @ Yolo Clean Air

    The matter before the Council tonight is not a final vote on whether to ban wood or not. It is simply to give direction back to the NRC as to what direction they should take from here. If they choose to direct the NRC to write an ordinance that reflects some type of restrictions, then the NRC has to write a draft of that ordinance (or have staff do it for their consideration)and then go back to the Board to begin the whole vetting and public hearing process during which I am sure you will see screaming headlines. There is lots of time left to be heard and get your opinion in the record.

  47. Alan Pryor @ Yolo Clean Air

    The matter before the Council tonight is not a final vote on whether to ban wood or not. It is simply to give direction back to the NRC as to what direction they should take from here. If they choose to direct the NRC to write an ordinance that reflects some type of restrictions, then the NRC has to write a draft of that ordinance (or have staff do it for their consideration)and then go back to the Board to begin the whole vetting and public hearing process during which I am sure you will see screaming headlines. There is lots of time left to be heard and get your opinion in the record.

  48. Alan Pryor @ Yolo Clean Air

    The matter before the Council tonight is not a final vote on whether to ban wood or not. It is simply to give direction back to the NRC as to what direction they should take from here. If they choose to direct the NRC to write an ordinance that reflects some type of restrictions, then the NRC has to write a draft of that ordinance (or have staff do it for their consideration)and then go back to the Board to begin the whole vetting and public hearing process during which I am sure you will see screaming headlines. There is lots of time left to be heard and get your opinion in the record.

  49. Alan Pryor @ Yolo Clean Air

    The matter before the Council tonight is not a final vote on whether to ban wood or not. It is simply to give direction back to the NRC as to what direction they should take from here. If they choose to direct the NRC to write an ordinance that reflects some type of restrictions, then the NRC has to write a draft of that ordinance (or have staff do it for their consideration)and then go back to the Board to begin the whole vetting and public hearing process during which I am sure you will see screaming headlines. There is lots of time left to be heard and get your opinion in the record.

  50. JayTee

    Well this should certainly make for a fun filled winter, ya think? Especially if we have another one of those extended 12/14 day freezes. PG&E has already said that winter heating bills are going to skyrocket, and now we can't look forward to using the stove or fireplace either. Perhaps the city would consider providing all the citizens with thermal long underwear and ski socks.

  51. JayTee

    Well this should certainly make for a fun filled winter, ya think? Especially if we have another one of those extended 12/14 day freezes. PG&E has already said that winter heating bills are going to skyrocket, and now we can't look forward to using the stove or fireplace either. Perhaps the city would consider providing all the citizens with thermal long underwear and ski socks.

  52. JayTee

    Well this should certainly make for a fun filled winter, ya think? Especially if we have another one of those extended 12/14 day freezes. PG&E has already said that winter heating bills are going to skyrocket, and now we can't look forward to using the stove or fireplace either. Perhaps the city would consider providing all the citizens with thermal long underwear and ski socks.

  53. JayTee

    Well this should certainly make for a fun filled winter, ya think? Especially if we have another one of those extended 12/14 day freezes. PG&E has already said that winter heating bills are going to skyrocket, and now we can't look forward to using the stove or fireplace either. Perhaps the city would consider providing all the citizens with thermal long underwear and ski socks.

  54. 無名 - wu ming

    making wood burning stoves cleaner burning, and restricting use of them during foggy days is one thing, but stamping out a renewable, relatively carbon-neutral way of heating in favor of fossil fuel natural gas seems rather short sighted to me.

    of course, doing everything possible to encourage/require passive solar, weatherizing, solar water heaters, better insulation, heat pump geothermal heating, etc., both in new houses and retrofitting, is an even better idea, in the long run.

  55. 無名 - wu ming

    making wood burning stoves cleaner burning, and restricting use of them during foggy days is one thing, but stamping out a renewable, relatively carbon-neutral way of heating in favor of fossil fuel natural gas seems rather short sighted to me.

    of course, doing everything possible to encourage/require passive solar, weatherizing, solar water heaters, better insulation, heat pump geothermal heating, etc., both in new houses and retrofitting, is an even better idea, in the long run.

  56. 無名 - wu ming

    making wood burning stoves cleaner burning, and restricting use of them during foggy days is one thing, but stamping out a renewable, relatively carbon-neutral way of heating in favor of fossil fuel natural gas seems rather short sighted to me.

    of course, doing everything possible to encourage/require passive solar, weatherizing, solar water heaters, better insulation, heat pump geothermal heating, etc., both in new houses and retrofitting, is an even better idea, in the long run.

  57. 無名 - wu ming

    making wood burning stoves cleaner burning, and restricting use of them during foggy days is one thing, but stamping out a renewable, relatively carbon-neutral way of heating in favor of fossil fuel natural gas seems rather short sighted to me.

    of course, doing everything possible to encourage/require passive solar, weatherizing, solar water heaters, better insulation, heat pump geothermal heating, etc., both in new houses and retrofitting, is an even better idea, in the long run.

  58. 無名 - wu ming

    and to be clear, i’d favor raising taxes to help lower income homeowners retrofit their houses to be more energy efficient. after all, lower energy use and less particle emissions ends up being a common public good, as we all breathe the same air and consume the same non-renewable resources. subsidies that end up lowering energy bills would have a doubly beneficial impact on those struggling to get by, as well.

  59. 無名 - wu ming

    and to be clear, i’d favor raising taxes to help lower income homeowners retrofit their houses to be more energy efficient. after all, lower energy use and less particle emissions ends up being a common public good, as we all breathe the same air and consume the same non-renewable resources. subsidies that end up lowering energy bills would have a doubly beneficial impact on those struggling to get by, as well.

  60. 無名 - wu ming

    and to be clear, i’d favor raising taxes to help lower income homeowners retrofit their houses to be more energy efficient. after all, lower energy use and less particle emissions ends up being a common public good, as we all breathe the same air and consume the same non-renewable resources. subsidies that end up lowering energy bills would have a doubly beneficial impact on those struggling to get by, as well.

