California City Considers Equipment Requirements For Charbroiler Emissions

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is considering whether to regulate restaurants that use wood-fire cooking techniques. Although charbroiler emissions contribute only a tiny portion to the Valley’s bad air, the district is looking into requiring restaurants to install equipment to clean up smoke emissions and filter particles.

The air district, which must reduce overall pollution emissions by 283 tons per day, or more than 80%, by 2024, already regulates chain restaurants that use under-fired charbroilers. Regulating charbroiler-using restaurants would save less than half of 1 ton of PM-2.5 per day in the eight-county air district region. Most pollution in the Valley comes from cars and trucks.

The air district is looking for restaurants to participate in a pilot program to test the new technologies, with most or all costs covered. Officials hope to determine whether the technologies produce the anticipated reductions and weigh the costs with benefits.

The Bay Area already has regulations to limit restaurant smoke. The San Joaquin district will decide by 2017 whether to further pursue regulation.

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