Newport Beach and Huntington Beach React Differently to Fire Pit Pollution Findings

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Call it "A Tale of Two City Takeaways:" Newport Beach and Huntington Beach's mayors, at opposite ends on whether to remove fire rings along their beaches, heard--and reacted differently to--state data indicating what's emitted from a pit over one evening equals the pollution spewed by a heavy duty diesel truck driving 564 miles.

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, who sits on the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) board, arranged a private meeting of several Orange County mayors Wednesday to digest agency data on fire-pit pollution.

Keith Curry, the mayor of Newport Beach, which got the ring-ban ball rolling due to resident complaints about the smoke, found the AQMD data supports his city's position.

"This is the first time we've ever been able to see any scientific data," Curry reportedly told City News Service. "I commend the AQMD who have laid out a fair assessment of the data."

But Connie Boardman, the mayor of Huntington Beach, where a line has figuratively been drawn in the sand to protect that city's pits, noted the AQMD data indicates Surf City's smoke is below the level that is considered unhealthy for those who are vulnerable to it.

And you get a sense she's prepared to release the hounds over any findings that do not support her city's desire to keep the fire rings. "The city wants a chance to look over the data and have it peer reviewed by our experts,'' she said. O.J.'s defense couldn't have put it better. If the smoke don't choke, you can't revoke!

She also hedged her bets should her experts ultimately fail at whitewashing harmful health data, saying, "If there are health risks to our residents there are a lot of solutions between nothing and banning the fire rings completely."

Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson, who sits on the AQMD board and also attended the meeting, raised the possibility of replacing traditional wood-burning fire rings with propane-fueled flames. Boardman noted propane tanks could pose problems but was open to exploring the idea.

Curry, meanwhile, wanted it known that Newport Beach did not solicit AQMD intervention to support the city's position to remove it rings. Which brings up the one thing he and Boardman agree on: banning or keeping the pits should be up to individual cities rather than being imposed on them by state agencies.


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21 comments
yesca487
yesca487

Keep the fire pits!!!!!!!!!!!!

jharvey714
jharvey714

Oh please - this isn't about anyone's health, and never was.  This is about the Newport mayor and Council carrying water for certain wealthy residents of the Peninsula and CDM who want the inland riff-raff to stop using "their" beach at night.

Mike MacDuffee
Mike MacDuffee

Btw, I was just down at the HB yesterday. There are 2 laters of firepits from newland and south, then north a brief blank spot, and then the regular 1 layer of firefpits all up the beach. And there is a huge polluter right there, a fucking powerplant. cheers

Mike MacDuffee
Mike MacDuffee

These people are retarded. Why would you buy a house near the firepits knowing that people burn shit and there is smoke? That is like buying a business next to a bar and complaining that drunk and loud people are around.

Bonnie Kennedy
Bonnie Kennedy

Keep em!!!!! I even used to hate the smoke when I was running and STILL realize we need the fire pits for good times!! Come on..

René Bruce
René Bruce

Yeah just the same as NB doesn't want a skatepark or dog park, they like to leach off of HB and Costa Mesa... total mooches !!!

Lisa Plant
Lisa Plant

Good...let's not do any business in his city for a while and see how he likes that one.

n2bigmuscle
n2bigmuscle topcommenter

I don't care if it's two mack trucks at 250 miles.  Those fire rings have to stay (now that I said that they probablly will go) as it's great cheap fun for any family. 

RonaldMexico
RonaldMexico

@Mike MacDuffee Same people who buy houses in the takeoff path of John Wayne and make the planes leave at a right angle to lower the noise.

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