AQMD debates ban on beach fires on South Coast

The smoke from beach bonfires drifts into Charles Farrell’s Balboa Peninsula home and crashes on his bed like a drunk partygoer.

“The soot lingers inside my home for days. It’s everywhere, including your bedsheets. When I go to work, people think I’ve been smoking,” he told a panel of managers from the South Coast Air Quality Management District Thursday. While Farrell spoke in favor, a majority spoke against the air district’s proposed ban on beach fires along the Orange and Los Angeles county coastlines during a spirited informational hearing held at its headquarters.

The four-county air pollution agency officially will take up the ban May 3 as part of an amendment to an existing rule curtailing particulate pollution. The AQMD is also tightening a rule regulating wood-burning fireplaces from inside people’s homes that could result in between 10 and 20 “no burn” days each winter – more than double the number declared this past winter.

Though no decision was made Thursday, the AQMD top staff got an earful from both sides. Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story BEACH.

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