  61. 無名 - wu ming

    and to be clear, i’d favor raising taxes to help lower income homeowners retrofit their houses to be more energy efficient. after all, lower energy use and less particle emissions ends up being a common public good, as we all breathe the same air and consume the same non-renewable resources. subsidies that end up lowering energy bills would have a doubly beneficial impact on those struggling to get by, as well.

  62. Anonymous

    I look forward to the day when I can qualify for low income subsidies due to all the taxes to fund low income subsidies. I feel that day is not far off.

    The reasonable approach is the one already taken. Ban new wood-burning fireplaces in new or remodeled dwellings and have mandatory no burn days when conditions warrant.

  63. Anonymous

    I look forward to the day when I can qualify for low income subsidies due to all the taxes to fund low income subsidies. I feel that day is not far off.

    The reasonable approach is the one already taken. Ban new wood-burning fireplaces in new or remodeled dwellings and have mandatory no burn days when conditions warrant.

  64. Anonymous

    I look forward to the day when I can qualify for low income subsidies due to all the taxes to fund low income subsidies. I feel that day is not far off.

    The reasonable approach is the one already taken. Ban new wood-burning fireplaces in new or remodeled dwellings and have mandatory no burn days when conditions warrant.

  65. Anonymous

    I look forward to the day when I can qualify for low income subsidies due to all the taxes to fund low income subsidies. I feel that day is not far off.

    The reasonable approach is the one already taken. Ban new wood-burning fireplaces in new or remodeled dwellings and have mandatory no burn days when conditions warrant.

  66. long time Davis resident

    I've noticed that PG&E has been doing a lot of community PR work in Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, Vacaville and I'm sure throughout CA.

    When we have a council that hands them proclomations and awards and doesn't demand more from them it brings about a bit of a concern.

    I hope we can get SMUD in the future.

  67. long time Davis resident

    I've noticed that PG&E has been doing a lot of community PR work in Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, Vacaville and I'm sure throughout CA.

    When we have a council that hands them proclomations and awards and doesn't demand more from them it brings about a bit of a concern.

    I hope we can get SMUD in the future.

  68. long time Davis resident

    I've noticed that PG&E has been doing a lot of community PR work in Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, Vacaville and I'm sure throughout CA.

    When we have a council that hands them proclomations and awards and doesn't demand more from them it brings about a bit of a concern.

    I hope we can get SMUD in the future.

  69. long time Davis resident

    I've noticed that PG&E has been doing a lot of community PR work in Davis, Woodland, Sacramento, Vacaville and I'm sure throughout CA.

    When we have a council that hands them proclomations and awards and doesn't demand more from them it brings about a bit of a concern.

    I hope we can get SMUD in the future.

  70. DPD please calrify

    Blog Administrator –

    You said, “…Again, keep the posts respectful. I just removed one post by “smart pill.” That kind of post will not be tolerated. 7/29/08 12:48 PM.”

    What about the discrspectful comments that Mike Hart made about immigrants driving Impala vehicles? This Mike Hart guy always makes these ridiculous comments. Are you going to tolerate ignorant statements?

    Are you saying you cannot sensor ignorance, but you can sensor reactions to ignorant statements? Please clarify. I like the Vanguard, but some of the extreme conservative views are out there at times.

  71. DPD please calrify

    Blog Administrator –

    You said, “…Again, keep the posts respectful. I just removed one post by “smart pill.” That kind of post will not be tolerated. 7/29/08 12:48 PM.”

    What about the discrspectful comments that Mike Hart made about immigrants driving Impala vehicles? This Mike Hart guy always makes these ridiculous comments. Are you going to tolerate ignorant statements?

    Are you saying you cannot sensor ignorance, but you can sensor reactions to ignorant statements? Please clarify. I like the Vanguard, but some of the extreme conservative views are out there at times.

  72. DPD please calrify

    Blog Administrator –

    You said, “…Again, keep the posts respectful. I just removed one post by “smart pill.” That kind of post will not be tolerated. 7/29/08 12:48 PM.”

    What about the discrspectful comments that Mike Hart made about immigrants driving Impala vehicles? This Mike Hart guy always makes these ridiculous comments. Are you going to tolerate ignorant statements?

    Are you saying you cannot sensor ignorance, but you can sensor reactions to ignorant statements? Please clarify. I like the Vanguard, but some of the extreme conservative views are out there at times.

  73. DPD please calrify

    Blog Administrator –

    You said, “…Again, keep the posts respectful. I just removed one post by “smart pill.” That kind of post will not be tolerated. 7/29/08 12:48 PM.”

    What about the discrspectful comments that Mike Hart made about immigrants driving Impala vehicles? This Mike Hart guy always makes these ridiculous comments. Are you going to tolerate ignorant statements?

    Are you saying you cannot sensor ignorance, but you can sensor reactions to ignorant statements? Please clarify. I like the Vanguard, but some of the extreme conservative views are out there at times.

  74. Richard

    Anonymous said…
    I look forward to the day when I can qualify for low income subsidies due to all the taxes to fund low income subsidies. I feel that day is not far off
    .

    I doubt it. Few people are as skilled as casting themselves as victims as the wealthy.

    –Richard Estes

  75. Richard

    Anonymous said…
    I look forward to the day when I can qualify for low income subsidies due to all the taxes to fund low income subsidies. I feel that day is not far off
    .

    I doubt it. Few people are as skilled as casting themselves as victims as the wealthy.

    –Richard Estes

  76. Richard

    Anonymous said…
    I look forward to the day when I can qualify for low income subsidies due to all the taxes to fund low income subsidies. I feel that day is not far off
    .

    I doubt it. Few people are as skilled as casting themselves as victims as the wealthy.

    –Richard Estes

  77. Richard

    Anonymous said…
    I look forward to the day when I can qualify for low income subsidies due to all the taxes to fund low income subsidies. I feel that day is not far off
    .

    I doubt it. Few people are as skilled as casting themselves as victims as the wealthy.

    –Richard Estes

  78. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Anonymous 6:49 re: “The City Counsel is going to have to pry the logs from my cold dead fingers.”

    They’ll probably have to step over the cold dead bodies of your neighbors who died of respiartory failure before they can get to your cold dead fingers.

