Another Spare the Air day due to unhealthy levels of smog, smoke

Pollution from wildfires increased Saturday, Sunday

A Spare the Air Smog Alert has been issued for today due to unhealthy levels of smog and smoke in the air, and residents are being advised both to limit their exposure to the unhealthy conditions and avoid making them worse.

Particulate pollution from wildfires around Northern California increased on Saturday, and high levels were found throughout the Bay Area Sunday morning. Air quality is also being adversely affected by unhealthy levels of smog, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

"The Bay Area is experiencing serious air pollution due to the fires and smog," Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District, said.

"It's important that Bay Area residents protect their health by avoiding outdoor activities and avoid polluting more by not mowing lawns, using BBQ lighter fluid or driving alone," he said.

Area residents are advised to avoid unnecessary exposure to unhealthy air conditions by limiting outdoor activities, setting

air-conditioners to re-circulate air when possible, and remain indoors with doors and windows closed, according to district officials.

Area residents are also encouraged to walk, bike, carpool or take public transit - rather than driving alone - as a way of reducing air pollution, according to district officials.

This marks the district's fourth Spare the Air Smog Alert so far in 2015.

— Bay City News Service

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6 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 17, 2015 at 8:24 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Press release from BAAQMD Saturday, spoke person Ralph Borrmann, speaking for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District had this to say.

"The wild fires are not a factor in declaring a spare the air day for Sunday August 16, 2015, the primary thing we are looking at is high levels of ozone. The fire is a separate factor, and is not actually affecting air quality," he said.

Well, the high levels of ozone is due to motor vehicle exhaust.

All that smoke we have here in Pleasanton and other Bay Area cities is wood smoke from burning wildfires.

High ozone levels are always here, motor vehicle exhaust is always here. This winter when folks are heating their homes with their highly efficient wood burning inserts, the BAAQMD will declare a spare the air day and blame it on wood burning inserts in homes, and force folks to use expensive gas burning furnaces to stay warm.

In reality, it is the motor vehicle exhaust that is causing the high ozone levels. Not the highly efficient wood burning inserts that emit less than 1.26 grams of particulate matter an hour. The EPA allowance for particulate release from wood burning fire places is 7.0 grams an hour.

All wood fired ovens in downtown Pleasanton and other nearby cities emit greater than 100 grams an hour. They are exempt from spare the air days.

4 people like this
Posted by Towney
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm

High Traffic Weekend in the Valley this past Saturday and Sunday. Many visitors to the new "San Francisco" Premium Outlets. This on an already busy weekend for vacation drive-through and back-to-school traffic. The levels of freeway congestion just unreal.

4 people like this
Posted by Towny is right...
a resident of Country Fair
on Aug 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm


Sadly this is so true. I grew up in Fremont until the age of about 14 and back then in reminded me of what Pleasanton was a handful of years ago. I go to Fremont now, and I don't recognize the area. Unfortunately Pleasanton is starting to feel more like Fremont (what it turned in to) and having to deal with traffic just to go to the grocery store. I now plan my day around traffic when I work at home and kids in Pleasanton schools. It's very sad.

I really miss the old Pleasanton. I never thought in a million years I'd want to leave, but we now consider it with our youngest being a senior at Foothill this year.

RIP Dear Charming Pleasanton. You are greatly missed.

4 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Every morning without fail there is a motorcyclist down at the toll plaza on the Bay Bridge. At the toll plaza on the Hayward San Mateo Bridge, or some other calamity on the Dumbarton Bridge.

Sunol grade is backed up due to an accident, the I-880 is jammed up because of a big rig and car tangled, I-580 out of Livermore through Stoneridge at the I-680 interchange is closed because of a vehicle fire.

Cal Tran sweepers creep into the act at mid-morning and remain the problem through the early afternoon.

What a mess! Attempting to get anywhere in the Bay Area during normal work hours is a major task. Fortunately, the bulk of my time is at my home office.

There are several times a week that I meet clients at their work site. That is when all of the above is materialized. Thirty-five percent of my client visits are east, reverse commute. All others are south, west or north.

Whenever I get out there in the regular commute traffic, my thought is, how can all these commuters do this every day, driving to work and again the return drive home with all this traffic, all the accidents, all the grid lock?

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