Citation Results by City & Other Information Regarding Spare the Air Alerts

December 19, 2013 8:00 am · 86 comments

A Claycordian made a public records request to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) regarding Spare the Air Alerts, and this is what he discovered about when & why the BAAQMD decides to issue a Spare the Air Alert, as well as how many citations were issued between Nov.1 – Dec. 12. (a total of 9 spare the air alerts were issued during that time frame).

Here’s the information:

I made a public records request to BAAQMD, the answers are attached.

I called them when we had 10 mph winds in Concord and high wind warnings on the Benicia Bridge. They were very nice and explained that if the is a bad air forecast anywhere in the District, they shut the whole district down, and they don’t change their proclamation, once they make one. Hardly my definition of an agile organization.

The one interesting thing is they absolutely will not identify who makes the decision to have a burn ban, either by phone or in response to my PRA request.

The following is from the BAAQMD:

1. Number of violations by City for 11/1/13 to 12/12/13. (Warning letters are no longer issued)

City # of Violations

Antioch 1
Benicia 1
Campbell 1
Concord 1
Cotati 1
Daly City 1
Fairfield 2
Forest Knolls 2
Fremont 1
Half Moon Bay 6
Lagunitas 1
Los Gatos 3
Montara 7
Moss Beach 2
Novato 5
Oakland 1
Pacifica 11
Palo Alto 1
Petaluma 2
Rohnert Park 4
Saint Helena 1
San Carlos 1
San Geronimo 2
San Jose 3
San Mateo 1
San Rafael 2
Santa Clara 1
Santa Rosa 11
Sebastopol 1
Sonoma 2
Vallejo 3
Walnut Creek 2
Windsor 3

2. There are no designated “Spare the Air” enforcement personnel. The District has 70 inspectors who enforce not only the regulation that applies to wood burning, but also the many air quality regulations that apply to large industrial facilities such as refineries and power plants, to a wide variety of manufacturing facilities, and to commercial facilities such as gas stations and dry cleaners. These inspectors are routinely in the field carrying out scheduled inspections of facilities and responding to a wide variety of complaints.

3. From 11/1/13 to 12/15/13, the District received 1,929 complaints in the wood smoke complaint system.

4. The District has staff meteorologists who make the forecasts. Under the wood burning rule, the trigger for a curtailment period is the 35 microgram per cubic meter federal particulate matter standard. When the District meteorologists determine that levels are expected to approach the federal standard, a Spare the Air Alert is called.

The meteorologists make these determinations after (1) considering current and forecasted weather information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service, and other forecasting services, (2) running forecast models such as MM5, CANSAC, and WRF, (3) examining particulate matter concentration data from the Air District atmospheric monitoring network and the networks of other California agencies, and (4) running statistical models that correlate variables with atmospheric particulate concentrations. The determination is a matter of professional judgment based on many current and forecasted variables such as wind directions and speeds, mixing heights, ground level temperatures, temperatures aloft, solar gain, cloud cover, and relative humidity.


Rochelle Reed, Public Records


1 Connie Dobbs December 19, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Pacifica and Santa Rosa are remarkably snitchy.

2 Need further investigation December 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Great research Claycordian! You have exposed how ridiculous their criteria are, especially when may 25 sq mikes may have a PROJECTED poor air quality one day yet the entire Bay Area must spare the air. Absurd! Furthermore, meteorologists can only AT BEST, make a PREDICTION about what the weather and air quality will be like so when they are wrong, as they often are, we still have to obey their nonsense rules because they refuse to cancel an alert once one had been given, no matter what or why!! Again, absurd! Furthermore, they want to make it a secret as to who decides when to spare the air. Could it be because the person/people making the decision is/are not trained or qualified in anything to do with air quality? Most likely!

Time to call in the big guns like KTVU Investigates or NBC BAYAREA Investigavtive Unit and get to the bottom of this nonsense!

3 IEatBabyUnicorns December 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Snitches are lame.

4 Howard K Mullins III December 19, 2013 at 8:34 AM

All this for what costs?

55% // Permit-Related Revenue
34% // County Property Tax
7% // Federal Grants
4% // State and Other Grants

$126 Million

Is it worth it?

5 Anon December 19, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Does burning a Duraflame log (or similar) count as wood burning?

6 Plato December 19, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Regardless of opinion re: the ban and # of days … nice work to the Claycordian for being an active citizen and placing a public records request.

