Next big polluter to target: people with fireplaces

354466610_924e1b9d08_m.jpgMan, some people sure are bored. And by “some people” I mean the officials at the South Coast Air Quality Management District. They have to be so bored that they are just making crap up to entertain themselves. That’s really the only excuse I can think of for their recent proposal to ban wood burning fireplaces in homes to prevent pollution. You read that right, according to these folks the big polluters in the state are factories, machinery, industry… no, the terrible air is all the result of families trying to keep cozy. Because you know, wood burning fires in homes are both brand new and exclusive to Southern California. If you think there is no science behind this claim, just listen to this argument from Jane Carney, a Riverside attorney and an AQMD board member:

Carney said there are “pretty obvious adverse impacts of wood smoke on pollution. If you stand close to a wood fire and breathe, you can feel it in your throat and in your lungs.”

How can you argue with that? [photo by torley]

16 thoughts on “Next big polluter to target: people with fireplaces”

  1. Yup another mole on a hogs ass being turned into a raging volcanoe. So few wood burning fireplaces exist in this city anymore it hardly seems worth the bother. Why not simply ban new ones which would be easy to do as all I have seen in recent years is gas burning anyway?
    There is however a precedent….Denver has for years had days in the winter where inversions are bad enough to warrant air quality alerts and banning the burning of wood.

  2. The answer is so obvious. Apparently she has never stood next to a refinery or factory machinery. Take her down to some industrial business in El Segundo or Long Beach and I bet she would “feel it in her throat and lungs” than.

  3. Actually, if I read the article correctly, banning new ones IS exactly what they are talking about.

  4. Let’s see…I guess its on my list of important things to take care of:
    1.) Universial Health Care
    2.) Keeping Southern California renters/owners from using something that is only useful 3 weeks out of the year.

  5. Join me in proposing a ban on all shoelaces in the State of California.

    Here’s why we need to act now!

    1. The healthcare costs due to people tripping are out of control.

    2. Shoelaces create esteem problems with children who don’t learn to tie them as quickly as their peers.

    3. Discarded shoe laces can end up in landfill and cause chocking in birds.

    4. At least one person a year dies from getting their shoelace caught in a motorcycle chain and crashing.

    5. Shoelaces, in the wrong hands can be used as a lethal strangulation weapon.

    For “Flying spaghetti Monsters” sake, how long can we ignore the dangers shoelaces present. How many lives must be lost, healthcare dollars wasted, how many low self esteem children do we raise, how many strangulations must take place before someone (me) stands up and says “IM AS MAD AS HELL AT SHOELACES AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE”

  6. No offense, but you all sound like you’re complaining about this just because you’ve personally decided that it sounds silly as opposed to actually reading about whether it’s a potentially effective measure. I don’t know that I’d support a ban on new construction, but as Frazgo has already mentioned, Denver has restricted the use of existing fireplaces to some extent for years with measurably positive results. I can tell you from first hand experience that the effect there was noticable.

    And considering that this is one of more than three dozen other measures in this plan, implying that the state is forgoing other concerns like industrial pollution in favor of regulating fireplaces is more than a little misleading. To quote:

    The fireplace rules are one piece of a plan also designed to reduce soot from diesel engines and ozone smog that AQMD’s board will vote on today.

    The plan also includes truck-only lanes on the 710 and 15 freeways, and electric rail lines from Los Angeles’ Westside to Ontario airport and from the ports to Inland Empire warehouses. Reducing paint thinner emissions and gas station and refinery leaks is also part of the host of proposed measures.

    Spinning this as a concentrated attack on fireplaces is bordering on Limbaugh territory.

  7. Not saying that you shouldn’t, but I’d be a lot more inclined to move to the other side of the fence if the counter argument was a little more substansive and a little less kneejerk Libertarian.

  8. I’m rather with 5000! here. Most of Europe also has very strict regulations on burning wood (requiring all sorts of highly efficient certified stoves specially designed to mitigate the significant pollutants given off by incomplete combustion).

  9. I just feel this yet another strange left field approach to trying fix a common place problem. I find it akin to lap dances laws to curb prostitution or DUI rates in a dry county. It has nothing to do with liberal or conversative viewpoints. I would love to see cold hard data on how an area with very fireplaces/stoves limits air quality. Again, most people I know in LA with said devices at there disposal hardly, if ever, use them. When I read stuff like this, it makes me afraid that we will soon be living in San Francisco with this kind of knee jerk regulation. When people vote for things like making bus stops smell like fresh baked cookies, I fear our priorites are getting skewed.

  10. I just love the proof there that you can tell it is polluting by getting up close and breathing it. Really? Breathing smoke isn’t comfortable?? Who would have thought!

  11. 5000, you have me confused with a Libertarian who cares about the fence. I do the kneejerk and then wait for a smartie such as BEOPENGUIN to comment so that I can just do a “what Beo says”.

    We all have our roles.

  12. I have a fireplace and I’d really like to reclaim the space for bookshelves or something. Maybe they can pay me to get rid of it. Now. Instead of waiting until I sell my house or something.

    We never use the thing, mostly because it’s too damn hot on Thanksgiving, which is when I would want to.

    Let’s not lose focus though, the #1 source of air pollution in Los Angeles County is the Port of LA. (7 tons out of 192 from fireplaces … phffft!)

  13. I love the smell of a wood fire on the night air, no matter the weather.

    I don’t love having to hold my breath for 90 seconds each time I drive down Crenshaw by the Mobil refinery in order to avoid ingesting the constant stream of shit that billows out of there on a daily.

    But I don’t expect either of these things to change in my lifetime.

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