The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's Governing Board has authorized more funding to change out older, high-polluting wood-burning devices for newer, cleaner units through the Burn Cleaner fireplace and wood stove change-out program.
The move increases the incentive amount available to residents who change out their older, polluting wood-burning devices to $1,500 per device, up from $500. Additionally, more money is available to low-income residents: $2,500 for a new wood-burning unit, up from $1,500. The District is also offering $500 to those residents that require gas installation to operate their units.
"This action is great news for Valley residents who are interested in changing out polluting wood-burning devices with cleaner units, and for everyone who wants to breathe cleaner air during winter, which is all of us," said Seyed Sadredin, the air district's executive director and air pollution control officer. "One of our core values is to minimize the economic burden for people and organizations in the Valley who want to make investments in cleaner air."
The Board also adopted amendments to Check Before You Burn that will further reduce winter air pollution while allowing residences with cleaner units to use them more frequently. Check Before You Burn curtails wood burning when air pollution levels climb.
During Check Before You Burn season, which runs from November through February, the Air District issues a daily wood-burning forecast by county. Forecasts will now be either "Burning Discouraged," "No Burning Unless Registered" or "No Burning." In order to be allowed to burn during days when the forecast is "No Burning Unless Registered," residents must register their emission-compliant wood-burning devices with the District. During the inaugural season of this program, there is no fee to register. When burning is prohibited outright, no wood-burning device may be used. Residents can visit www.valleyair.org to register their device.
There are two exceptions to wood-burning prohibitions, however: If the residence does not have another source of heat or if the residence does not have access to natural-gas service (even if propane is used). Fireplace, stoves and inserts that run on gas or propane continue to be exempt from the rule.
For more information about the Burn Cleaner program, visit www.valleyair.org/Burncleaner or call the Grants Department at 559-230-5800.