7 Anon777 December 19, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Nice work. I’ve always known this is BS perpetrated by PG&G and BAAQMD. Soon as my remodel is done and fireplace ready, I’m having a fire every night whether it’s spare the air or not.

8 Officer Barbrady December 19, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Nice investigative work.

9 T-Rex December 19, 2013 at 9:13 AM

So 1,900+ people complained…well if nobody complained we could still have our fires. The people that complained are probably a few of the ones who hate these spare the air days also. “Well if I can’t have a fire, then no one can”. And duraflame logs are banned to! Even though it’s technically not wood. Lame.

10 Burnin December 19, 2013 at 9:14 AM

There are 1.4 million fireplaces in the Bay Area. They cited 87. That’s 0.006%. Statistically zero. Waste of money!
Now we see them for the liers they are. Good work for asking for the records.

11 Gov't Waste Amok December 19, 2013 at 9:15 AM

They have over 200 employees…avg salary about $100K per year + nice benefits. Top dog makes over $200K + benefits. Keep in mind this is just the Bay Area District. There are about 25 more throughout the State. Thank you, LIberals!!! Idiots.

12 Officer Barbrady December 19, 2013 at 9:22 AM

I’m wondering if the brilliant piece of digging might have come from someone with the initials A.T.?

13 Michael 2 December 19, 2013 at 9:24 AM

The results proves how burning fireplaces are a non issue .For 9spare the air days there were 9.6 citations per day for the entire bay area.there were 1929 snitches complaining , that’s about .00039 percent of the population.this whole spare the air ban is a made up problem by the air board for power and control to request more money. The spare the air warnings are a good thing ,the ban and fines are not needed.We should not fear the government if we want to sit by a warm fire in our own homes .Wood heat causes the least damage to the environment of all heat sources.There will always be people who will complain about smoke in the air or asthma problems but their problems should not control the life and liberties of everybody Else.
.Sounds cold and uncaring I know but true.

14 Incognito December 19, 2013 at 9:31 AM

I’m finding it difficult to understand how an organization can issue “fines” to homeowners when they don’t enforcement personnel to do this, but rather rely on homeowners to “snitch” each other out. I am going to compare this to your local police department mailing you a ticket for speeding when they weren’t there to see you speed, but so and so driver said you were speeding and reported you to the police, so they mailed you a ticket.

15 vindex December 19, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Good work.. keep up the pressure. Expose this organization. Put the spotlight on them.

16 Martin F. December 19, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Good God, what is the big deal? Spare the Air day, just do not burn! This is not rocket science.
And it is so hilarious to see people refer to others as “snitches”. These must either be children, or adults who are intellectually stunted. Anyone breaking the law, including the no-burn regulations, should be reported.

17 Bubbles December 19, 2013 at 9:40 AM

I hope one of the inspectors isn’t my neighbor. :)

18 Burnin December 19, 2013 at 9:50 AM

This information needs to be shared with the rest of the media!

19 KAD December 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM

The highest number of citations were issued in cities that are close to the Bay. Those cities are warmer than the inland cities so why do they need to burn wood?

20 KE December 19, 2013 at 10:07 AM

It’s not so much about the air, as it is about full government control over every aspect of our lives. Little by little they numb us to these small little rules, and we just comply.
“They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. ” – Benjamin Franklin

21 Dreamers December 19, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Martin F must be “SUPER SNITCH”. Hope he’s not one of my neighbors. Obviously doesn’t have a fireplace.
I get emails from PG&E telling me I use more energy than the average. Yet I can’t keep it warm burning firewood. I’m pretty sure the pilgrims used wood to heat and cook.

22 Gag December 19, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Someone who is gagging on wood smoke and reports the crime is not a snitch. No more than someone who reports a gas station being robbed or calls 911 if they are following a drunk driver. Just because you don’t agree with the law doesn’t mean a law isn’t being broken.

Also, the meteorologists are basing their predictions on science. Predicting the weather isn’t a perfect science, but the basis for calling a STA day is based on more than the those on this site who proclaim, “I’ve been burnin’ tires for 40 years and I ain’t never hurt no one.” Sorry, but stating your opinion a hundred times on every STA post on Claycord doesn’t make you right. Time to get over it and follow the law. Or get off this blog and state your case in Sacramento.

