Letter: More should speak up for clean air
Sep 25, 2012 | 1363 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

EDITOR,

I was happy to read Rick Goebel's letter speaking out for air quality in the San Lorenzo Valley (“Burning chokes up the valley,” Page 6, Sept. 14). Burning wood pollutes the air, and it's time folks upgraded to a cleaner form of heat.

Other serious sources of air pollution here are recreational campground fires and charcoal lighter fluid. I recently wrote a letter to the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board asking for legislation prohibiting recreational fires and lighter fluid and was told that, in fact, recreational fires were exempted from the existing air-quality standards.

I live between two RV campgrounds, and although the air is sweet and clean first thing in the morning, it is soon so smoky outside that we cannot go out or have our windows open. These fires are not used for anything, and they are often left smoldering and smoking for hours unattended. Yet campgrounds have no rules regarding these fires and don't even give campers suggested guidelines.

My letter to the Air Resources Board was addressed to the director, Richard Stedman. He asked rule developer Mike Sewell to give me a call. Mr. Sewell said he could write a letter to the campgrounds regarding my complaint, but I explained that my letter was not written to make a complaint, but to encourage new regulations. This surprised him, as his director had told him it was a complaint, and at this point I realized neither Mr. Stedman nor Mr. Sewell had actually read my letter to the end. So I encourage all who wish to write to the board to address your bottom line first, to avoid having your letter dismissed as a complaint that cannot really be remedied.

Write to: Mr. Richard Stedman, Director, CEPA Air Resources Board, 24580 Silver Cloud Court, Monterey, CA 93940.

Supervisors Ellen Pirie and Neil Coonerty also sit on this board. I cc'd them on my letter, but did not get a response from them.

We are never going to have relatively clean air in the valley unless the residents speak out in numbers.

Miranda Nighthart, Felton

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