Better air quality so far this winter, say smog police
March 1, 2013
• Fewer wood-burning bans
• “We owe a great deal of gratitude to Valley residents”
With spring finally in the air, the Valley’s air pollution experts look back on the depths of winter with favor.
They say Friday that there was dramatically improved air quality in the San Joaquin Valley air basin portion of the Central Valley this winter resulting in fewer residential wood-burning curtailments than during the previous season.
The annual wintertime program that reduces particle pollution ended its 10th season Feb. 28.
During the 2012-13 season, there were 187 curtailments District-wide (San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the Valley portion of Kern counties).
This compares to 381 curtailments during the 2011-12 season, representing a decrease of over 50 percent Valley-wide, in the number of curtailment days from last season.
There were just three days during this winter when air quality was “unhealthy” in any county, compared to 41 such days last winter, according to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. Also, the number of days when air quality was rated “unhealthy for sensitive groups” decreased by 54 percent over last winter.
“We owe a great deal of gratitude to Valley residents for their cooperation and the resulting improvements in air quality,” says Seyed Sadredin, the Air District’s executive director and air pollution control officer.