APCD Launches Voluntary Woodsmoke Reduction Program
Source: Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District
On October 25, the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (District) launched the voluntary Woodsmoke Reduction Program to help cover the costs of replacing residential wood-burning fireplaces or woodstoves with cleaner alternatives. The District will reimburse participating retailers (listed below) up to $5,000 for replacement projects for customers who live in state-designated low-income communities, and up to 1,000 for projects for other customers. To view the state’s map of low-income communities, visit www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/
The wood stove or wood-burning fireplace to be replaced must be used as a primary source of heat and can be swapped for an electric, gas, or propane device, or an EPA-certified wood-burning home heating device. This year’s program is open to homeowners and renters, as long as renters provide documented approval by the property owner.
In the fall and winter, people throughout the county contact the District with concerns about health effects of neighborhood woodsmoke. Woodsmoke contains gases and particulate matter, and can harm the lungs and heart. Smoke from fireplaces and woodstoves accounts for nearly a third of wintertime fine particle pollution in Santa Barbara County, according to state data.
The District has approximately $225,000 in funding available for this year’s program. The Woodsmoke Reduction Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts Cap-and-Trade dollars to work. The District’s program is in line with the state’s efforts to reduce levels of both particulate matter and black carbon, a short-lived climate pollutant emitted when wood burns. Last year, the District’s pilot program helped replace more than 30 woodstoves and fireplaces throughout Santa Barbara County.
“Replacing an old wood stove or fireplace can make a big difference in neighborhood air quality,” said District Director, Aeron Arlin Genet. “Making the switch also reduces fire hazards and fuel costs. I strongly encourage people to take advantage of this opportunity.”
*Spanish version available at www.ourair.org/102518-news/