In August, Air Pollution Control District Director Ted Schade told the Mammoth Town Council that the town is not done cleaning up its air. He said in 2006, Mammoth quit enforcing the change-out of old polluting wood stoves when property changes hands. He also said Mammoth still experiences twenty or more violations of state air quality standards ever year. Wednesday night, the Town Council will consider approving an update of the Town’s Air Quality Management Plan.
Director Schade had said that the Aspen Fire in August smoked up Mammoth’s air the way it used to be before no-burn days and street clean-ups started in 1990. Since 1994, the town has not violated federal air standards but has continued to breech state standards.
Town planners recommend the update in Mammoth’s Air Quality Management plan, saying the old plan is no longer accurate and could impact project approvals and transportation grants. Plus, the APCD came up with grant money for the Town to do the update, and improved air quality is part of the Town Vision Statement.
The 1990 plan pinpointed sources of air pollution as wood-smoke and road cinder dust. Wood stove change-outs, no-burn days and street sweeping addressed the problems. The new plan will reassess pollution sources, will show that Mammoth meets national air standards and will change some rules.
Under the new plan, no new wood burning appliances would be installed in multi-family developments, which has been the Town’s practice. All wood-burning appliances, except pellet stoves, would fall under the no-burn day program. And, the vehicle miles traveled would be re-evaluated.
The agenda bill on this issue says the new plan would maintain compliance with national air quality standards through 2050 and would improve but not create compliance with state standards.