Officials to seek public input on how to improve Bay Area air quality

KGO logo
Thursday, January 22, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new effort is about to begin to help clear the air here in the Bay Area. Starting next month, officials will begin gathering public opinion on ways to improve air quality. The air quality district will consider reducing the threshold for declaring a Spare the Air Day, and focus on new restrictions when it comes to burning wood for heating

"Regionally we're doing very well," said Wayne Kino with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. "Our regional air quality is very good. Locally is where we're trying to focus on a little bit more, where it's sort of a neighbor-on-neighbor or neighborhood-type area."

Air quality officials say they will not consider any restrictions on outdoor barbecues, smokers, or wood-burning pizza ovens, although they are getting complaints from the public about them.

"BBQs should not be allowed because right now they're not allowing us to turn on our chimney and they're allowing people to BBQ, which is really contradictory to what Spare the Air Day is," said South San Francisco resident Bedlilia Santellan.

Fellow South San Francisco resident Katrina Stinerman disagrees, "Cooking is not a vanity. You have to eat. So to each their own and how they choose to cook. You can't take that away from somebody."

A lack of rain has led to 20 Spare the Air days this winter so far. The Bay Area typically gets an average of 15 Spare the Air days during the season, so we're way ahead of that mark.