23 Deare Martin December 19, 2013 at 10:29 AM

You may have missed a couple of things:

1. When weather conditions change the District wont modify their ban. No matter how much the weather change, the ban is for 24 hours. Thats junk reasoning, one that would bring a private business to its knees PDQ

2. They treat the whole (large ) district the same.The wind in Santa Rosa can be blowing toward the ocean, but if Santa Clara County is forecast to be bad, Santa Rosa cant have a fire.

3.. The District refuses to tell us who makes the decisions, its a state secret with them. When asked , their answer is “Staff” .Humbug. Thats just cowardly on their part.

24 Pro Fi December 19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Nice work… this is great info to have and thank you. @Martin – Agree 100%! hehehehe snitches… Bet you appreciate it when someone snitches that your car is being broken into or that there is a strange person wandering your neighborhood taking pictures. Grow UP!

25 jtkatec December 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Was it Thoreau who wrote about the Applachian Mountains and the haze from the smoke from fires which covered miles ?


26 @KAD December 19, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Minnesota is warmer than Antarctica, too. What’s your point?

27 Pro Fi December 19, 2013 at 10:37 AM

@KE – I completely agree with you. However, old Ben would also say “There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people mroe easily and more frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.”

28 @Gag December 19, 2013 at 10:46 AM

You missed a point:
When the weather conditions change the District refuses to change the ban. Thats lame.

29 KAD December 19, 2013 at 11:11 AM

jtkatec – Not sure if it was Thoreau. But they are truly “smoky” mountains. I have seen the haze every time I am there.

30 Horse'n Around December 19, 2013 at 11:20 AM

I’d rather smell wood burning out of a fireplace then my neighbors cigarette smoke!

31 Dorothy December 19, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Good work and thank you.

I sort of disagree with one statement: “The one interesting thing is they absolutely will not identify who makes the decision to have a burn ban, either by phone or in response to my PRA request.”

Your last paragraph almost makes it almost obvious that the computers they all use are making the decisions to have burn bans. Then someone wearing a “professional” hat says the computers have decided so go forth and ban the wood fires. There are so many professionals reading the computers that they don’t have to make real decisions of their own.

32 Pro Fi December 19, 2013 at 11:28 AM

@Horse’n Around – And so we have laws to prevent that…. no difference.

33 jtkatec December 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Is it just a normal phenomena, KAD, or is it caused by fires. Do you know?

34 Incognito December 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM

This morning I had to change lanes because I was behind a puking vehicle omitting so much smoke and foul odor I was about to gag. And, the vehicle certainly did not appear old enough to be exempt from smog testing. I see vehicles like this all the time.

35 Nick December 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM

im going to need to take out a loan jsut to pay my PGE bill this month! ridiculous!

36 Pro Fi December 19, 2013 at 11:54 AM

@Incognito… That would be a problem I wish they would focus more resources on. CHP should be working to get those vehicles off the road. That is a huge contributor to Air Quality degradation. I do believe you can report smoking vehicles. I have no problem reporting polluters in whatever form they take. Call me a “snitch”, I don’t care. I like to think I am a bigger person that that and I am doing my part to make living here a little healthier for everyone.

37 Antler December 19, 2013 at 11:59 AM

KAD and jtkatec, I do not know about elsewhere in Appalachian mountains (and don’t they use as much coal as wood?) But the Great Smoky Mountains/Blue Ridge get there names because the high humidity in the air causes a beautiful and unique variety of blue hazy tones in the air.

In California, the most dramatic effect of wood-smoke pollution I ever experienced was when I was driving up I-5 and dropped down into the valley where Yreka is. The difference was so radical that my eyes stung and I started coughing, so I had to go to MAX AIR and then adjust the temp so as to continue getting heat inside the vehicle. That happened about 14 years ago when the population surely was much less there than it is now.

The reason some of you pooh-pooh the MUCH WORSE air pollution level here in the Bay Area is that it generally builds up so gradually that your air passages adjust by slow constriction. Your resultant need for more oxygen (though you might not even feel “breathless”) results in higher blood pressure and pulse rate….. even if you are healthy in general. But the people who have immediate, potentially live-threatening reactions are those who already have asthma or other respiratory issues.

Honestly, some of you self-centered, arrogant whiners on here would run over a severely handicapped person in a cross-walk just because in your opinion he was walking too slowly to be of use on Earth.

