air quality | 511 Contra Costa - Part 2

2010 Clean Air Plan for the Bay Area released by BAAQMD

[Photo by Morgan Jones]

Think the Bay Area’s got good air? Think again. The nine Bay Area counties* currently fail to meet state and federal public health standards for smog, soot, and fine particles. These types of air pollution can irritate the eyes and throat, trigger asthma attacks, and increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
State law requires districts that fail to meet smog standards to create smog-cleanup plans. As a result, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) created a 520-page plan with 57 possible measures to clean the Bay Area’s air, targeting everyone from dairy farmers and wineries to oil refineries and homebuilders.
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This Week’s Headlines in Transportation & Transit: Feb. 27 – Mar. 5, 2010

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Bay Area and California News

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Spare the Air Alert Ends for the 2009-2010 Winter Season

[Photo by mattboschetti]

On February 28, 2010 the Winter Spare the Air season ended. Winter Spare the Air alerts will resume beginning November 1, 2010. After this day, it will be illegal to burn wood during Winter Spare the Air alerts.
However, residents who do burn in a fireplace our outdoor fire pit must still burn cleanly using dry seasoned firewood and not burn garbage, leaves or other material that would cause excessive smoke. Residents who exceed the excessive visible smoke provision in the wood burning rule could still be subject to an air district ticket or fine. For more information about the Wood-Burning Rule, visit Spare the Air’s official website.
Related: Read more about iSmog for iPhone, a free application that delivers Spare the Air alerts to your phone. The application also displays air quality information for all five Bay Area air basins.

Monitor Air Quality in the Bay Area with iSmog – a free application for iPhone

The effects of particle pollution are serious. According to the American Lung Association, the particles are so small they bypass the body’s natural defenses and lodge deep in the lungs. Click here to view a short video clip on particle pollution.
However, the good news is that Spare the Air regulation does work in the Bay Area. According to Jack Broadbent, executive officer for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District:

Fine particles in wood smoke produce the same kinds of health effects as diesel exhaust pollution.

Continue reading “Monitor Air Quality in the Bay Area with iSmog – a free application for iPhone”

Monitor Bay Area Air Quality With Our iSmog iPhone Application

511 Contra Costa is proud to announce the release of its very first iPhone app – iSmog!

iSmog displays air quality information for the San Francisco Bay Area. With just a tap of the screen, users will see an easy-to-understand map of environmental quality in the Bay Area’s five air basins, built using data provided by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). With this information, commuters can make more informed choices about environmentally friendly transportation options, and members of sensitive groups will be better able to stay abreast of information that can be, literally, life-or-death.

Push notification alerts users with allergies or other environmental sensitivities when the air contains unhealthy levels of contaminants including ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and two sizes of particulate matter, all precursors of ozone. Notifications can be customized by level of sensitivity and by geographic area.

Read more about iSmog here: