Nanny State of the Week: Bay Area bureaucrats ban fireplaces, wood stoves

UNDER FIRE: Officials at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District don't like to cozy up to a the fire on cold winter nights -- and they don't want you to do it either.

By Eric Boehm  /  Watchdog

Nothing cuts through the chill of a winter night like cozying up to a fireplace. But thanks to government nannies at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, many new residents of San Francisco will be deprived of this simple pleasure in coming winters.

That’s because the local bureaucracy in San Francisco has banned wood-burning heaters, stoves and fireplaces in any new home built within the nine counties subject to the district’s edicts. It claims the rules “will significantly improve the agency’s wood burning regulation,” but all that really means is they’re adding new rules on top of old ones.

For some perspective on just how drastic this ban is, note that the district won’t even allow low-emission fireplaces approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Yep, the EPA isn’t strict enough for San Francisco.

To make the situation even more chilling, the new regulations also require that sellers of homes with wood-burning fireplaces give buyers a statement about the health risks of wood smoke.

So much for chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

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