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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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The air board gets an ear full from residents

Uploaded: Apr 16, 2015
Reading the coverage in the Tri-Valley Times of the Bay Area air board public meeting in Livermore last week, it was clear that those attending did not conceal their opinions.

The plan to eliminate wood burning fireplaces, hearth inserts and wood stoves was roasted by members of the public. The overly broad plan, if enacted, would require anyone selling their home to retrofit it with either an EPA approved wood burning device to close off the hearth and chimney
Property owners with rental units would have to retrofit their properties likely at a cost of a few thousand dollars. The hearing last week in Livermore was one of nine around the Bay Area that will precede the board's decision on the plan.
The Times cover contrasted rather sharply with a report inside the Livermore Independent that rewrote a press release from the California Air Pollution Control Officers. The report noted that smog-forming emission have been reduced by 50 percent since 1990.
It compared three-year periods (2000-02, 2012-14) for counties around the state. Alameda County was in compliance 95.5 percent of the time compared to 93.8 percent in the earlier period. "Unhealthy" air days went from 0.03 to zero. Particulate days went from 7.2 percent to 0.6 percent.
So, you might logically inquire of the air board when is it good enough. The nanny government cannot wipe out all risks in life and the amount of dollars to try to achieve "perfect" air boggles the mind.

Maybe it is just my way at looking at the world, but I found the "optics" of Vice President Joe Biden visiting a Pacific Gas and Electric training center a couple of days after the state Public Utilities Commission fined PG&E a record $1.6 billion for the natural gas line explosion that leveled a San Bruno neighborhood and killed eight people. The total tab for the company is a staggering $2.2 billion.
Those headlines did not deter the vice president and his staff from their dog-and-pony show with PG&E.

Comments

 +   5 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Apr 16, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

The BAAQMD forced all of us to sit through their one hour promotion before they would let us speak.

Their promotion is to use alternative sources for heating the home. The BAAQMD recommended alternatives is electrical and natural gas heating sources.

Two very poor alternatives because of the high cost of electricity and the high cost of natural gas. It is because of that high cost that everyone is burning wood or wood pallets to heat their homes.

On multiple spare the air days, we use our natural gas forced air furnace to heat our home. When the spare the air days are four or more consecutive days in a row. We go from tier one to tier three and maybe tier four.

Tier two is 130% of base line rates, tier three is 200% of base line rates, their four is well over 200% of base line rates.

Before I purchased my highly efficient insert, my heating bills were well over $200 every winter month. My neighbors heating bills were also over $200 month during the winter. With my wood burning insert my heating costs are $34 every winter month.

The BAAQMD are absolutely obscene in promoting electricity and gas as good alternative fuel source for heating the home.

The vast majority at the BAAQMD "work shop" spoke out against the new rules being proposed by the BAAQMD. The vast majority being 99.99% against.
I tend to think that is the case at every work shop they have conducted and will be conducting.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by citizen, a resident of Birdland,
on Apr 18, 2015 at 5:46 pm

Lets end all wood burning in the valley! That way we would have healthier air. the gas inserts are a perfect solution and great we have government enforcing the ban. Now if we could get the same results with reducing water use. Also Tim you also missed the great job PGand E are doing at the training center by hiring veterans and providing JOB s that are needed. The VPs wife is doing wonderful job by helping our former soldiers , thanks.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Apr 18, 2015 at 6:38 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Data from the American Lung Association:

Ninety percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90 percent COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) deaths in the San Francisco nine county bay area are the result of tobacco, marijuana, and hashish smoking by those suffering from those illness's.

Tobacco smoking accounts for an estimated 14 percent of preterm deliveries, and some 10 percent of all infant deaths. Even apparently full term babies of tobacco smokers have been found to be born with narrowed airways and reduced lung function.

Those of us that have never smoked anything, but inhaled other peoples smoke, are being forced to stop wood burning in out homes in order to not cause inconvenience to those people that have lived their lives abusing their lungs and their bodies, with tobacco products and illegal smoking junk, along the way infected their children with their lung decease.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Apr 20, 2015 at 10:41 am

@Michael Austin: "Those of us that have never smoked anything, but inhaled other peoples smoke, are being forced to stop wood burning in out homes in order to not cause inconvenience to those people that have lived their lives abusing their lungs and their bodies, with tobacco products and illegal smoking junk, along the way infected their children with their lung decease."

Well, that's not quite fair to characterize this as being law abiding, wood-burning citizens versus smokers and junkies, is it? Or don't you think that any non-smokers or non-junkies could possibly have legitimate concerns about air pollution from wood burning?

Pleasanton old-timers remember how bad the air in the tri-valley was long ago in the '60's. Read the post below by one old-timer and consider the fact that the population of Pleasanton and the tri-valley then was a small fraction of what it is today:

............................................................
Posted by Cleaner Tri-Valley
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 8, 2012 at 8:41 am
You short-timers have no clue how bad the air was in Tri-Valley in the sixties. If you were standing on Stanley next to the gravel pits, now called Shadow Cliffs, in the month of August you would not see the Pleasanton ridge due to smog. It was that bad.

The amazing thing is that adults would call it haze and never had a clue it was man-made smog. It was "normal." Your lungs hurt....

Web Link
....................


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Apr 20, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Well, according to the American Lung Association.

The non-smokers and the non-junkies make up approximately 10-20 percent of the population. I am a member of that distinct minority group.

In my immediate neighborhood there are 14 homes with fire places. Two of those homes heat with seasoned wood. The other 12 homes heat with natural gas and or a combination of natural gas and electricity. A few of them will fire up over the Holidays with wood they purchased at the local market.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Damon, a resident of Foothill Knolls,
on Apr 21, 2015 at 8:24 am

@Michael Austin: "Well, according to the American Lung Association. The non-smokers and the non-junkies make up approximately 10-20 percent of the population. I am a member of that distinct minority group."

You're joking, right? The study "population" that you're referring to is those who died of lung cancer, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis in the SF Bay Area.

If your argument is that lighting your wood burning fireplace on a spare-the-air day is not as bad as smoking a pack of cigarettes, that's correct but it's also a rather weak point.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by MrGreth, a resident of Bonde Ranch,
on Apr 22, 2015 at 5:55 am

Hope you will publish articles more often!

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:19 am

In the past I felt sorry for those that didn't light up from time to time. So many Plutonians jump on everything that happens on planet earth.

Get yourself a gas mask, a rubber suit, place a brown paper bag over your whiny heads, stick corks in your nostrils...go away...far far away.

If your home is cold inside, bundle up, put on a jacket, cap, ear muffs, comfy gloves and get warm. I seen no reason to make a fire and make others pay for your creature comforts. get a life folks...get a life...i rest my case






 +  Like this comment
Posted by Daniel Boone, a resident of another community,
on Apr 22, 2015 at 11:55 am

Well, there are more than a few of us in the Pleasanton area that don't have natural gas to heat our homes, nor central heating/AC, or even live in the "city". I have used wood to heat our home for years, usually burning several cords a winter. My alternative would be to install a propane or electric heater, at great expense for both the install and ongoing heating costs, both of wich are not as "green" as what I use now. I don't hear any alternatives for the "country folk".



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