The rainy season is well underway, with January off to a wet start. Portola received about 9 inches of rainfall in November and December, which helped to improve air quality. Normal to above normal rainfall is expected from January through April, with temperatures anticipated to be slightly above normal.
There were 25 permissive burn days for open burning in December, which led to 13 days when particulate levels exceeded national air quality standards, according to the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District.
Among the three Air District monitoring locations — Portola, Quincy and Chester — Portola consistently ranks higher in particulates than the other locations.
Wood stove program
The air district is offering a stove change-out program to qualified homeowners within the greater Portola particulate non-attainment area for replacement of non-EPA certified wood stoves with new, efficient, cleaner burning EPA certified devices. This program is funded by the U.S. EPA’s 2015 Targeted Air Shed Grant Program, the District’s AB2766 program and other agencies. This five-year voluntary program is only available to residents within the non-attainment area.
As of Dec. 31, 171 applications have been received for the wood stove change-out program, with 150 pre-approval letters sent out and about 105 installations complete.
For more information regarding daily particulate levels or for information regarding the wood stove change-out program, visit myairdistrict.com.