Starting March 9th, 2009 In the Southern California Air Quality Management District (AQMD) consisting of San Bernadino, Riverside, Orange and parts of Los Angeles Counties, builders may no longer build wood burning fireplaces. The Southcoast Air Quality Management District passed rule 445 which regulates permanent indoor and outdoor burning devices. If you live in this district, you may also not even add a hearth wood burning fireplace in any of your remodel plans.
Environmental concerns about smoke with particulates that are small enough to lodge in the lungs , supposedly are a serious health risk according to studies. Now, I haven’t seem these studies but there are those that are concerned with individual and household carbon footprints and want to see all wood burning fireplaces banned throughout the state.
People through the ages have had a passion with the wood burning fireplace and in recent years wood burning fireplaces built by new home builders has all but disappeared, being replaced by the gas fireplace with the fake logs and gas starters. Without some sort of heatilator that pushes the heat out, most of the heat just escapes up through the the flu.
For those that already have wood burning fireplaces, they will soon have their use of those fireplaces curtailed or may soon see an outright ban from using them. It seems that any fire from burning wood does not qualify in the country’s quest to “Go Green”. While I am mostly in favor of living green and using safe green products where they can be obtained at or near the cost of their rival products, I think there are way bigger issues that would certainly make more of a difference in life than the occasional use of the fireplace on cold evenings.
When I was growing up we had 3 huge wood burning fireplaces and on really cold days back east, it was not unusual for all three of them to stoked up with logs ( chopped by Dad ) and crackling away. I will admit a bit of bias in having enjoyed the feel of warmth created when burning hardwoods as well as the amazing sounds and the smell. I can remember many nights when family gathered around the fireplace. it felt safe and secure and left no doubt in my mind where belonged. I must be getting old by reminiscing about the past but it does have some wonderful memories. And for those of us that experienced the wonderful blazing wood burning fireplace could never nor would want to filtered out those fond memories. I am supposing here that the new younger generations will never experience what that was all about.
I have to wonder when the other states (other than California ) will start imposing the limits on living our lives without the intrusion of these huge environmental influence peddlers that seem to have way more influence than the lay citizens and most certainly have the ear of our state elected servants. I use that term loosely here always wanting to be sure to give the benefit of the doubt.
Am I to believe that breathing the warmed air in the same room as a wood burning fireplace is more dangerous than the air we breath from a bazillion cars on the roads or any number of other sources. I’ll take the WBF any day!