    What about the rights of all the people in Davis with respiratory conditions who get to pay emergency room hospital bills every winter…or who can’t even walk outside on a cold night because the neighborhood smoke is so bad. This seems a pretty steep price for those mostly seniors and children to pay so wood burners can roast their chestnuts and enjoy the ambiance of their fireplaces. And I’ll guarantee you that those folks pay far higher costs in medical bills than serial wood-burners save in energy costs.

    In my book, the right to clean air and health always trumps ambience.

    And burning in open hearth fireplaces provide only ambiance and nothing more. This is because they suck so much warm air out of a house through the chimney that most open hearth wood-burners turn on their furnances to keep the rest of their house warm while they burn…is that insane or not?

  79. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Anonymous 6:49 re: “The City Counsel is going to have to pry the logs from my cold dead fingers.”

    They’ll probably have to step over the cold dead bodies of your neighbors who died of respiartory failure before they can get to your cold dead fingers.

    What about the rights of all the people in Davis with respiratory conditions who get to pay emergency room hospital bills every winter…or who can’t even walk outside on a cold night because the neighborhood smoke is so bad. This seems a pretty steep price for those mostly seniors and children to pay so wood burners can roast their chestnuts and enjoy the ambiance of their fireplaces. And I’ll guarantee you that those folks pay far higher costs in medical bills than serial wood-burners save in energy costs.

    In my book, the right to clean air and health always trumps ambience.

    And burning in open hearth fireplaces provide only ambiance and nothing more. This is because they suck so much warm air out of a house through the chimney that most open hearth wood-burners turn on their furnances to keep the rest of their house warm while they burn…is that insane or not?

  80. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Anonymous 6:49 re: “The City Counsel is going to have to pry the logs from my cold dead fingers.”

    They’ll probably have to step over the cold dead bodies of your neighbors who died of respiartory failure before they can get to your cold dead fingers.

    What about the rights of all the people in Davis with respiratory conditions who get to pay emergency room hospital bills every winter…or who can’t even walk outside on a cold night because the neighborhood smoke is so bad. This seems a pretty steep price for those mostly seniors and children to pay so wood burners can roast their chestnuts and enjoy the ambiance of their fireplaces. And I’ll guarantee you that those folks pay far higher costs in medical bills than serial wood-burners save in energy costs.

    In my book, the right to clean air and health always trumps ambience.

    And burning in open hearth fireplaces provide only ambiance and nothing more. This is because they suck so much warm air out of a house through the chimney that most open hearth wood-burners turn on their furnances to keep the rest of their house warm while they burn…is that insane or not?

  81. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Anonymous 6:49 re: “The City Counsel is going to have to pry the logs from my cold dead fingers.”

    They’ll probably have to step over the cold dead bodies of your neighbors who died of respiartory failure before they can get to your cold dead fingers.

    What about the rights of all the people in Davis with respiratory conditions who get to pay emergency room hospital bills every winter…or who can’t even walk outside on a cold night because the neighborhood smoke is so bad. This seems a pretty steep price for those mostly seniors and children to pay so wood burners can roast their chestnuts and enjoy the ambiance of their fireplaces. And I’ll guarantee you that those folks pay far higher costs in medical bills than serial wood-burners save in energy costs.

    In my book, the right to clean air and health always trumps ambience.

    And burning in open hearth fireplaces provide only ambiance and nothing more. This is because they suck so much warm air out of a house through the chimney that most open hearth wood-burners turn on their furnances to keep the rest of their house warm while they burn…is that insane or not?

  82. 無名 - wu ming

    got stats on the frequency of such cases in davis, alan? my mom’s got pretty bad asthma, and i do not recall her ever having much problem with chimney smoke in the winter. fall (and these days, summer) fire season, OTOH, keeps her hiding inside from the smoke, as did burning the rice stubble before they (reasonably) banned that practice.

    again, this is being sold as an either-or, all-or-nothing sort of choice, instead of looking at improving the standard for wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. open hearth is not the only thing in discussion, although it makes a nice straw man.

  83. 無名 - wu ming

    got stats on the frequency of such cases in davis, alan? my mom’s got pretty bad asthma, and i do not recall her ever having much problem with chimney smoke in the winter. fall (and these days, summer) fire season, OTOH, keeps her hiding inside from the smoke, as did burning the rice stubble before they (reasonably) banned that practice.

    again, this is being sold as an either-or, all-or-nothing sort of choice, instead of looking at improving the standard for wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. open hearth is not the only thing in discussion, although it makes a nice straw man.

  84. 無名 - wu ming

    got stats on the frequency of such cases in davis, alan? my mom’s got pretty bad asthma, and i do not recall her ever having much problem with chimney smoke in the winter. fall (and these days, summer) fire season, OTOH, keeps her hiding inside from the smoke, as did burning the rice stubble before they (reasonably) banned that practice.

    again, this is being sold as an either-or, all-or-nothing sort of choice, instead of looking at improving the standard for wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. open hearth is not the only thing in discussion, although it makes a nice straw man.

  85. 無名 - wu ming

    got stats on the frequency of such cases in davis, alan? my mom’s got pretty bad asthma, and i do not recall her ever having much problem with chimney smoke in the winter. fall (and these days, summer) fire season, OTOH, keeps her hiding inside from the smoke, as did burning the rice stubble before they (reasonably) banned that practice.

    again, this is being sold as an either-or, all-or-nothing sort of choice, instead of looking at improving the standard for wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. open hearth is not the only thing in discussion, although it makes a nice straw man.

  86. Anonymous

    Richard,

    The wealthy (or donor class) don't comment on blogs or pay taxes. As a wage earner/tax payer I do both and wonder just who these subsidies would go to. I don't know many low income residents who own property, much less fireplaces. Perhaps a bigger subsidy for gas bills (already available from PG&E) would be more appropriate to low income residents warm and toasty rather than funding home improvement.

    Bob Kohler

  87. Anonymous

    Richard,

    The wealthy (or donor class) don't comment on blogs or pay taxes. As a wage earner/tax payer I do both and wonder just who these subsidies would go to. I don't know many low income residents who own property, much less fireplaces. Perhaps a bigger subsidy for gas bills (already available from PG&E) would be more appropriate to low income residents warm and toasty rather than funding home improvement.

