[December 5, 2016] Officials from the Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced the kickoff of their annual Maricopa County winter air quality ‘Burn Cleaner, Burn Better’ campaign.
This year MCAQD and ADEQ are asking residents and businesses to work together to improve our air quality by choosing to use cleaner, healthier and environmentally friendly alternatives to burning wood when possible, such as electric or gas fireplaces.
Smoke from wood burning fireplaces and chimineas during winter months poses a serious health threat to children with asthma, the elderly and those with respiratory issues. Soot particles can be absorbed into the blood stream and may lessen lung function, exacerbate bronchitis and asthma and increase chances for heart attacks and premature death.
“The Burn Cleaner, Burn Better campaign is a unique public health and environmental partnership among business leaders, air quality agencies and our community,” said ADEQ Air Quality Division Director Timothy S. Franquist. “Not only does this collaboration benefit the health and welfare of valley residents, but it also works to ensure that the federal government doesn’t impose stricter regulations on valley businesses and residents.”
Maricopa County is also offering residents the opportunity to participate in a free program that will help keep our air cleaner and our residents healthy. The Maricopa County Fireplace Retrofit Program (MCFRP) is a pilot program designed to reduce smoke/PM2.5 pollution. The program will at no charge to the homeowner, retrofit a wood burning fireplace with an air pollution reduction device or with a natural gas log set, if the home meets installation requirements.
“The poor air quality that we experience during the winter months is the direct result of burning wood throughout the community,” Maricopa County Air Quality Director Philip McNeely said. “The spirit of the season compels us to be good neighbors and cognizant of the impacts our actions have on others. Please, Burn Cleaner, Burn Better and respect No Burn Day restrictions.”
If federal health standards are exceeded, Maricopa County and its residents run the risk of increased and costly federal regulations, which impact our lives and economy.
MCAQD issues No Burn Days throughout the winter season and asks county residents to refrain from lighting wood burning fires on those designated days. To find out if it is a No Burn Day, visit http://cleanairmakemore.com/, download the Clean Air Make More mobile app or call (602) 506-6400.
For more information, call Bob Huhn with MCAQD at (602) 506-6713 or Caroline Oppleman with ADEQ at (602) 771-2215.
CAMPAIGN Agencies & Contacts:
MCAQD – The Maricopa County Air Quality Department is a regulatory agency whose mission is to ensure federal clean air standards are achieved and maintained for the residents and visitors of Maricopa County. The department is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. The department offers air quality information and resources on its Clean Air Make More website. Please visit http://cleanairmakemore.com/ to learn more.
CONTACT: Bob Huhn – (602) 506-6713 desk / (602) 526-7307 cell
ADEQ – Under the Environmental Quality Act of 1986, the Arizona State Legislature established the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality in 1987 as the state agency for protecting and enhancing public health and the environment of Arizona. For more information, visit http://www.azdeq.gov/. ADEQ provides a daily forecast for air quality and issues High Pollution Advisories or health watches when these conditions exist. Please click for tomorrow’s air quality forecast, call (602) 771-2367 or SUBSCRIBE to receive email and/or text message air quality forecast and health alerts.
CONTACT: Caroline Oppleman – (602) 771-2215 desk / (602) 540-8072 cell
Burn Cleaner, Burn Better Campaign Website: http://cleanairmakemore.com/
Learn more and support the Burn Cleaner, Burn Better air quality campaign via social media:
Facebook: @CleanAirMakeMore @AZDEQ
Twitter: @CleanAirMakeMor @Arizonadeq
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