According to the 2009 SSMC Indicators Report, San Mateo County has some of the cleanest air in the US. The county received an “A” grade from the American Lung Association for air quality. There were no days in 2008 when the county exceeded federal ozone or particulate matter limits.
We’ve achieved these results by being vigilant. During the summer months ground-level ozone is the pollutant of concern. Ozone is formed when pollutants combine on hot summer days, and it accumulates when there is little wind. To protect public health, the Air District issues “Spare the Air” advisories on days when air quality is forecast to be unhealthy due to high ozone levels. People who are especially sensitive to pollution are advised to limit their time outdoors, particularly in the afternoon hours.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) suggests these simple actions including driving less, taking public transportation, trip-linking, walking, biking, choosing non-gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment, and avoiding polluting household products.
In the wintertime, when a “Spare the Air” day is called, everyone must take part in reducing carbon emissions. BAAQMD passed a regulation that makes it illegal to burn wood or fire logs in household fireplaces and woodstoves during wintertime “Spare the Air” health advisories.
Bay Area residents can make a clean air choice and save money too! To help wean you from your smoky wood fires, BAAQMD offers rebates when you purchase a gas stove or gas insert. Switching from burning wood to using gas will reduce air pollution and improve air quality in your neighborhood.
Be the first to know when “Spare the Air” days are declared, so you can take action. Get on the email list.
Join a “Spare the Air Resource Team“.
If you want to learn more specific actions you can take to keep our air clean, visit now.
Or to check out the wood-to-gas conversion rebate, click here.