3. Beef up the promotion and incentives for people to convert their fireplaces to gas and to convert their wood-burning stoves or replace them with those that use pellets.
4. Make sure that people understand that these rules only apply to wood-burning fireplaces, not to those that burn natural gas. Most newer homes have gas fireplaces, which generally provide more ambience than heat.
5. Inform people about the risks associated with wood burning, both inside and outside their home. The tiny particulates can harm sensitive lungs, aggravate asthma and cause lung cancer. The accumulation of particulate matter is worse when there isn't wind in the valley -- think of fog, with toxins. Ozone pollution -- generated largely by fuel- burning vehicles and equipment -- is a warm-weather problem.
6. Let residents know that while this is a health issue, it also has a direct impact on their pocketbooks. Every valley resident who owns a vehicle is paying the DMV surcharge. The only good news out of this is that the money is being reinvested in the valley air district for incentives and other programs rather than going to the federal government.
Who: The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District board, consisting of one elected supervisor from each of the eight counties (San Joaquin south to Kern); five elected council members selected by cities in the district; two public members appointed by the governor. Stanislaus Supervisor Bill O'Brien is the current board chairman; Ceres Mayor Chris Vierra is among the city representatives.
What: The board's monthly meeting.
When: Today, 9 a.m.
Where: 1990 E. Gettysburg Ave., Fresno. People also can attend the videoconference at the Modesto regional office, 4800 Enterprise Way, off Kiernan Avenue. The session also will be webcast. Go to http://is.gd/iuIP3A for the link.
For more information: The proposed plan that includes fireplace restrictions is available at http://is.gd/bAc9iR.