The 14th winter of the Valley’s residential wood-burning program ended with record improvement in air quality.
“We are moving in the right direction thanks to the cooperation of Valley residents and their investments in cleaner devices,” said Seyed Sadredin, the District’s executive director and air pollution control officer. “Together with the increased funding for the Burn Cleaner program, which grants money for the purchase of cleaner devices, Check Before You Burn has had a remarkable effect on winter air quality in the Valley.”
Check Before You Burn runs each winter from November through February and helps minimize the build-up of harmful fine particle pollution in the Valley. Each day during this period, a wood-burning declaration is issued for every county in the air basin that determines what, if any, residential wood-burning devices may be used.
Statistics released by the Air District show the violations for burning on restricted days in San Joaquin County dropped to 46 for the 2016-17 season from 77 in 2015-16, while the total notices of violation for Stanislaus County fell to 44 in 2016-17 from a high of 109 in the 2015-16 year.
Valley residents wanting to switch out older wood-burning devices for a cleaner model can still take advantage of the District’s Burn Cleaner grants which provide $1,000 for certified wood, pellet inserts, freestanding stoves or natural gas inserts or $2,500 for eligible low-income applicants for all devices. An additional $500 is available to all applicants for the installation costs on a natural gas device. Visit www.valleyair.org/burncleaner for program guidelines.
Additionally, March through October, is a great time to get clean burning devices registered ahead of next year’s wood burning season. Visit www.valleyair.org/CBYBregistration for details.
As of March 1, the District no longer issues a daily residential wood burning status for each county. While no formal burning restrictions will be in place again until Nov. 1, 2017, the District discourages residential wood burning.