38 Antler December 19, 2013 at 12:02 PM

* ….”their names”…..

Sorry, Janis, I wasn’t clam.

39 The Mamba December 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Ingonito, it’s actually even less clear than that. If you are a government agency issuing citations, I believe you need to have a mechanism for people to object or have a hearing. Also, what other “law” do you need to actively go out and hear from the media to know when it is being enforced? How is that fair for the elderly or people that work long hours?

40 @Gag December 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Nice try, too bad you can not convince ignorant opinions to see the bigger picture. Comments like, I won’t let anyone tell me what to do and I will do what I want, just proves how much ignorance there is. I’m good, if Mother Nature is consistent with most life spans then I won’t be here much longer. Let’s leave this planet in such bad shape for our children. So sad that they have to fix our problems……….

41 Anonymous December 19, 2013 at 12:44 PM

The point isn’t clean air, everyone wants that, and its not snitches. Its how the District goes about its business of regulating conduct. Are they infallible? Will they change and most importantly,will they be accountable to the taxpayers, or do they sit in a far off castle issueing orders to the peasantry.

42 Cal Old Blue December 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Suggest some of the whiners spend some time on the “Spare the Air” website, , where they may find some answers to their questions.

Some snippets:
“Studies by the Air District indicated that wood smoke was responsible for an average of one-third of the PM in the air basin during the winter months and almost 70 percent of the PM in Santa Rosa.” Perhaps this explains why they jump on Santa Rosa? And 1/3, caused by a completely discretionary activity? Why would we NOT ask this activity to stop, when conditions warrant?

“Since the 1980s, many scientific studies have been published that correlate rising PM levels with serious health effects, such as asthma symptoms, decreased lung function, increased hospital admissions, and even premature death.” Your freedom to swing your fist ends short of my nose. We live in a built up area, packed with people, cars, industry. Unless you’re going to pipe your smoke back into your own living room you have no right to foul up the air millions of Bay Area residents are breathing.

“Each day by 2 p.m., the Air District will issue an air quality forecast
for the next day. If air quality is forecast to be unhealthy, a Winter Spare the Air Alert will be called, and wood burning will be banned the entire next day, for a full 24 hours.” Wow, they only adjust once a day! Why don’t they spend MORE taxpayer money CONSTANTLY analyzing the situation, so on the off chance things change they can put out an update? And confuse everybody by making changes on the fly? You really want them spending your tax dollars on an exercise that will only result in a change once in a blue moon?

“An Air District Notice of Violation (NOV) for a residence or business that violates the wood smoke regulation can be issued only if an Air District inspector personally observes and documents the violation.” No, your neighbor can’t lie about you and get you punished.

Those who really hate ‘liberal’ California may want to relocate to Texas. Of course, make sure you don’t buy a house close to a fertizer plant, because when they blow up you soon discover Texas doesn’t force them to buy enough insurance to ensure they can rebuild the neighborhood they just destroyed. The Texas solution is they go bankrupt and you’re on your own. That’s business-friendly Texas. No thank you.

And speaking about regulating industry; this agency has more accountabilities than putting out Spare the Air alerts… so don’t assume their entire budget is tied up in this activity. You Texas-philes may want to allow the refineries ringing our northern shores to do to the atmosphere whatever they want to do… I’d prefer somebody keep an eye on them and force them to play nice with my lungs, the paint on my car, etc.

43 . December 19, 2013 at 1:11 PM

There’s a difference between laws being enacted by elected representatives and regulations that are forced upon us by an unelected (ie, appointed) agency. A HUGE difference! They are NOT accountable to ANYONE at this time.

I’m ok with some environmental regulations – but there has to be due process.

You want agencies implementing regs without recourse or opportunity for hearings? Then move to some Eastern Bloc country……..or just roll over here like a good little government toady.

44 @43 December 19, 2013 at 2:18 PM

I’m not rolling over like a government toady. (Although I’m not exactly sure what that means). I happen to support BAAQMD’s mission. I wish they had better funding so they could crack down on the selfish one’s living amongst us.

45 You tell them cal old blue December 19, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Whatever the government says is true..” if you like your doctor”..

46 Anonymous December 19, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Poster 42 is having a thinking problem. Disagree with him and you have to go to Texas. He agrees with the proposition that the District simply is too busy to change an order once they put it out. Wonder where he works? Bet we can guess.
Think I’ll report him to the Texas Rangers.

47 Don P - n concord December 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

How about us non government workers have a “spare the fare day” and designate days we can send those loser do-nothings home, and put the saved money into something worthwhile.

48 Burnin December 19, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Almost all of the winter time pollution comes from sources other than wood fires. 80% at least from sources other than wood fires if not more!
All of the summer time pollution comes from sources other than wood fires.
The BAAQMD lie and manipulate! They need to be held accountable..

49 Mark December 19, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Martin & Pro-Fi : Reporting a vehicle break-in or suspicious person is completely different than snitching on a neighbor having a fire.

50 mutts December 19, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Isn’t this just what the govt. wants, to have us snitvhing on each other! Scary

51 sam December 19, 2013 at 5:14 PM

When the temperatures are cold, I do not burn wood or run the heater; whether I am outside or inside my house, I wear layers of clothing, a head covering, gloves and socks, all to capture my body’s heat, to keep me warm.

52 tis the season December 19, 2013 at 8:16 PM

I guess if you are labeled a snitch for reporting people who can’t follow the rules of society it is bad? So, I guess I shouldn’t report a drunk driver, someone I see shoplifting, someone dumping their trash on the roadside? Or maybe some of those commenting only don’t like snitches when they don’t agree with the rules.

53 @Burnin December 19, 2013 at 8:17 PM

You’re making up crap and the crap you’re making up is irrelevant. The wood fire ban is specifically aimed at reducing particulate matter. Google it and you’ll learn what it is and why it is bad for you. Google your other “facts” while you’re at it.

54 Policy of Truth December 19, 2013 at 9:00 PM

From the comical “PG& E conspiracy theories” to the false commentary regarding “unelected board members”, I’m reading the same old silly arguments from those who just want to dig in their heels. Do you know how freaking selfish and “dumbed down” some of you sound? Do yourself a monumental favor and put aside your frustrations and re-read your own commentary. You sound like a bunch of spoiled 5 year olds who have been told that their are rules and consequences in life. Short of that you are simply screaming at the rain.

Don’t like it? There are plenty of 3rd world countries where you can have a fire any day or night you wish to.

Maybe it’s time to step back and take a moment to appreciate all the freedoms we have to enjoy.

‘Tis the season.

55 Anonymous December 19, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Old poster 54 is quite angry. Few posts ago he banished any dissenters to Texas. Just used a different name. Obviously thinks anything the government does should not be questioned.


56 mini December 19, 2013 at 9:41 PM

According to CC Times today, PG&E requested almost
13% rate increase for natural gas customers.
Any thought ??

57 anon December 19, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Clayton had some fireplaces burning. Why aren’t they on the list? I agree with Martin F. A lot of you are uneducated.

58 Policy of Truth December 19, 2013 at 10:46 PM

@ 55,

Ha ha, me posting as someone else? Nice try -especially coming from a poster that used “anonymous” as a handle! What a rube. News Flash-I am not the person (Cal Old Blue) but I do agree with much of what he (or she) wrote. I only post under Policy of Truth but if thinking otherwise gets you through the night….

Mine issue was not whether the government should be questioned or not. Apparently the thrust of my innuendo was lost on you. Angry post? Now that is really funny! Thanks for the laugh.

Yes Virginia, there are stupid questions.

59 Anonymous December 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Dear 57 Right, lots of us are uneducated , so what?Of course the list was of citations, not burning fireplaces, but an educated person like yourself knew that, right?

60 @Policy of Truth December 20, 2013 at 8:31 AM

You left out th “un” in front of truth.

61 Policy of Truth December 20, 2013 at 9:29 AM

@ #60,

Still trying to be funny? It’s not working.

I’m not your enemy, reality is your enemy. Must be frustrating for you.

62 @Policy of Truth December 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM

What kind of a self centered meglomaniacial name is Policy of truth? Are you a regular nut?

63 Burnin December 20, 2013 at 9:59 AM

My facts come from the BAAQMD! When the program started they said 1/3 of winter time pollution came from wood fires. The BAAQMD recently said that since the program started fireplace use had dropped 20% InThe Bay Area due to their program. Conclusion, most of the winter time and all of the summer time pollution comes from sources ther than wood fires! It comes from the production and burning of petroleum products.

