Portola is under the annual mandatory wood stove curtailment period, which started on November 1st, restricting homes from using non-EPA-certified fireplaces or stoves.
The U.S. EPA officially designated the Greater Portola area as not meeting federal standards of allowable fine particulate matter in the air in April of 2015. High levels are mostly smoke due to home heating sources, including wood burning, and are linked with various respiratory and cardiac health issues. Portola even created a city Ordinance Prohibiting the use of older wood and pellet stoves along with the Open Burning of Yard Waste in 2016.
Yet efforts are being made to burden families less and assist in cleaning Portola’s air. The Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District offers a change-out program to replace non-EPA-certified wood stoves with new, efficient, cleaner-burning certified devices.
You are eligible if you rent or own, with no income requirements. The goal is to continue improving indoor and outdoor air quality to impact individual and community health, raise the quality of life and reduce the number of no-burn days. The mandatory no-burn program was enforced by the State Implementation Plan (SIP) to meet federal and state air quality standards in January of last year. Once all homes change out their non-certified wood stoves (and qualified fireplaces) to certified heating devices over the next couple of years, the hope is that the air will improve and fewer mandatory no-days will be declared.
There are currently restrictions for homes this season, and you can learn more about the program as well as check on daily air quality reports by visiting myairdistrict.com