Northern California Air District Clears The Air About Charbroilers

Financial help for operators to clear the air is available in counties east of San Francisco. In an effort to reduce emissions from charbroiling meat, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District is offering funding to retrofit commercial under-fired charbroilers. The units emit particulate matter and volatile organic compounds, both considered pollutants harmful to health. The Charbroiler Incentive Program (CHIP) is funding $500,000 worth of retrofit emission-control devices for commercial cooking facilities operating at least one under-fired charbroiler.

The Air District estimates five to 10 projects will be funded in the district, which covers eight counties: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings and the Valley air-basin portion of Kern. Only facilities operating in the district for at least two years are eligible. Funding is restricted to under-fired charbroilers which are not chain-driven. Targeted retrofit devices include HEPA filtration systems; electrostatic precipitators; wet scrubbers; thermal oxidizers. These must reduce VOC emissions by 86% and particulate matter 10 microns and under by 83%.

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