SLO County Air Pollution Control District
Winter 2019 e-Newsletter
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Get $1,000 for your old car!
Did you know that SLO County APCD will pay you up to $1,000 to voluntarily retire your old car, truck, or van?

New 2019 vehicles are 55 times cleaner for smog forming pollutants compared to 1995 vehicles and are approximately 57% more fuel efficient*!

By removing these older, high-emitting vehicles from the road, we're able to help reduce one of the largest sources of air pollution in California: transportation. Vehicles that are 1995 or older are eligible for the program. Visit the Old Car Buy Back Program page of our website to learn more about the program and other eligibility requirements.

*calculated using the California Air Resources Board's EMFAC model.
All About Woodsmoke
What is woodsmoke?
When we burn wood, a mixture of gases and fine particles is emitted. Some of these emissions are toxic air pollutants to humans and animals. The specific composition of the emissions vary depending on the type of wood burned. Besides the toxic and non-toxic gaseous emissions, burning wood also releases very fine and microscopically-sized particles known as PM2.5. These tiny particles are one of the main health threats from woodsmoke because they're easily inhaled and are usually present during ambient atmospheric conditions.
Where does it occur?
Woodsmoke can occur wherever wood is burned, such as in fireplaces, wood stoves, outdoor fire pits, agricultural burns, or other devices used for burning. Unlike agricultural burning, residential burning typically takes place indoors, where smoke can become more highly concentrated over longer periods of time. Calm, stagnant weather conditions and cooler temperatures can also contribute to an increased level of woodsmoke in a neighborhood, because fine particulates are trapped closer to the ground.
Why can it be harmful to your health?
Various research studies have identified a number of human health impacts linked to woodsmoke exposure, ranging from sore throats, eye irritation, wheezing, bronchitis, asthma attacks, ear infections, strokes, heart attacks, heart disease, and lung cancer. Many of these health issues are associated with the microscopic particles found in woodsmoke that get into eyes, throats, and respiratory systems. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with pre-existing cardiovascular or respiratory conditions are especially susceptible to these harmful effects. Some studies have also linked developmental problems in newborns and toddlers with a mother's exposure to woodsmoke during pregnancy; these include lower birth weights, neurological development problems, and lung development problems. 
How can you heat your home without burning?
Instead of burning wood to heat your home, natural gas or propane fireplace inserts can be used. These kinds of inserts heat more efficiently and produce very little air pollution when in use. Using a furnace will also help prevent additional air pollution while providing heat for the entire home. If you don't need your entire home to be heated, you can also close vents to empty rooms before turning on the heater. Weather stripping, tight window seals, wall and ceiling insulation, and high-efficiency windows can also help prevent heat from escaping your home when it's cold while saving money in the long run!

Funding available to residents in Nipomo & Paso Robles!
SLO County APCD still has a limited amount of grant funding available for qualified residents who would like to replace their old wood-burning devices with clean, heater-rated natural gas or propane devices. Nipomo and Paso Robles homeowners are eligible to apply for grant funding for these modernizing projects. Residents who replace old wood or pellet-burning stoves and inserts may receive up to $1,000 in grant funding, while residents who replace a conventional masonry, prefabricated, or zero-clearance open hearth fireplace may receive up to $2,000 in grant funding. Apply before remaining grant funds run out!
Funding for the Wood Burning Device Change-Out Program is provided by local off-site mitigation money for the Nipomo (93444) and Paso Robles (93446) areas and is first-come, first-served. These incentives are aimed at reducing ozone precursor emissions, with a co-benefit of PM2.5 reductions, and improving public health in the local communities. 
Visit the Wood Burning Device Change-Out Program page  on our website for eligibility requirements, program guidelines, and application materials. The SLO County APCD anticipates another round of countywide woodsmoke reduction funding from the state this coming spring, so bookmark the above link and check back.

2017 Annual Air Quality Report
Every year, SLO County APCD prepares an air quality report that summarizes air quality data collected over the past year throughout the county. Each monitoring station in the county records data for specific air pollutants; the three highest concentrations for each of these pollutants is included in this report, as well as compliance status for federal and state health standards. 

Staff Spotlight
Since our previous newsletter in September, we've had a promotion in our Engineering & Compliance Division! Tim Fuhs , a long-time APCD staffer, was recently promoted to the Supervising Air Quality Specialist position after working as an Air Quality Specialist III for several years.
Before starting his career, Tim was raised here on the Central Coast and decided to attend Cal Poly, where he graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor's in Natural Resource Management. Upon graduating, he began his career in the environmental science field by working as a Park Ranger for Jalama Beach, which he said was a fun and rewarding experience in itself. After working as a Park Ranger, he became an Environmental Scientist for a hazardous waste landfill in Casmalia, eventually finding his way into the environmental consulting sector. In December of 1991, Tim joined the SLO APCD team in the Engineering & Compliance Division and is very happy that he did: "working here at the APCD has literally flown by due to the challenging and varied projects and tasks, as well as the amazing, dedicated, and professional staff I get to work with on a daily basis!" When he's not working, Tim enjoys spending time with his family. He lives with his wife and youngest daughter in Pismo Beach, but his oldest daughter has flown the coop and now lives in New Jersey with her fiance! 
Fun Fact:  When Tim was 14, he and his friends tried visiting Jan Michael Vincent in his motel room in Lompoc to try and get parts in "Big Wednesday," a low-budget surfing movie. Instead of Jan Michael Vincent opening the door, Peter Townsend and Gerry Lopez answered it... while Jan ducked out of the room! The boys never got to see Jan or get parts in the movie, but they got a signed poster from the two famous surfers! 

Did you see the Iridium 8 launch from Vandenburg Air Force Base this morning?! 
Anyone catch the beautiful sunrise this morning? Do we think the old saying is accurate..."Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red sky in morning, sailors' take warning"
Beautiful view between storms, taken by one of our monitoring staffers!
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