Wood-smoke workshop

Are you concerned about air quality in Chico and Butte County—particularly particulate matter from smoke? Are you worried that new regulations may prohibit you from using your wood heater or fireplace? If so, the Butte County Air Quality Management District wants to hear from you.

AQMD is in the process of changing its rules regarding wood smoke and is holding a series of workshops to hear from the public, including one scheduled for tonight (May 29) from 6 to 8 p.m. in Chico City Council chambers.

The district is proposing limiting the use of fireplaces and older, less efficient wood heaters. Wood smoke has been found to be damaging to health, especially for children, those with lung problems such as asthma, and the elderly, and the county is out of compliance with federal standards.

Newer EPA-certified wood heaters generate far less pollution than the older types and would be allowed on the new rules. The rules also would ban the use of fireplaces on nights when air quality was bad.