Popular Woodstove Replacement Program Back for Limited Time

Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mono County, CA – In response to popular  demand, Mono County and Mammoth Lakes officials announce the return of the Woodstove Replacement Program for property owners who want to upgrade from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces to cleaner and more efficient heating systems.

Following an agreement in early 2014 between the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Air District Board-member agencies received settlement funds allocated on a per capita basis to pay for air pollution prevention programs across their districts. With several hundred thousand dollars between them, officials from the Town of Mammoth Lakes and Mono County chose to spend their funds on reducing wood smoke emissions from wood-burning heating systems throughout the region.

Similar to the Air District’s recent CAPP-funded woodstove replacement program, funding will be provided to local retailers who are contracted by qualified property owners to provide and install the new systems. Shared costs will be required from property owners, with amounts dependent on the new system and installation requirements.

To qualify for program participation, an existing wood-burning system (woodstove or open fireplace) must be a building’s primary heat source, it must be located within Mammoth Lakes or Mono County, and it must fall under one of several qualifying categories:

  1. Within Mammoth Lakes:  For properties purchased in 1990 or earlier* with owners who want to replace pre-1990 wood burning systems, $1,500 may be available toward the cost of a new EPA Phase II wood-burning system, or $2,000 toward a new EPA certified pellet stove or gas heating system. Documented proof of property purchase date is required.
  2. Newly purchased properties within Mammoth Lakes:  For properties required to replace an old, noncompliant wood-burning system by Town Code §8.30.050, and changed title within last few months, $500 may be available toward a new pellet or gas heating system. Documented proof of property purchase date and submittal of building permit is required. New woodstoves are excluded from this offering. 
  3. Within Mono County, excluding Mammoth Lakes:  For pre-1990 wood burning stoves and open fireplaces (not EPA compliant), $1,500 may be available toward a new EPA Phase II wood-burning stove or fireplace, or $2,000 toward a new pellet stove or gas system.
  4. Within Mammoth Lakes and Mono County:  For woodstoves currently being used which are newer than 1990 (EPA Phase I or II-certified stoves, excluding pellet stoves), $2,000 may be available toward a new, cleaner-burning pellet stove or gas heating system. This amount applies to replacing post-1990 woodstoves with pellet or gas (propane or kerosene) systems only.

*Mammoth Lakes properties that were purchased or changed ownership after 1990, and not upgraded to EPA certified heating systems (Phase I or Phase II) as required by Town Municipal Code 8.30, do not qualify for funding under this program.

All replaced stoves must also be freely relinquished to the retailer during new installation, and open fireplaces must be rendered inoperable.

This program is open to public participation through local participating retailers on a ‘first come, first served’ basis until allocated funds are exhausted, and qualified payments for new systems will only be made to participating retailers only.

All interested Mammoth Lakes and Mono County property owners are encouraged to immediately contact one of the participating retailers serving the area:  Alpine Stove & Mercantile (760/934-4416); Angelo’s Stove & Chimney (760/937-0860), Clean Sweep (760/934-3453); High Country Lumber (760/924-2720); Manor True Value Hardware for Mono County only (760/873-3106), and Batchelder Enterprises for kerosene heating systems (760/873-3800).

For additional program information, please call 760/914-0388                                        or email ljm.isaacs@gmail.com

CAPP Closes with ‘Tons’ of Success

Bishop, CA – The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District is pleased to report that as of the end of June, its Clean Air Projects Program (CAPP) has resulted in yearly reductions of over 1.13 million pounds of air pollution District-wide.

Throughout Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties, more than 29 different projects were funded in whole or in part through CAPP.  Initially kicked-off in late 2011, CAPP is now closing out the last of its projects.

Projects that covered bare dirt surfaces, roadways and parking lots resulted in the largest amount of reduced emissions. More than 885,000 pounds of fine dust is being controlled by new surfacing and paving, rock ‘mulch’ coverings, and new plantings, such as orchards and vineyards. This fine dust, or particulate matter air pollution, becomes a threat as the particle size gets smaller and can enter deeply into the lungs. Fine dust is especially dangerous to our youngest, oldest and sickest residents.