    Bob Kohler

  88. Anonymous

    Richard,

    The wealthy (or donor class) don't comment on blogs or pay taxes. As a wage earner/tax payer I do both and wonder just who these subsidies would go to. I don't know many low income residents who own property, much less fireplaces. Perhaps a bigger subsidy for gas bills (already available from PG&E) would be more appropriate to low income residents warm and toasty rather than funding home improvement.

    Bob Kohler

  89. Anonymous

    Richard,

    The wealthy (or donor class) don't comment on blogs or pay taxes. As a wage earner/tax payer I do both and wonder just who these subsidies would go to. I don't know many low income residents who own property, much less fireplaces. Perhaps a bigger subsidy for gas bills (already available from PG&E) would be more appropriate to low income residents warm and toasty rather than funding home improvement.

    Bob Kohler

  90. Anonymous

    dpd,

    You mentioned that D. Saylor was long winded. Have you ever looked at how you write. Looks like the skillet calling the kettle,”black”.
    And I like your comment,”Maybe I’m Wrong”. You’re wrong real often and you don’t see it, or won’t admit to it.

  91. Anonymous

    dpd,

    You mentioned that D. Saylor was long winded. Have you ever looked at how you write. Looks like the skillet calling the kettle,”black”.
    And I like your comment,”Maybe I’m Wrong”. You’re wrong real often and you don’t see it, or won’t admit to it.

  92. Anonymous

    dpd,

    You mentioned that D. Saylor was long winded. Have you ever looked at how you write. Looks like the skillet calling the kettle,”black”.
    And I like your comment,”Maybe I’m Wrong”. You’re wrong real often and you don’t see it, or won’t admit to it.

  93. Anonymous

    dpd,

    You mentioned that D. Saylor was long winded. Have you ever looked at how you write. Looks like the skillet calling the kettle,”black”.
    And I like your comment,”Maybe I’m Wrong”. You’re wrong real often and you don’t see it, or won’t admit to it.

  94. Anonymous

    “yolo clean air” is not a “group” at all, but merely a single individual who has formed a non-profit, and claims to be an air expert.

    first we ban fireplaces, and next candlelight dinners, and birthday candles on cakes.
    makes sense, as all of this leads to bad air quality, right?

  95. Anonymous

    “yolo clean air” is not a “group” at all, but merely a single individual who has formed a non-profit, and claims to be an air expert.

    first we ban fireplaces, and next candlelight dinners, and birthday candles on cakes.
    makes sense, as all of this leads to bad air quality, right?

  96. Anonymous

    “yolo clean air” is not a “group” at all, but merely a single individual who has formed a non-profit, and claims to be an air expert.

    first we ban fireplaces, and next candlelight dinners, and birthday candles on cakes.
    makes sense, as all of this leads to bad air quality, right?

  97. Anonymous

    “yolo clean air” is not a “group” at all, but merely a single individual who has formed a non-profit, and claims to be an air expert.

    first we ban fireplaces, and next candlelight dinners, and birthday candles on cakes.
    makes sense, as all of this leads to bad air quality, right?

  98. Michael

    As someone who recently installed a small EPA Phase II insert to burn carbon-neutral prunings collected by bike from neighborhood trees, I hope that we can go about this in a reasonable way. How about a series of actions?:

    1) Ban wood-burning fireplaces in new construction (natural gas is low-particulate, though not carbon-neutral).

    2) Offer incentives for citizens to replace open-hearth fireplaces–which don’t offer much heat anyway!–with more efficient inserts, upgraded furnaces, and/or insulation improvements.

    3) Limit burning on poor air-quality days.

    The council has a great deal of power over carbon emissions by specifying building code. Why don’t we start there?

  99. Michael

    As someone who recently installed a small EPA Phase II insert to burn carbon-neutral prunings collected by bike from neighborhood trees, I hope that we can go about this in a reasonable way. How about a series of actions?:

    1) Ban wood-burning fireplaces in new construction (natural gas is low-particulate, though not carbon-neutral).

    2) Offer incentives for citizens to replace open-hearth fireplaces–which don’t offer much heat anyway!–with more efficient inserts, upgraded furnaces, and/or insulation improvements.

    3) Limit burning on poor air-quality days.

    The council has a great deal of power over carbon emissions by specifying building code. Why don’t we start there?

  100. Michael

    As someone who recently installed a small EPA Phase II insert to burn carbon-neutral prunings collected by bike from neighborhood trees, I hope that we can go about this in a reasonable way. How about a series of actions?:

    1) Ban wood-burning fireplaces in new construction (natural gas is low-particulate, though not carbon-neutral).

    2) Offer incentives for citizens to replace open-hearth fireplaces–which don’t offer much heat anyway!–with more efficient inserts, upgraded furnaces, and/or insulation improvements.

    3) Limit burning on poor air-quality days.

    The council has a great deal of power over carbon emissions by specifying building code. Why don’t we start there?

  101. Michael

    As someone who recently installed a small EPA Phase II insert to burn carbon-neutral prunings collected by bike from neighborhood trees, I hope that we can go about this in a reasonable way. How about a series of actions?:

    1) Ban wood-burning fireplaces in new construction (natural gas is low-particulate, though not carbon-neutral).

    2) Offer incentives for citizens to replace open-hearth fireplaces–which don’t offer much heat anyway!–with more efficient inserts, upgraded furnaces, and/or insulation improvements.

    3) Limit burning on poor air-quality days.

    The council has a great deal of power over carbon emissions by specifying building code. Why don’t we start there?

  102. Anonymous

    Lets let Ruth and Sue Greenwald fight it out on the next city counsel meeting and put it on pay-per-view to raise funds for water and wastewater upgrades !!!

  103. Anonymous

    Lets let Ruth and Sue Greenwald fight it out on the next city counsel meeting and put it on pay-per-view to raise funds for water and wastewater upgrades !!!

  104. Anonymous

    Lets let Ruth and Sue Greenwald fight it out on the next city counsel meeting and put it on pay-per-view to raise funds for water and wastewater upgrades !!!