64 Burnin December 20, 2013 at 10:04 AM

PG&E just asked for a 13% rate increase!
Chevron had a large release yesterday that sent a large black cloud of smoke over Point Richmond and part of Richmond. Chevron said don’t worry!
There were numerous complaints but no fine!

65 Policy of Truth December 20, 2013 at 10:21 AM

@ #62,

Would “Reality Bites” make you happy? Probably not. I’ll stick with my choice. Perhaps it’s time for you to stop worrying about my moniker and concentrate on the issue. You are capable of that right?

66 Coco December 20, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Thanks for the info, I have always wonder why we could not use our fireplaces in COCO county when the air was good , but the air quality in Santa Rosa County was bad.
That’s to much government control. Santa Rosa is 1.5 hours away from us. What are they thinking?

67 Cal Old Blue December 20, 2013 at 2:37 PM

@ 66

From an old Tom Lehrer song (“Pollution”):

“The breakfast garbage you wash into the Bay,
They drink for lunch in San Jose”.

Stuff moves around, you know?

68 Policy of Truth December 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM

They are probably acting as a regional board which they are required BY LAW to do. You really want a AQMD in every individual city or county? Come on people, 1 1/2 hour away in air space is negligible.

69 Anonymous December 20, 2013 at 5:24 PM

“Policy of truth” of course ignores science in her zeal to shut down fireplaces. The issue isn’t distance, its where the air is blowing. Polluted air doesnt take BART, ninny. It follows the wind.

70 Policy of Truth December 20, 2013 at 6:24 PM

@ #69,
None of anything you said makes a luck of sense. I’ll venture it’s probably not the first time you have heard that.

You wrote; “The issue isn’t distance”. I don’t know how you drew that conclusion, when in fact I was responding to; “Santa Rosa is 1.5 hours away from us”.

Based on the above, “distance” was exactly what we were discussing. See what happens when you try to insert yourself into someone else’s conversation. Probably not the first time for you either.

Sorry expose the fact that you are more suited to be the Ninny. (Your word, not mine).

Last, but not least I am a “he”. Geeze, you didn’t even get that one right and you had even odds.

Good luck with your future commentary, because so far you have really sucked at this.

71 libertarian gal December 20, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Bravo and massive kudos to this investigative neighbor. i was interested in topic. found that requedts for these Public records are not readily available..not real transparent org.also..they track via email those making requests. i find the bay area air quality managment org very nazi and targeting of the public. did u know the second largest source of winter polutants are “cogeneration electricityl. that s energy plants. i believe pge charges customers a piece of water cogeneration fees. so i would ask how the second largest pollutors are being regulated on spare the air days esp. when demand togenerate must be elevated due to citizens not burning for heat. wouldnt it stand to reason that the energy plant pollution offsets the no burn gains resulting in a very profittable period for pge ..eho by the way is funding a dozen new hydroelectric projects in our state and neighboring states. look further at cogeneration and FERC …smart metered citizens extending to the EU and Saudi Arabia is hugely watchdog over its citizens. this is a movement of regulation and not concerned with individuals, wind conditions, revocations of BAN days, or fiscal distress to households in our area.
as citizens, we must be vigilant watchdogs to protect freedoms as well as preserve living conditions related to water and air quality. summer pollution sources r not targeted. diesel transport. only US!

72 Cal Old Blue December 20, 2013 at 9:03 PM



#1. The shift key, found under either of your two little fingers (assuming you are a full-hand typist and not a hunt-and-pecker) can be used to insert capital letters at the beginning of sentences. Like this sentence and the one that follows. It helps with readability and give one’s posts a more professional appearance.

#2. The website I cited in post #42 above contains almost ALL the information gathered by the original poster. I point this out not to denigrate the public service the original poster has provided, but to point out that the Air District has hardly made ‘these Public records” “not readily available”. They are publicly posted for anybody who wants to seek them out with the search engine of choice.

I’m not going to go into a detailed refutation of your co-generation issue, other that to note that a commercial co-generation plant has filters/scrubbers and other technology to limit the amount of particulates emitted, so per BTUs made available for home heating by a co-generation plant is much more atmospheric-friendly than a bunch of wood-burning fireplaces.

73 Anonymous December 20, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Excuse me cal old blue but the web site answers none of the original questions- none of them. The district still refuses to state who makes the final decision.

