In California, many air districts fail to meet federal health standards for fine particulate matter, of which wood smoke is a significant source. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, changing out one old, dirty, inefficient wood stove removes as much pollution as removing five old diesel buses from the road.
This year, SB 563 by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, proposes to establish the Wood Smoke Reduction Program, which would include funding to replace old, wood stoves. The California Air Resources Board would administer the program in coordination with local air districts.
SB 563 would offer consumers incentives to replace old, uncertified wood-burning stoves with cleaner, more energy-efficient alternatives, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions from wood smoke.
CURRENT LOCAL AIR DISTRICT REGULATIONS
Many local air districts now prohibit use of wood-burning devices on “spare the air” days, and some encourage their replacement through limited rebate programs. Generally, properties that have no other source of heat are exempt from “spare the air” days. For a map of all air districts with links to local requirements and programs, click here.
CAA’s “Spare the Air Addendum” (Form 37.0), which spells out compliance duties of tenants, should be used in all air districts.
At this time, only the Bay Area Air Quality Management District requires rental property owners to install alternative sources of heat on properties that rely on wood-burning devices. However, other air districts are likely to follow suit. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District requires all rental properties in “natural gas service areas” to have “a permanently installed source of heat that does not burn wood” by Nov. 1, 2018. On that date, those properties will no longer be exempt from no burn, “spare the air days.”
The boundaries of the Bay Area district include all of the following counties: Napa, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin, and part of Solano and Sonoma counties. The district also requires landlords to provide tenants in units with fireplaces or wood-burning devices with a disclosure regarding the health hazards associated with wood smoke.
More information regarding the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s rules, including a compliance-assistance hotline, is available here.
CAA’s Residential Fireplace Disclosure Addendum (Form 37.0-BA) contains the notice that must be provided to tenants within the district.