Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Fire Pit Emissions (To Council, #8)

Today I would like to direct your attention to the 2013 decision by the South Coast Air Quality Management District in California, regarding beach bonfires:
Some key points to note:

“The particulate emissions rate per minute from one beach bonfire is equal to that from: 
  • Three average big-rig diesel trucks; or 
  • The secondhand smoke from 800 cigarettes. Wood smoke contains many of the same toxic chemicals as secondhand cigarette smoke.”

 “ fire pit in one evening emits as much fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) as one big-rig diesel truck driven 564 miles.”

“Smoke does disperse and is diluted as it travels downwind from a fire pit. An air quality model indicates that the concentration of PM2.5, the key harmful ingredient in wood smoke, decreases by about 98 percent at a distance of 700 feet from a fire pit...”

“Fine particles in wood smoke contain cancer-causing chemicals as well as common combustion pollutants such as nitrogen oxides. Numerous health studies during wildfires, and in communities where large amounts of wood or other biomass is burned, show that wood smoke causes respiratory irritation and an increase in hospital admissions for respiratory problems. Fine particles also can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases and are linked to premature deaths in people with these conditions.”

SCAQMD’s decision is that fire pits can remain if they are “located at least 700 feet from the nearest residence”.

I am waiting to hear your justification for allowing backyard fire pits in Woodstock.

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