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Castro Valley Tops List for Spare the Air Violations

Bay Area air quality district releases city by city data on where people burned wood on those no-burn days

Castro Valley is the only town in Southern Alameda County that had people caught violating the no-burn rules on Spare The Air days the past three winters.

Five other communities in the region recorded no residents being cited by air quality officials. 

The findings are part of a study recently released by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District that focused on the number of days our air is unhealthy, according to a story in the Contra Costa Times.

Overall, the Bay Area's air is cleaner than it was a decade ago.

District officials reported there were 39 days in winter 2000-2001 where the Bay Area's air exceeded federal pollution standards. During this past winter reporting season, which ended Feb. 28, there was only one.

The previous winter there were 10 days above federal standards. There was just one in winter 2010-2011.

Since 2009, Alameda County residents have filed 1,479 complaints against their neighbors for burning wood on Spare The Air days, according to The Times. There were 75 citations issued.

Here's a breakdown of the no-burn violators city by city in the region from 2010-2012, according to a map put together by The Times.

City  No Burn Violators Notes Castro Valley     4 3 in 2010, 1 in 2011 Fremont     0
Newark     0
San Leandro     0
San Lorenzo     0
Union City     0

Bay Area air quality officials credit the Spare The Air days with reducing air pollution during winter months.

The no-burn days are declared when air pollution levels start to edge toward federal maximums.

Officials that preemptive action has kept the Bay Area from violating those standards in recent years.

Critics, including have said the Spare The Air days are an example of big government intruding into people's lives.

However, air quality officials say the program is working, helping keep the air clean and helping people with asthma and other ailments to breathe easier.

Captain Anonymous April 05, 2013 at 01:10 AM
There needs to be a lot more citations in Castro Valley if there is going to be any change. Walking around our neighborhood at night in the Winter makes you feel like you smoked a carton of unfiltered presto log cigarettes.
Tom Abate (Editor) April 05, 2013 at 04:00 PM
I wonder if the number of citations indicates more violations, or more people who report violators?

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