  105. Anonymous

    Lets let Ruth and Sue Greenwald fight it out on the next city counsel meeting and put it on pay-per-view to raise funds for water and wastewater upgrades !!!

  106. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Wa Ming – 7/29/08 – 6:40 PM

    Your mother is very lucky she does not live in a neighborhood where you have an open hearth serial wood burner upwind to the prevailings. If she did, it would be even worse than these recent wildfires.

    I initially became interested in the local effects of wood smoke because my mother, since deceased, lived in the Merced area and was battling lung cancer and chronic bronchitis for years. She had a neighbor two doors away at the time who used their woodstove on most cool winter evenings except on “Spare-the-Air” days announced by the San Joaquin Valley APCD.

    Although there did not appear visually to be much smoke coming from the neighbor’s stove flue on the days they were burning, we could nevertheless always smell smoke around her house on those days because the prevailing winds blew directly toward my mother’s house from the wood-burning neighbor’s house. As a result, we made it a firm rule to keep her house windows closed all the time during the winter months and especially in the eves.

    Her home was an older house, though, and there were probably a fair number of small leaks around the windows and doors. Two winters ago I was providing a lot of the home care for her, and while doing so I observed that my mother’s breathing became more difficult in the evenings when the outside air smelled was smokier. Conversely, on “Spare-the-Air” days when the neighbor ceased burning, the smell of smoke was gone from the neighborhood despite the presumably poorer regional air quality and my mother clearly breathed easier.

    This really stimulated my research into the local aspects of wood smoke dispersion. And my research and similar research done at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, using EPA approved modeling tools, clearly showed that wood smoke pollution is much more serious when viewed at a neighborhood level vs. simply as a regional problem. That is, one’s exposure to wood smoke is much more a function of who is burning upwind from you and wind speed rather than the regional air quality.

    What was determined is that Open Hearth fireplaces really can’t be safely operated at winds speeds less than 10 mph +/_ (meaning you are not exposing your neighbor to PM2.5 exposures (CT values) greater than the Federal 24 hr PM2.5 Standard) . Similarly, EPA Phase II fireplaces can not be safely used at wind speeds less than 5 mph +/-. Once you understand that and the fact that open hearth fireplaces are net energy users because of all the warm air they suck out of a house, then it is easy to reasonably recommend that open hearth fireplaces be phased out. The bottom line is that they medieval devices and really have no place in a modern urban environment. And we recommend that are EPA Phase II-Approved stoves should only be used when the wind is greater than 5 mph simply because it is not safe to ones neighbors.

    Our work has been reviewed by UC Davis atmospheric science experts and presented to the local AQMD the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) for their review. But this was only one of dozens of papers and articles the NRC reviewed, however, when they came to their conclusions and recommendations that they subsequently submitted to the council.

    So there really is some good science behind their recommendations. But if you have any information that disputes that you should certainly feel free to come forward and present it at the next NRC meeting. And I’ll be happy to send you an email copy of my research as well as extensive information on the toxicology of wood smoke. Just contact me through http://www.yolocleanair.com and let me know the type of information you want to receive.

  107. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Wa Ming – 7/29/08 – 6:40 PM

    Your mother is very lucky she does not live in a neighborhood where you have an open hearth serial wood burner upwind to the prevailings. If she did, it would be even worse than these recent wildfires.

    I initially became interested in the local effects of wood smoke because my mother, since deceased, lived in the Merced area and was battling lung cancer and chronic bronchitis for years. She had a neighbor two doors away at the time who used their woodstove on most cool winter evenings except on “Spare-the-Air” days announced by the San Joaquin Valley APCD.

    Although there did not appear visually to be much smoke coming from the neighbor’s stove flue on the days they were burning, we could nevertheless always smell smoke around her house on those days because the prevailing winds blew directly toward my mother’s house from the wood-burning neighbor’s house. As a result, we made it a firm rule to keep her house windows closed all the time during the winter months and especially in the eves.

    Her home was an older house, though, and there were probably a fair number of small leaks around the windows and doors. Two winters ago I was providing a lot of the home care for her, and while doing so I observed that my mother’s breathing became more difficult in the evenings when the outside air smelled was smokier. Conversely, on “Spare-the-Air” days when the neighbor ceased burning, the smell of smoke was gone from the neighborhood despite the presumably poorer regional air quality and my mother clearly breathed easier.

    This really stimulated my research into the local aspects of wood smoke dispersion. And my research and similar research done at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, using EPA approved modeling tools, clearly showed that wood smoke pollution is much more serious when viewed at a neighborhood level vs. simply as a regional problem. That is, one’s exposure to wood smoke is much more a function of who is burning upwind from you and wind speed rather than the regional air quality.

    What was determined is that Open Hearth fireplaces really can’t be safely operated at winds speeds less than 10 mph +/_ (meaning you are not exposing your neighbor to PM2.5 exposures (CT values) greater than the Federal 24 hr PM2.5 Standard) . Similarly, EPA Phase II fireplaces can not be safely used at wind speeds less than 5 mph +/-. Once you understand that and the fact that open hearth fireplaces are net energy users because of all the warm air they suck out of a house, then it is easy to reasonably recommend that open hearth fireplaces be phased out. The bottom line is that they medieval devices and really have no place in a modern urban environment. And we recommend that are EPA Phase II-Approved stoves should only be used when the wind is greater than 5 mph simply because it is not safe to ones neighbors.

    Our work has been reviewed by UC Davis atmospheric science experts and presented to the local AQMD the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) for their review. But this was only one of dozens of papers and articles the NRC reviewed, however, when they came to their conclusions and recommendations that they subsequently submitted to the council.

    So there really is some good science behind their recommendations. But if you have any information that disputes that you should certainly feel free to come forward and present it at the next NRC meeting. And I’ll be happy to send you an email copy of my research as well as extensive information on the toxicology of wood smoke. Just contact me through http://www.yolocleanair.com and let me know the type of information you want to receive.

  108. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Wa Ming – 7/29/08 – 6:40 PM

    Your mother is very lucky she does not live in a neighborhood where you have an open hearth serial wood burner upwind to the prevailings. If she did, it would be even worse than these recent wildfires.

