Air alert program strapped for funds

Spreading the word about tighter pollution standards this winter won’t be easy. In spite of tighter standards no additional money has been set aside for monitor or incentive programs, experts said.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District — which earmarks about $270,000 in its annual budget for a handful of education programs, including the winter Spare the Air Tonight program, consumer products and lawn and garden equipment — is at a major disadvantage in the winter compared to the summer Spare the Air program, officials said.

During the summer the state and federal governments pump millions into the program to encourage public transit by offering free rides, according to Luna Salaver, district spokeswoman.

“It will be a challenge to educate the public [this year],” Salaver said. “When our budget was created, we didn’t know they were going to adopt the more stringent [particulate] standards so soon.”

Spare the Air Tonight, which is voluntary, partners with 2,000 Bay Area businesses to spread the word to workers and residents when a warning is issued. Another 40,000 people and organizations have signed up to receive “air alerts” by text message, e-mail or pager, Salaver said.

Future ambitions include an incentive program to coax homeowners into converting their wood-burning fireplace to gas to spare the air, Salaver said.

— Edward Carpenter

newsUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Many famillies have supported keeping John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park free of car traffic. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over future of JFK Drive heats up

Shamann Walton compares accessibilty issues to segregation, likens street closure to ‘1950s South’

Tara Hobson, center, principal at SF International High School, welcomes a student back on Monday, April 26, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD seniors get a chance to say goodbye to school in person

Deal to briefly return older students to school leaves many parents and teens dissatisfied

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College union deal staves off layoffs, class cuts

One year agreement allows community college time to improve its finances

San Francisco Giants pitcher Logan Webb (62) faced down the Rangers Tuesday in a two-game sweep by the giants. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Webb posts career-high 10 strikeouts as Giants finish sweep of Rangers

The Texas Rangers arrived in San Francisco with one of the hottest… Continue reading

A Homeless Outreach Team member speaks with homeless people along Jones Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed proposes another street outreach team to divert calls away from police

San Francisco would launch a new street outreach team to respond to… Continue reading

Most Read