Benefits of Forecast-based Residential Wood Burning Bans on Air Pollution
Sacramento County is likely to be designated as non-attainment for daily average particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In an effort to lessen wintertime PM2.5 pollution, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) established a wintertime residential wood burning curtailment rule that restricts burning based on forecasted air quality. The restriction depends on the “next-day” daily PM2.5 concentration forecast for Sacramento County. The wood burning curtailment rule is in effect during winter months (November through February). The effectiveness of this program in reducing ambient PM2.5 concentrations was investigated using a combination of numerical modeling, chemical mass balance modeling, and data analysis to develop weight-of-evidence findings. The results of this evaluation are used to determine program changes that can help Sacramento County attain National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5. The results of this analysis provide a framework from which other similar emission control measures throughout the U.S. can be evaluated.