    I initially became interested in the local effects of wood smoke because my mother, since deceased, lived in the Merced area and was battling lung cancer and chronic bronchitis for years. She had a neighbor two doors away at the time who used their woodstove on most cool winter evenings except on “Spare-the-Air” days announced by the San Joaquin Valley APCD.

    Although there did not appear visually to be much smoke coming from the neighbor’s stove flue on the days they were burning, we could nevertheless always smell smoke around her house on those days because the prevailing winds blew directly toward my mother’s house from the wood-burning neighbor’s house. As a result, we made it a firm rule to keep her house windows closed all the time during the winter months and especially in the eves.

    Her home was an older house, though, and there were probably a fair number of small leaks around the windows and doors. Two winters ago I was providing a lot of the home care for her, and while doing so I observed that my mother’s breathing became more difficult in the evenings when the outside air smelled was smokier. Conversely, on “Spare-the-Air” days when the neighbor ceased burning, the smell of smoke was gone from the neighborhood despite the presumably poorer regional air quality and my mother clearly breathed easier.

    This really stimulated my research into the local aspects of wood smoke dispersion. And my research and similar research done at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, using EPA approved modeling tools, clearly showed that wood smoke pollution is much more serious when viewed at a neighborhood level vs. simply as a regional problem. That is, one’s exposure to wood smoke is much more a function of who is burning upwind from you and wind speed rather than the regional air quality.

    What was determined is that Open Hearth fireplaces really can’t be safely operated at winds speeds less than 10 mph +/_ (meaning you are not exposing your neighbor to PM2.5 exposures (CT values) greater than the Federal 24 hr PM2.5 Standard) . Similarly, EPA Phase II fireplaces can not be safely used at wind speeds less than 5 mph +/-. Once you understand that and the fact that open hearth fireplaces are net energy users because of all the warm air they suck out of a house, then it is easy to reasonably recommend that open hearth fireplaces be phased out. The bottom line is that they medieval devices and really have no place in a modern urban environment. And we recommend that are EPA Phase II-Approved stoves should only be used when the wind is greater than 5 mph simply because it is not safe to ones neighbors.

    Our work has been reviewed by UC Davis atmospheric science experts and presented to the local AQMD the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) for their review. But this was only one of dozens of papers and articles the NRC reviewed, however, when they came to their conclusions and recommendations that they subsequently submitted to the council.

    So there really is some good science behind their recommendations. But if you have any information that disputes that you should certainly feel free to come forward and present it at the next NRC meeting. And I’ll be happy to send you an email copy of my research as well as extensive information on the toxicology of wood smoke. Just contact me through http://www.yolocleanair.com and let me know the type of information you want to receive.

  109. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Wa Ming – 7/29/08 – 6:40 PM

    Your mother is very lucky she does not live in a neighborhood where you have an open hearth serial wood burner upwind to the prevailings. If she did, it would be even worse than these recent wildfires.

    I initially became interested in the local effects of wood smoke because my mother, since deceased, lived in the Merced area and was battling lung cancer and chronic bronchitis for years. She had a neighbor two doors away at the time who used their woodstove on most cool winter evenings except on “Spare-the-Air” days announced by the San Joaquin Valley APCD.

    Although there did not appear visually to be much smoke coming from the neighbor’s stove flue on the days they were burning, we could nevertheless always smell smoke around her house on those days because the prevailing winds blew directly toward my mother’s house from the wood-burning neighbor’s house. As a result, we made it a firm rule to keep her house windows closed all the time during the winter months and especially in the eves.

    Her home was an older house, though, and there were probably a fair number of small leaks around the windows and doors. Two winters ago I was providing a lot of the home care for her, and while doing so I observed that my mother’s breathing became more difficult in the evenings when the outside air smelled was smokier. Conversely, on “Spare-the-Air” days when the neighbor ceased burning, the smell of smoke was gone from the neighborhood despite the presumably poorer regional air quality and my mother clearly breathed easier.

    This really stimulated my research into the local aspects of wood smoke dispersion. And my research and similar research done at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, using EPA approved modeling tools, clearly showed that wood smoke pollution is much more serious when viewed at a neighborhood level vs. simply as a regional problem. That is, one’s exposure to wood smoke is much more a function of who is burning upwind from you and wind speed rather than the regional air quality.

    What was determined is that Open Hearth fireplaces really can’t be safely operated at winds speeds less than 10 mph +/_ (meaning you are not exposing your neighbor to PM2.5 exposures (CT values) greater than the Federal 24 hr PM2.5 Standard) . Similarly, EPA Phase II fireplaces can not be safely used at wind speeds less than 5 mph +/-. Once you understand that and the fact that open hearth fireplaces are net energy users because of all the warm air they suck out of a house, then it is easy to reasonably recommend that open hearth fireplaces be phased out. The bottom line is that they medieval devices and really have no place in a modern urban environment. And we recommend that are EPA Phase II-Approved stoves should only be used when the wind is greater than 5 mph simply because it is not safe to ones neighbors.

    Our work has been reviewed by UC Davis atmospheric science experts and presented to the local AQMD the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) for their review. But this was only one of dozens of papers and articles the NRC reviewed, however, when they came to their conclusions and recommendations that they subsequently submitted to the council.

    So there really is some good science behind their recommendations. But if you have any information that disputes that you should certainly feel free to come forward and present it at the next NRC meeting. And I’ll be happy to send you an email copy of my research as well as extensive information on the toxicology of wood smoke. Just contact me through http://www.yolocleanair.com and let me know the type of information you want to receive.

  110. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To anonymous – 7/29/08 11:40 PM

    Actually, there are two of us at Yolo Clean Air and no one claims to be an air expert…just obviously a bit more informed on the science than you.

    There is quite a bit of difference between an open hearth fireplace that can put out over 1,400 g of PM10 particulate matter per day and a birthday candle that probably puts out less than 0.01 grams of particulate matter. That’s a 140,000 fold increase.

    Additionally, if an industry operated an open hearth fireplace (or anything else that put out that much EPA Priority Pollutants, they would be required to obtain an air pollution permit from the local AQMD. I don’t trust most homeowners to keep my air clean without regulation anymore than I trust industry so why should they get a free ride..

