Forecasting and public outreach for curtailment of residential wood burning in the south coast aqmd
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Forecasting and Public Outreach for Curtailment of Residential Wood Burning in the South Coast AQMD. Kevin Durkee, Sam Atwood, Tracy Goss, Michael Laybourn & Tina Cherry South Coast Air Quality Management District 2011 National Air Quality Conferences San Diego, CA March 10, 2011. Overview.

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Forecasting and Public Outreach for Curtailment of Residential Wood Burning in the South Coast AQMD

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Forecasting and Public Outreach for Curtailment of Residential Wood Burning in the South Coast AQMD

Kevin Durkee, Sam Atwood, Tracy Goss,Michael Laybourn & Tina Cherry

South Coast Air Quality Management District

2011 National Air Quality Conferences

San Diego, CA

March 10, 2011


  • Why curtail residential wood burning?

  • AQMD’s Healthy Hearths Initiatives

    • Rule 445 – Wood Burning Devices

    • Public Education

    • Incentive Program

    • Wood Burning Curtailment Program

    • Outreach

South Coast Air Quality Management District Boundaries

South Coast Air Basin

  • 10,743 square miles

  • Over 16 million people

  • 11 million gasoline vehicles

  • 300,000 diesel vehicles

  • Extreme Ozone Non-Attainment Area

  • PM2.5 Non-Attainment Area




PM Sources

Gas to particle conversion

Directly Emitted

Monitored PM2.5 Levels(2008 South Coast Air Basin Maximums)

But Fireplaces?

What could be more …

  • relaxing?

  • cozy, warm?

  • romantic?

  • holiday spirited?

  • family oriented?

  • American?

Why Curtail Residential Wood Burning?

  • PM2.5 Non-Attainment of Federal & State Standards

    • Health Effects from PM2.5 exposure, including wood smoke, is well-documented

  • 1.4 million open-faced fireplaces in South Coast Basin

    • mainly used for ambience

  • California law requires “All Feasible Measures” approach:

    • “develop and adopt … the most readily available, feasible, and cost-effective control measures that could be employed by ARB and air districts to reduce PM10 and PM2.5…based on rules, regulations and programs existing in California…” (CA Health & Safety Code §39614)

Wood Smoke Health Effects

  • Wood smoke particulate primarily PM2.5

  • Children, elderly and those with existing heart or lung conditions at most risk

  • Wood smoke also source of toxic pollutants

  • Wood burning can affect indoor air quality

  • Wood smoke is a contributor to wintertime exposure


We are not alone…

Areas with Wood Burning Regulations in California

Healthy Hearths Initiative

  • Multi-pronged approach to addressing the impacts of wood smoke

    • Rule 445 – Wood Burning Devices

    • Public Education

    • Gas Log Set Incentive Program

    • Curtailment Program

1. Rule 445 – Wood Burning Devices

AQMD Rule 445 – Key Elements

Clean-Burning Appliance Requirements:

  • New Residential Development

    • Dedicated gaseous-fueled devices only(Open-hearth, factory-built or custom-builtfireplace with gas log sets are allowed)

  • Existing Development(for additions or remodels)

    • EPA Phase II-Certified wood stove or insert

    • Pellet-fueled device

    • Masonry heater

    • Dedicated gaseous-fueled device

Gas Log Set

Gas Fireplace Insert

AQMD Rule 445 – Key Elements

  • Mandatory wood burning curtailments

    • based on predicted poor air quality (AQI of USG or higher)

  • Firewood Sales Restrictions

    • Green Wood (moisture content > 20%)

      • Sales restricted for licensed business operations – July through February

    • No restriction on Seasoned Wood

AQMD Rule 445 – Exemptions

  • Sole Source of Heat

  • Low Income Household

  • No Gas Service

  • Elevations greater than 3,000’ MSL

  • Ceremonial fires

Rule 445 – Emissions Reductions

  • 2014 uncontrolled inventory = 6.5 tpd

    • November through February ≈ 13 tpd

  • AQMD Rule 445 reductions ≈ 1 tpd by 2014

    • Equivalent to replacement of 6,300 pre-1990 trucks with 2007 model year

2. Public Education

  • YouTube video

  • Health effects information

  • FAQs for public, government and contractors

  • Wood burning tips

  • Quiz to test your knowledge

  • Links:

    • Incentive program

    • Burn Curtailment forecasts

3. Gas Log Incentive Program

AQMD Incentives

  • For South Coast Air Basin residents only

  • $125 discount off purchase and installation of gas log set in existing fireplaces

    • AQMD: $100 / unit

    • Retailer/manufacturer: Additional $25 / unit

  • Must work with participating dealers

    • ~50 in network

    • Guaranteed installation required by trained technician

  • $750,000 in funding to date

  • 7,500 Units Installed

4. Residential Wood BurningCurtailment Program

Wood Burning Curtailment

  • Annually November through February

    • Voluntary in 2010; Mandatory in 2011

    • Applies to indoor and outdoor wood burning

    • AQMD responsible for compliance

  • No-burn advisory issued

    • when 24-hr PM2.5 levels predicted to be> 35 µg/m3 (Fed. Std.)

    • Issued by forecast area

  • Less than 15 days anticipated per winter

Day-in-advance PM2.5 Residential Burn Predictions for 31 Forecast Areas(excluding desert areas and mountains > 3000’)


Public Notification System

Interactive Check Before You Burn map on AQMD website

Email notifications throughAQMD Air Alerts/EPA EnviroFlash

Toll-free phone number for generalized program information

AQMD Web Page Map

Sample EnviroFlash Notification

An Action Day has been declared for Norco/Corona, California, on Monday, December 6, 2010

AQMD has declared a Residential No-Burn Advisory (Voluntary) in your area.

This means that AQMD requests your voluntary curtailment of the use of indoor/outdoor wood-burning fireplaces and stoves because air quality in your area is predicted to be Unhealthy or worse for Sensitive Groups.

When a residential no-burn advisory is issued for your area, please refrain from burning wood throughout the entire day.

This program is being implemented under AQMD Rule 445 and will involve mandatory wood burning restrictions starting in November 2011. Until then, participation in the program is voluntary. The rule only affects indoor/outdoor residential wood burning from the beginning of November through the end of February. Burn restrictions are expected to be infrequent during these months. This rule only applies to residences in the South Coast Air Basin at elevations below 3000 feet.

For further information on Rule 445 and alternatives to wood burning, please see

Do not reply directly to this email. If you want more information on the air quality forecast, or other aspects of the local air quality program, please contact your local air quality agency using the information above. For more information on the U.S. EPA's AIRNow Program, visit

To unsubscribe or edit your EnviroFlash account

Public Outreach

  • Press releases issued to all Southern California broadcast, radio and print media

    • Multiple news stories generated about program

  • Revised AQMD and Healthy Hearths websites with program information

  • AQMD/KTLA partnership(10 weeks from 12/20/10 to 2/25/11)

    • Educate public about program

    • Encourage public to sign up for email notifications

    • Notify public of forecasted no-burn days

LA Times 2-14-11

Check Before You Burn30 Second spot

Check Before You BurnLive forecast

Program Outcome

  • Favorable weather this winter – good air quality

    • Currently evaluating impacts of weather and economy on air quality trends

    • One voluntary no-burn day forecast for Metropolitan Riverside County on Feb. 7, 2011

  • Approximately 2,335 visits to interactive ‘Check Before You Burn’ maps on AQMD website

  • More than 560 individuals signed up for AQMD’s Air Alerts to receive email EnviroFlash notifications of no-burn days

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