74 Policy of Truth December 20, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Thanks Cal Old Blue! You saved me a few hundred key strokes!

I was actually thinking that Claycord got spammed.

If not, then someone’s tin foil hat is screwed on a little too tight. A few spare the air days and all the conspiracy theorists come out. Unreal.

75 Neighbor December 20, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Anyone read the San Ramon patch article where an ex-employee of the air district airs some viewpoints that only an ex-employee can? There are some internal issues at the agency, apparently. Worth a look

76 Pro Fi December 20, 2013 at 11:40 PM

Thanks @ Neighbor. Interesting reading. I will look closer at the links in the article, but an anonymous whistle-blower that no longer works for the district? Not sure that meets the threshold for credibility. Like I said… thanks and as someone who supports STA days, I will keep an open mind.

77 Gag December 21, 2013 at 9:39 AM

@Libertarian Gal -
I said it before and I’ll say it again. Banning the burning of wood smoke isn’t addressing general air pollution; it is intended to reduce PARTICULATE MATTER. PM is a subcategory of air pollution. Look it up.

78 Burnin December 22, 2013 at 3:23 PM

80% of winter time PM 2.5 comes from sources other than wood fires! That is data from the BAAQMD!
100% of summer time PM 2.5 comes from sources other than wood fires!

79 shannon December 27, 2013 at 11:24 AM

I am waiting for someone to start a class action law suit against Bay Area Air Quality Management. I will be ready with pen in hand to sign on.
These Spare the Air BS is completely out of control. I firmly believe this agency is in cahoots with PG & E who are laughing behind everyone’s back. Go smell the air in Martinez —-from the refineries —during the day and see the stink and heavy unhealthy air that exists during the day. I do NOT want to hear that they are regulated. There have been many shelter in place alerts from them all year.
This has been a very cold winter with icy mornings for CC County. People do NOT have the money to pay outrageous heating bills when families are struggling and can heat their homes at night with wood to keep children and elderly warm. This power that this agency has is garbage. Anyone have any legal ideas? I am sure there would be a landslide of folks signing on petitions for a lawsuit against this agency. Next they will declare no burning all winter long. Watch how compliancy is dropping.

80 Stop whinning Bay Area December 27, 2013 at 1:38 PM

I just returned from Arizona and they too had no burn days almost daily. Stop complaining its nationwide thing not just a Bay Area thing. Shows ignorance to think this is just a Bay Area problem. I’d gladly snitch on you babies who whine. Respect those with Asthma particularly the kids and elderly. This is not about just the Bay Area. I get it cars, refineries contribute but those are needs vs. wanting a wood fire on no burn day is only a desire not a need. Maybe stop driving and we could burn, hows that? Only see the world through your own selfish eyes so bite me when others turn you in and believe me I would love to be the one to do so. Go snitches = law biding citizens. Screw you whiners who hide behind a computer talk crap. Grow up or move. Yeah I’m native too so talk to the hand.

81 What about Christmas and Thanksgiving?? December 27, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Why can’t you light a fire in your fireplace on the two nights of the year when 80% of the population really would like to????? I think if the BAAQMD gave us guilt-free and ticket-free Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day, the majority of us “whiners” would stop whining. Don’t bother giving us Christmas Eve, no one wants to roast Santa. We don’t need New Year’s Eve either- drunk people plus fire is not a good thing.

82 Anonymous December 29, 2013 at 5:03 PM

This is great information I will post a link to this page at where I posted some material from someone in Concord who burns in protest.

83 just a guess December 31, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Does anyone know where to find a plot of temperature vs spare the air? It just seems most cold nights, low 30′s or less than 30 degrees are a given spare the air in the bay area. I can already guess our 2014 Thanksgiving and Christmas will be spare the air days.
I think we need some type of fireplace filtering system so we can have the best of both worlds, “clean” air and wood burning fires.

84 Anne Lavitz December 31, 2013 at 12:21 PM
85 Frank C. December 31, 2013 at 2:00 PM

@stop #80…

So go ahead and snitch on me…. Btw, go ahead and post your real name, so we truly recognize you in the appropriate manner.

Talk to the hand? How ’bout kiss my a**.

86 Law Abiding Citizen December 31, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Hey Frank. Why don’t YOU post your real name and address so we can recognize YOU in the appropriate manner by turning you in when you break the law by burning on a no burn day.

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