  111. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To anonymous – 7/29/08 11:40 PM

    Actually, there are two of us at Yolo Clean Air and no one claims to be an air expert…just obviously a bit more informed on the science than you.

    There is quite a bit of difference between an open hearth fireplace that can put out over 1,400 g of PM10 particulate matter per day and a birthday candle that probably puts out less than 0.01 grams of particulate matter. That’s a 140,000 fold increase.

    Additionally, if an industry operated an open hearth fireplace (or anything else that put out that much EPA Priority Pollutants, they would be required to obtain an air pollution permit from the local AQMD. I don’t trust most homeowners to keep my air clean without regulation anymore than I trust industry so why should they get a free ride..

  112. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To anonymous – 7/29/08 11:40 PM

    Actually, there are two of us at Yolo Clean Air and no one claims to be an air expert…just obviously a bit more informed on the science than you.

    There is quite a bit of difference between an open hearth fireplace that can put out over 1,400 g of PM10 particulate matter per day and a birthday candle that probably puts out less than 0.01 grams of particulate matter. That’s a 140,000 fold increase.

    Additionally, if an industry operated an open hearth fireplace (or anything else that put out that much EPA Priority Pollutants, they would be required to obtain an air pollution permit from the local AQMD. I don’t trust most homeowners to keep my air clean without regulation anymore than I trust industry so why should they get a free ride..

  113. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To anonymous – 7/29/08 11:40 PM

    Actually, there are two of us at Yolo Clean Air and no one claims to be an air expert…just obviously a bit more informed on the science than you.

    There is quite a bit of difference between an open hearth fireplace that can put out over 1,400 g of PM10 particulate matter per day and a birthday candle that probably puts out less than 0.01 grams of particulate matter. That’s a 140,000 fold increase.

    Additionally, if an industry operated an open hearth fireplace (or anything else that put out that much EPA Priority Pollutants, they would be required to obtain an air pollution permit from the local AQMD. I don’t trust most homeowners to keep my air clean without regulation anymore than I trust industry so why should they get a free ride..

  114. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Michael – 7/30/08 1:43 AM

    All of those are excellent suggestions and they all really were looked at by the NRC. The NRC really did throw out a wide net looking for alternative solutions. But those solutions you propose really speak to regional air quality improvements and not to immediately protecting someone in a neighborhood from their upwind wood-burning neighbor’s wood smoke. The recommendations proposed by the NRC specifically recognized that potential when they came up with their report to council. By-the-way, I have no problem with burning EPA Phase II stoves as long as the atmospheric conditions are such that the wood smoke sweeps the smoke up and away rather than pushing it down into someone else’s back yard. By the way, I don’t think EPA Phase II stoves are going to be completely banned any time soon in Davis. But come to the NRC or council meetings and let your opinion be heard.

    You should know, though, that even an EPA Phase II stove can still produce in excess of 0.5 lbs of PM10 pollution per day. In completely stagnant conditions like we see with Tule fog, this emission rate can push the air PM concentrations in the immediate area to well above federal PM standards within just a few hours. These are levels that can trigger asthmatic attacks or dyspnea in susceptible individuals. Try breathing through a paper bag for a minute or two…that is what having an asthma attack is like. Why should these people have to suffer like that so an upwind wood burner can get a little ambiance?

    Last point, I don’t agree that burning wood instead of mulching it back into the ground is carbon neutral… It can take years to grow a good size log for a firplace that can go up in smoke in minutes. If properly mulched into the soil, however, a good portion of the carbon in wood is assimilated into the soil carbon cycle where it increase fertility and biodiversity in the soil and improves drainage. All burning does is turn it into CO2 and PM in a fireplace – and with horrible heat conversion efficiency.

  115. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Michael – 7/30/08 1:43 AM

    All of those are excellent suggestions and they all really were looked at by the NRC. The NRC really did throw out a wide net looking for alternative solutions. But those solutions you propose really speak to regional air quality improvements and not to immediately protecting someone in a neighborhood from their upwind wood-burning neighbor’s wood smoke. The recommendations proposed by the NRC specifically recognized that potential when they came up with their report to council. By-the-way, I have no problem with burning EPA Phase II stoves as long as the atmospheric conditions are such that the wood smoke sweeps the smoke up and away rather than pushing it down into someone else’s back yard. By the way, I don’t think EPA Phase II stoves are going to be completely banned any time soon in Davis. But come to the NRC or council meetings and let your opinion be heard.

    You should know, though, that even an EPA Phase II stove can still produce in excess of 0.5 lbs of PM10 pollution per day. In completely stagnant conditions like we see with Tule fog, this emission rate can push the air PM concentrations in the immediate area to well above federal PM standards within just a few hours. These are levels that can trigger asthmatic attacks or dyspnea in susceptible individuals. Try breathing through a paper bag for a minute or two…that is what having an asthma attack is like. Why should these people have to suffer like that so an upwind wood burner can get a little ambiance?

    Last point, I don’t agree that burning wood instead of mulching it back into the ground is carbon neutral… It can take years to grow a good size log for a firplace that can go up in smoke in minutes. If properly mulched into the soil, however, a good portion of the carbon in wood is assimilated into the soil carbon cycle where it increase fertility and biodiversity in the soil and improves drainage. All burning does is turn it into CO2 and PM in a fireplace – and with horrible heat conversion efficiency.

  116. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Michael – 7/30/08 1:43 AM

    All of those are excellent suggestions and they all really were looked at by the NRC. The NRC really did throw out a wide net looking for alternative solutions. But those solutions you propose really speak to regional air quality improvements and not to immediately protecting someone in a neighborhood from their upwind wood-burning neighbor’s wood smoke. The recommendations proposed by the NRC specifically recognized that potential when they came up with their report to council. By-the-way, I have no problem with burning EPA Phase II stoves as long as the atmospheric conditions are such that the wood smoke sweeps the smoke up and away rather than pushing it down into someone else’s back yard. By the way, I don’t think EPA Phase II stoves are going to be completely banned any time soon in Davis. But come to the NRC or council meetings and let your opinion be heard.