Three new street sweepers are also helping to control particulate matter air pollution by vacuuming roadways, preventing dust from being endlessly stirred into the atmosphere by passing vehicles and wind. And two new rodeo arena dust control systems are also helping to dampen and control tons of dust stirred by hooves and wind. Other projects will annually control thousands of pounds of air pollution from old inefficient woodstoves by providing Air District residents with new and much more efficient and cleaner wood, pellet, propane and kerosene heating systems.

Overall, this summer will have a lot less dust in the air originating from previously bare surfaces, while winter will have much less wood smoke throughout all three of the counties that comprise the Air District.

Carbon dioxide emissions (a main component of climate change realities) are also being reduced locally by several projects. An exhaust capture and filtration system at five Mono County vehicle maintenance facilities now stops thousands of pounds of CO2 and other harmful pollutants from entering the atmosphere, while public transit and an electric tractor have reduced fossil fuel use.

Thousands of pounds of other assorted, very dangerous air pollutants are also being controlled by these and other CAPP projects, including reductions in carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), benzene (C6H6) and diesel particulates.

In addition to air pollution reductions, CAPP funding has provided for locally grown produce through enhanced farming and community garden projects. The Town of Mammoth Lakes was also able to update its Air Quality Management Plan, and winter road safety has been increased in Mono and Alpine Counties with three new snow removal vehicles that can easily clear many more miles much faster than older vehicles, with far fewer engine emissions.

Providing for all of these positive outcomes, nearly $5.5 million has been paid to grantees from CAPP funds, with 64 percent of that going directly to local businesses and service providers. Additionally, more than $1.4 million was reported by grantees as shared costs, most of which also benefitted local providers. In total, these CAPP projects amount to an on-the-ground value of more than $6.8 million, all of which directly and indirectly benefits the region and all of its inhabitants, now and for years to come.

CAPP funds originated from a 2011 legal settlement between Great Basin and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power concerning dust mitigation on the dry Owens Lake bed. DWP paid $6.5 million to Great Basin to help offset impacts and mitigate emissions from the dry lakebed. $5.5 million of the settlement was specifically designated to directly fund “clean air projects” throughout the Air District, with an emphasis placed on projects in the southern Owens Valley. The settlement defined “clean air projects” as “improvements, replacements, or programs that directly or indirectly result in a reduction in air pollution emissions.”

Local resident Lisa Isaacs was contracted by Great Basin in 2011 to provide CAPP management services. With a background in environmental program management, she oversaw the implementation and payment of all CAPP-funded projects and is very excited to report on its many successes. “The vision shown by the Air District in settlement discussions with LADWP was very impressive,” she notes. “They turned a negative into a positive that directly benefitted the entire region in so many ways.”

According to Ted Schade, Great Basin’s Air Pollution Control Officer, “the CAPP funding allowed Great Basin to provide assistance for dozens of air pollution reduction projects that likely would not have taken place otherwise. We have enjoyed working with all the grantees. It was their concern for air quality and their innovative ideas that has made our air that much cleaner and healthier.”

May 1, 2013: All available funding for CAPP’s woodstove replacement program has been expended at this time. To date, 475 old, wood-burning systems throughout the District have been replaced with cleaner EPA-compliant systems. Please check this site periodically for future updates and/or contact participating stove retailers for more information.

$4.8 Million Approved in Local Air Project Funds To Benefit Many

Local communities will soon see a restored alkali meadow in Lone Pine, an electric tractor and new community gardens in Bishop, a PM10 street sweeper in Mammoth, and new snowplows in Alpine County that will help open local roads much faster following winter snows. These are just a few of the projects to be funded across Inyo, Mono and Alpine Counties through the Clean Air Projects Program, a joint effort of the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

After careful consideration, $4.8 million in CAPP funds provided by the LADWP has been approved to help pay for 22 air quality improvement projects in the Great Basin Air District. As proposed by local applicants, these projects will provide Continue reading