Bill to Save Beach Bonfires Clears Committee

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Bipartisan support was shown this week for legislation by two Orange County lawmakers who are trying to save beach bonfires threatened by clean-air regulations.

Assembly Bill 1102 by Assembly members Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) and Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) passed out of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Allen's office announced.

Proposed State Law to Protect Beach Bonfires Draws Attention of Air-Quality Regulators

The Newport Beach City Council, responding to complaints from residents who reside near the nightly smoke pits on beaches, tried to remove the rings more than a year ago. The California Coastal Commission stepped in to prevent the loss of a recreational amenity at the beach but later deferred to the air-quality regulators for science on the pollution emissions.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District responded with new rules that will force the removal or relocation of hundreds of rings on Orange County beaches deemed too close to homes.

But Allen later won overwhelming support in both houses of the California Legislature for a bill that supported access to California's beaches and the continued enjoyment of beach bonfires. The assemblyman then crossed the aisle to join Quirk-Silva in announcing they would introduce AB 1102, which would reverse the air-quality board's rulings restricting fire rings.

"Beach bonfires are an activity enjoyed by people from all across California, including those who cannot afford multi-million dollar beachfront homes," Allen reasons in a statement from his office. "This legislation will ensure that every Californian has access to our beautiful beaches through the affordable attraction of a beach bonfire."

Quirk-Silva adds in the same release that she sympathizes with the need to reduce pollution in Orange County but also believes "we must work collaboratively to protect our beautiful resources."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



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7 comments
chris1999
chris1999

Barbara Peters quote from '09 LA Times: "I've called the police at 1 in the morning with people singing their hearts out -- and not because they're sober," she said. "We've reached a point where it's too much, it's too late."


See, this was never about smoke -it's the people they don't like. Which they should have thought about before moving in. FRAUDS.

 

chris1999
chris1999

Barbara and Frank Peters are FRAUDS - I heard Frank at the meeting last week - he complained about the NOISE of the bonfires and that = people. Tha is what they want to rid the beaches of - people - and he all but admitted it with that slip.


These are people that videotape their neighbors that burn with legal wood fireplaces, that videotape people enjoying bonfires, that post addresses of people that purchase fire wood- they are loathed in their community for being a couple of obnoxious NIMBY instigators. There's a reason they are the only ones in their neighborhood complaining- because the bonfires are beloved by the community and science has proven they do little harm to anyone or anything - beach air has never been cleaner in modern times. These are snobs plain and simple, obnoxious elitists posing as activists. Barbara- what do you think of those videos your husband posts on your blog? Proud of those?

BarbaraPeters
BarbaraPeters

I was at the hearing, and there's more to it than Allen's office announced. Opposing this bill are the American Lung Association, Ca., Coalition for Clean Air, and the Sierra Club along with the AQMD. The Committee Chair made it clear there is no dispute of the scientific facts that wood smoke is a health hazard. This was said after testimony that wood smoke leads to lung disease, heart disease, and premature death. He also said repeatedly they don't intend to undermine the authority of the local AQMD. Supporting a resolution is a lot different than supporting a bill. Around the table there was support for a local solution that doesn't undermine air quality regulation.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@BarbaraPeters 

Unfortunately, the issue with the fire pits has less to do with air quality and more to do with a few rich NIMBYs who have homes right up next to the public beach and don't want the public to actually use it...

BarbaraPeters
BarbaraPeters

@FishWithoutBicycle @BarbaraPeters And how could "a few rich NIMBY's" conjure up so much science? Do you really believe the American Lung Association is making it up that wood smoke causes lung and heart disease and premature death? Did you know that the International Agency for Research on Cancer – part of the World Health Organization – put particulate matter (PM) on the Group 1 list of known carcinogens, alongside plutonium, radium and asbestos. PM is what the AQMD measured emitting from the fire rings at levels that exceed public health guidelines. Do you think the WHO is acting on behalf of a few imagined NIMBY's? Time to advance the discussion beyond class warfare and begin considering how cleaner burning fuels might be a win-win solution.


FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

@BarbaraPeters@FishWithoutBicycle  

If people really cared about cleaning up the air in this state they'd focus on more mass transit and less cars on the roads. They would apply stricter regulations to industrial emissions. But, no, conveniently the most pressing threat to clean air are fire rings on the public beach. I'm not disputing your science...just what I view as a woeful lack of prioritizing.

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