    You should know, though, that even an EPA Phase II stove can still produce in excess of 0.5 lbs of PM10 pollution per day. In completely stagnant conditions like we see with Tule fog, this emission rate can push the air PM concentrations in the immediate area to well above federal PM standards within just a few hours. These are levels that can trigger asthmatic attacks or dyspnea in susceptible individuals. Try breathing through a paper bag for a minute or two…that is what having an asthma attack is like. Why should these people have to suffer like that so an upwind wood burner can get a little ambiance?

    Last point, I don’t agree that burning wood instead of mulching it back into the ground is carbon neutral… It can take years to grow a good size log for a firplace that can go up in smoke in minutes. If properly mulched into the soil, however, a good portion of the carbon in wood is assimilated into the soil carbon cycle where it increase fertility and biodiversity in the soil and improves drainage. All burning does is turn it into CO2 and PM in a fireplace – and with horrible heat conversion efficiency.

  117. alan pryor @ yolo clean air

    To Michael – 7/30/08 1:43 AM

    All of those are excellent suggestions and they all really were looked at by the NRC. The NRC really did throw out a wide net looking for alternative solutions. But those solutions you propose really speak to regional air quality improvements and not to immediately protecting someone in a neighborhood from their upwind wood-burning neighbor’s wood smoke. The recommendations proposed by the NRC specifically recognized that potential when they came up with their report to council. By-the-way, I have no problem with burning EPA Phase II stoves as long as the atmospheric conditions are such that the wood smoke sweeps the smoke up and away rather than pushing it down into someone else’s back yard. By the way, I don’t think EPA Phase II stoves are going to be completely banned any time soon in Davis. But come to the NRC or council meetings and let your opinion be heard.

    You should know, though, that even an EPA Phase II stove can still produce in excess of 0.5 lbs of PM10 pollution per day. In completely stagnant conditions like we see with Tule fog, this emission rate can push the air PM concentrations in the immediate area to well above federal PM standards within just a few hours. These are levels that can trigger asthmatic attacks or dyspnea in susceptible individuals. Try breathing through a paper bag for a minute or two…that is what having an asthma attack is like. Why should these people have to suffer like that so an upwind wood burner can get a little ambiance?

    Last point, I don’t agree that burning wood instead of mulching it back into the ground is carbon neutral… It can take years to grow a good size log for a firplace that can go up in smoke in minutes. If properly mulched into the soil, however, a good portion of the carbon in wood is assimilated into the soil carbon cycle where it increase fertility and biodiversity in the soil and improves drainage. All burning does is turn it into CO2 and PM in a fireplace – and with horrible heat conversion efficiency.

  118. Former East Coaster

    To Alan Pryor:
    I was dead set against any such ordinance – you would never get it passed on the East Coast, trust me. But your argument on behalf of your asthmatic mom was compelling. I personally never use my gas insert, so don’t pollute. But I do appreciate a warm fireplace on a cold night as in my childhood years. However, probably as the NRC concluded, if this is a health issue for some, maybe it is time for hearth fireplaces to be phased out/prohibited on bad air days. Thanks for bringing this matter to our attention.

  119. Former East Coaster

    To Alan Pryor:
    I was dead set against any such ordinance – you would never get it passed on the East Coast, trust me. But your argument on behalf of your asthmatic mom was compelling. I personally never use my gas insert, so don’t pollute. But I do appreciate a warm fireplace on a cold night as in my childhood years. However, probably as the NRC concluded, if this is a health issue for some, maybe it is time for hearth fireplaces to be phased out/prohibited on bad air days. Thanks for bringing this matter to our attention.

  120. Former East Coaster

    To Alan Pryor:
    I was dead set against any such ordinance – you would never get it passed on the East Coast, trust me. But your argument on behalf of your asthmatic mom was compelling. I personally never use my gas insert, so don’t pollute. But I do appreciate a warm fireplace on a cold night as in my childhood years. However, probably as the NRC concluded, if this is a health issue for some, maybe it is time for hearth fireplaces to be phased out/prohibited on bad air days. Thanks for bringing this matter to our attention.

  121. Former East Coaster

    To Alan Pryor:
    I was dead set against any such ordinance – you would never get it passed on the East Coast, trust me. But your argument on behalf of your asthmatic mom was compelling. I personally never use my gas insert, so don’t pollute. But I do appreciate a warm fireplace on a cold night as in my childhood years. However, probably as the NRC concluded, if this is a health issue for some, maybe it is time for hearth fireplaces to be phased out/prohibited on bad air days. Thanks for bringing this matter to our attention.

  122. Brian

    My only point is that the charts from the Yolo Clean Air people are a bit misleading. When was the last time you burned wood in your stove for 24 hours? Or do it nearly as long as those other activities (well, if you smoke that much, I can’t help you)? But seriously. They’re not really accurately represented. I would rather see a chart matching pollution from wood burning for the average amount of time people burn wood per day to the amount of energy used from other sources for the length of time they’re usually used per day.

  123. Brian

    My only point is that the charts from the Yolo Clean Air people are a bit misleading. When was the last time you burned wood in your stove for 24 hours? Or do it nearly as long as those other activities (well, if you smoke that much, I can’t help you)? But seriously. They’re not really accurately represented. I would rather see a chart matching pollution from wood burning for the average amount of time people burn wood per day to the amount of energy used from other sources for the length of time they’re usually used per day.

  124. Brian

    My only point is that the charts from the Yolo Clean Air people are a bit misleading. When was the last time you burned wood in your stove for 24 hours? Or do it nearly as long as those other activities (well, if you smoke that much, I can’t help you)? But seriously. They’re not really accurately represented. I would rather see a chart matching pollution from wood burning for the average amount of time people burn wood per day to the amount of energy used from other sources for the length of time they’re usually used per day.

  125. Brian

    My only point is that the charts from the Yolo Clean Air people are a bit misleading. When was the last time you burned wood in your stove for 24 hours? Or do it nearly as long as those other activities (well, if you smoke that much, I can’t help you)? But seriously. They’re not really accurately represented. I would rather see a chart matching pollution from wood burning for the average amount of time people burn wood per day to the amount of energy used from other sources for the length of time they’re usually used per day.

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