Pollution Down As Bay Area Winter Spare The Air Days End

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The Winter Spare the Air season has ended, and there’s good news to report, as pollution levels from wood burning are down in the Bay Area.

During the 2011-2012 season, which began in early November and ended Wednesday, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District said they were serious about enforcing periodic bans on wood burning.

“We gave out 346 warning letters this season, and that’s for a first time violation,” said Aaron Richardson with the Air Quality Management District. “We also issued 13 tickets, which would be for a second violation.

Richardson said that wood burning, either indoors or outdoor, is banned when the district calls Winter Spare the Air Alerts. According to Richardson, the unusually dry winter resulted in fifteen Spare the Air Alerts.

KCBS’ Melissa Culross Reports:

“However, we are seeing overall, across the Bay Area, a decrease in wood smoke levels according to our data,” said Richardson. “And our surveys are showing that about 25 percent of people are burning less on at least once instance throughout the year.”

Richardson adds that the district received almost 4,000 reports of illegal wood burning on Spare the Air Alert days this season from concerned residents.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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