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SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. – The SLO County Air Pollution Control District (SLO County APCD) announced it is incentivizing low-income SLO County residents to switch over to cleaner-burning devices rather than older, inefficient wood-burning fireplaces and stoves as a primary source of heat.

SLO County APCD provided more information in the following press release:

To reduce air emissions and the negative impact on people’s health from the particulate matter associated with wood burning devices, the District is partnering with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Woodsmoke Reduction Program to award a total of $289,000 in vouchers. Eligible low-income applicants are given priority until April 12, 2024. Low-income applicants could receive enhanced incentives up to $10,000 to switch from an old fireplace or qualifying woodstove to an electric heat-pump or up to $5,000 to switch to a cleaner-burning wood stove or electric stove. Beginning in April, SLO County APCD will begin accepting applications from all SLO County residents, regardless of income, for standard (lower) incentive levels. 

Smoke from burning wood contains major air pollutants including carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, fine particles and volatile organic compounds such as benzene and formaldehyde. These pollutants have the potential for serious adverse health effects, most commonly related to the respiratory system. 

The vouchers will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and applicants must work with a participating program vendor to purchase and complete their projects.

The program is part of California Climate Investments, which puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.

To apply or get more details, visit SLOCleanAir.org/community/grants/woodsmoke-reduction or contact Meghan Field at mfield@co.slo.ca.us or 805-781-5912. To find out how to monitor and understand the air quality in your neighborhood, visit SLOCleanAir.org.

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