Thursday, August 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

‘No burn’ days made mandatory in Davis

By
From page A1 | October 25, 2012 |

The Davis City Council unanimously approved a mandatory wood-burning ordinance Tuesday that will prohibit residents from lighting fires this winter on days with especially low air quality.

Residents who burn on “curtailment” days and receive complaints from neighbors could be fined by the city up to $100 for the first offense, though the council stipulated in the ordinance that the first infraction, at least, should result in only a warning.

Further offenses could bring even higher fines.

But city staff and the council both agreed at Tuesday’s meeting that this ordinance would best be served as an educational tool to inform residents about the effect that wood smoke has on their neighbors. The elderly, young children and people with respiratory illnesses are particularly sensitive to smoke.

Following Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District guidelines, the city will signal for curtailment, or no-burn days, when PM2.5 particle counts reach 25 micrograms per cubic meter or higher. In other words, on the calmest or driest days of the burning season, Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, the city will require residents not to light.

Had the city enforced a similar ordinance last winter — a particularly dry and calm season — there would have been about 15 to 20 no-burn days in Davis, according to Alan Pryor, a Natural Resources Commission member.

City staff had recommended to the council Tuesday to set the threshold for no-burn days at 35 micrograms, but council members — especially Mayor Joe Krovoza, who had pushed for an even stricter policy than the council eventually agreed upon — decided that the higher count would not have had much effect on the problem.

They believed very few days would be called no-burn with such a high particle plateau.

The council also included in the ordinance exemptions for residents who use EPA Phase II-certified wood-burning devices and those who burn manufactured logs in stoves or in open-hearth fireplaces, as long as they don’t emanate visible smoke.

The council also approved the staff’s recommendation to exempt “low-income cases.” These residents would have to apply to the city to earn the right to burn on curtailment days.

The ordinance — which the council passed as an urgency ordinance — will be in effect only through this burning season as a trial period.
Before its decision Tuesday, the council heard plenty of input from community members; about 15 residents came to lobby for and against the ordinance.

Several residents complained that at times they could barely stand outside their homes when their neighbors burned wood. Others, however, said they would prefer to work with their neighbors instead of running complaints to the city.

The majority were in favor of the ordinance.

Staff members wrote in their report to the council that they believe only a handful of residents in the city regularly cause problems for their “nearest neighbors” and that this new ordinance could eliminate the need for further, stronger action.

According to the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, wood smoke is a “significant contributor to wintertime air pollution in Yolo and Solano counties.”

The agency said wood smoke contains fine particulate pollution, which has been shown to have serious health effects when inhaled.

The air district, which was represented at Tuesday’s meeting, plans to launch its own Don’t Light Tonight program on Nov. 1 as well. The program, like the city’s ordinance, asks residents to not burn wood on days forecasted for higher levels of fine particulate pollution.

The city will post no-burn day announcements on its website, www.cityofdavis.org. Residents also can check for daily updates through the Yolo-Solano AQMD. The Davis Enterprise will publish “Don’t Light Tonight” advisories as well.

To check for advisories, residents can call 530-757-3787, subscribe to the Yolo-Solano AQMD’s EnviroFlash email alert service at http://ysaqmd.enviroflash.org, visit ysaqmd.org or “like” Yolo-Solano AQMD on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Yolo-Solano-Air-Quality/270412506406692.

“By working toward cleaner air throughout the season with special attention to the problem days, we can protect our neighbors most vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution,” said Mat Ehrhardt, air district executive director, in a statement. “Before you light the log, please help the community by checking the status.”

— Reach Tom Sakash at tsakash@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8057. Follow him on Twitter @TomSakash

Comments

comments

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    School’s back, with gradual return to smaller classes

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    New live-work project approved for Del Rio Place

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Marcy finds her place in the DHS Hall of Fame

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Testimony in Marsh trial starts Tuesday

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Lawmakers approve groundwater management bill

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Quake is major test for hard-luck city

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Russian columns enter Ukraine

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Prospective foster parents welcome

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis Media Access: Get involved in community media

    By Autumn Labbe-Renault | From Page: A4

     
    ‘Art of Acting’ offered at Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tai chi classes set at Davis Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Do you have a project for the noon Rotary club?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Learn about Girl Scouting at meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Low-income Davis homeowners can save money and go green

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Employee parking permits downtown streamlined

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4

     
     
    Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Stroll Through History highlights Beamer Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    All are welcome at monthly sing-along

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Hosts sought to befriend international visitors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    Lunch at the big table, again

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Don’t let MRAP be a tool for bigger mistakes

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yes, mother’s milk is best

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Perfectly good playground?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Work on gun control instead

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Military has too much money

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Put flowers in our hair

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Give cops the ability to protect

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    New attitude, new stadium for 2014 UCD field hockey

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Gould, Shaw won’t dwell on it, but Biggs remembers The Upset

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    No. 8 keeps Republic unbeaten streak at 8

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS boys look to win seventh soccer section title

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggie men ranked 11th in water polo poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Dunning picks Cupcake Week

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

    Youth roundup: Judges like what they see from Davis Diamonds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Baseball roundup: Huge inning helps Cats in Nashville

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Local teacher and artist turns 100

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    100 years’ worth of stories

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Arts

    Well-known artist will be juror for exhibition

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A11

     
    Outdoor art classes to close out summer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Ethereal dream pop to illuminate Sophia’s Thai Kitchen

    By Anthony Siino | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Margarita Elizondo

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, August 28, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6