The Cleaner Air News
The newsletter of the Cleaner Air Partnership   
Upcoming Meetings
Cleaner Air Partnership Technical Committee: A Closer Look at 2009 Legislation
 
Our CAP Technical Committee brown-bag lunch meetings have a casual, roundtable format and usually feature short presentations and discussions about hot issues, plus regular reports about regulatory and legislative activities.
At this meeting, we will gather and discuss 2009 air quality legislation items.
 
Date:  December 10, 2008
Time:  Noon-1:30 p.m.
Place:  Valley Vision, 2320 Broadway in Sacramento
Please RSVP to [email protected]
IN THIS ISSUE
CAPTAC meeting 12/10/08
CA Renewable Energy Goals
Sacramento County No Burn Season Begins
Five Ways to Check Before You Burn
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www.cleanerairpartnership.org  October 2008
Clouds
Partnership focuses on CA renewable energy goals 
Local utilities increasing renewable energy usesoalr panel
The Cleaner Air Partnership held its final quarterly luncheon of the year Oct. 31, at the Sacramento Municiple Utility District.  The location was appropriate for the discussion topic:  how local utilities are working to meet California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS contains the goals set by the state for reducing greenhouse gasses through increasing renewable sources of energy. The RPS and the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) require utilities to meet a 33% renewable energy portfolio by the year 2020. Renewable energy sources include small hyrdo, wind power, solar power, geothermal, and biomass.
 
Partnership Chairman Tom Stallard started off our discussion explaining that the RPS is significant public policy that will impact business, residents, and government institutions alike. Three representatives from each of the area's utility companies attended the meeting to inform members about the feasibility of reaching California's energy efficiency goals. Obadiah Bartholomy of SMUD, Daniel Kim of PG&E, and James Takehara of Roseville Electric spoke on behalf of their organizations and answered the partnership's questions about their utility's plans to reach the RPS.

SMUD, PG&E, and Roseville Electric have long been renewable energy leaders. All offer their customers programs to purchase renewable sources of energy. Some examples include:   
  • PG&E offers their ClimateSmart Program, a voluntary option for Pacific Gas and Electric Company customers to reduce their personal impact on climate change.
  • Through its Greenergy program, SMUD offers you the choice of supporting energy created by green resources.
  • Roseville Electric offers Green Roseville, a program giving Roseville Electric customers the option to purchase electricity from renewable energy sources. Roseville Electric also provides customers energy saving tips, energy audits, and more.

Thank you to PG&E, Roseville Electric, and SMUD for participating in this important discussion. A special thank you to SMUD for hosting the gathering, and to Teichert, Pacific Coast Building Products, and Raley's for underwriting our quarterly luncheon series.

Sacramento County No Burn Season Begins 
Fines for Residental Wood Burning on No Burn Days   
On November 1, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Management District's second season of the "Check Before You Burn" campaign began.

In Sacramento County, approximately 50% of wintertime pollution is caused by residential wood burning devices. The smoke from these devices contains fine particulate matter which has been linked to significant health problems including decreased lung function, asthma, and even premature death in people with heart or lung disease.
 
Given these health effects, the SMAQMD Board of Directors adopted Rule 421, Mandatory Episodic Curtailment of Wood and Other Solid Fuel Burning, last fall. Rule 421 prohibits the use of wood burning devices (fireplaces, wood stoves) when the SMAQMD declares a Stage 1 or Stage 2 event.
 
During a Stage 1 event, burning is prohibited unless EPA certified fireplaces inserts or stoves, or pellet stoves are used. They must not emit visible smoke. During a Stage 2 event, all burning is prohibited.
 
Exemptions are in place for devices that operate exclusively with natural gas or propane, home & businesses where wood burning is the only source of heat, and economic hardship waivers as approved by the Air Pollution Control Officer.
 
Anyone found burning on a No Burn Day this season is subject to a $50 fine. Violaters will have the option of taking a class in lieu of paying the penalty. Anyone found violating a second time will be subject to much higher fines as provided in the California Health and Safety Code.
 
"The SMAQMD found a number of violations last year through routine surveillance of neighborhoods and from complaints filed by citizens impacted by smoke in their neighborhoods," according to Kevin Leonard of the SMAQMD. "Those found to be in violation last year were sent a letter explaining Rule 421 requirements, Check Before you Burn information, and the toll free number to call to find out if it is a No Burn Day.
 
For more information about the Check Before you Burn Program, please call (916) 874-4800.
Five Ways to Check Before You Burn
Sacramento County's Wood Burning Restrictions Began November 1 
                                                                                 
1. Visit  www.AirQuality.org or www.SparetheAir.com 
 
2. Subscribe to Air Alert at www.SpareTheAir.com and check the Daily Air Quality Forecast box to receive a daily e-mail
 
3. Call 1-877-NOBURN-5 (1-877-662-8765) to hear a daily recorded message
 
4. Check the Sacramento Bee's weather page
 
5. Listen to radio and television announcements 
The Cleaner Air Partnership is a joint project of Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce and Valley Vision to help the Sacramento Region meet clean air standards that protect health and promote economic growth.  Visit www.cleanerairpartnership.org or contact staff Bill Mueller or Angela Shepard at (916) 325-1630.