FRESNO (AP) — Rules to help clean air in the San Joaquin Valley would cut down fireplace use earlier than initially proposed.
The Fresno Bee reports that the valley's Air Pollution Control District agreed to implement the tighter wood-burning rules in 2014 — not 2016 as originally proposed. The board, however, will bring the regulations back for a final vote in 2014.
The newspaper says the restrictions could mean no fires at all in large cities such as Fresno and Bakersfield in the future. It would impact the entire San Joaquin Valley including Stockton, Modesto, Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop.
The San Joaquin Valley and the South Coast Air Basin in Southern California have among the worst particulate pollution in the nation.
The goal of the new rules is to help the valley meet federal particulate pollution regulations by 2019.
Fireplaces are the biggest contributors of that pollution during the winter. The small particles can trigger asthma and heart problems.