2010 March 9: CA Berkeley: Wood stove Ord. amended to exempt cooking devices RAWSEP View: Special interests want to exempt themselves from clean air laws
Community Environmental Advisory Commission
2118 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704 ● Tel: (510) 981-7460 ● TDD: (510) 981-6903 ● Fax: (510) 981-7470
E-Mail: toxics@CityofBerkeley.info Website: http://www.CityofBerkeley.info/toxicsr
March 9, 2010
To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Community Environmental Advisory Commission
Submitted by: Nabil Al-Hadithy, Secretary, CEAC
Subject: Amending Section 19.28.060 of the Berkeley Municipal Code to Exempt
Cooking Devices from the Ordinance
Adopt first reading of an ordinance amending section 19.28.060, exempting wood
burning cooking devices from the ordinance controls
FISCAL IMPACTS OF RECOMMENDATION
Enacting this ordinance will save staff time, as well as reduce the economic burden for
some food establishments.
CURRENT SITUATION AND ITS EFFECTS
The existing regulations (Section 19.28.060) cannot easily be applied to cooking
devices that use wood fuels. Cooking produces more smoke from fats dripping into the
wood fire than from the wood itself, yet the existing code applies only to wood smoke.
This amendment will exempt cooking devices from regulation.
Small particulates are harmful to health. The smallest particulates, less than 2.5
millionth of a meter, are the most harmful. The harm is twofold. First, the physical
presence of ultrafine particles stuck in lungs causes acute adverse reactions to the lung
and to the heart. In addition, the particulates can be carcinogenic and cancer is a
chronic human impact.
Wood smoke is responsible for up to a third of all such particles in our air. The Bay Area
Air Quality Management District (AQMD) regulates air quality. The AQMD was unable to
provide a comprehensive and uniform code to restrict wood smoke regionally. Instead it
asked local municipalities to adopt local ordinances to reduce wood smoke. Berkeley
City Council requested CEAC look into the requirements of the AQMD. The Council
adopted a CEAC proposal for restricting wood smoke on March 20, 2001 in Resolution
In 2009, staff requested that the CEAC revise the existing wood smoke ordinance,
which applies to both heating and cooking devices alike. Staff found it difficult to
Amending BMC 19.28.060 Wood Burning Appliances ACTION CALENDAR
March 9, 2010
implement this code for cooking devices because it only takes the wood smoke
component of restaurant smoke into consideration. The reason is that cooking devices
produce more smoke from burning fats that fall into the wood flame than from burning
the wood product itself. While staff has imposed the code requirements on some
restaurants, the process proved to be cumbersome.
Staff provided CEAC with alternate language and on December 3, 2009 and the CEAC
voted to adopt the changes as follows: Actioned: Motioned, Seconded, Passed
(Mulqueeney/Kim. For: Harris, Kim, Lee, Leventis, Mulqueeney. Absent: Murthy,
Thompson. Against: None. Abstain: None.) to amend the code to remove reference to
The CEAC has started to review complaints due to odors and smoke generated by
restaurants, and may come back to Council with a separate proposal address cooking
RATIONALE FOR RECOMMENDATION
By removing a section of the code that refers only to the wood component of cooking
smoke is a rational improvement and meets staff requests.
ALTERNATIVE ACTIONS CONSIDERED
Continue with existing code that requires staff to continue applying the controls to the
wood component of cooking smoke.
The City Manager concurs with the content and recommendations of the Commission’s
Greg Leventis, Chair, Community Environmental Advisory Commission, (415) 420-
ORDINANCE NO. -N.S.
AMENDING SECTION 19.28.060 OF THE BERKELEY MUNICIPAL CODE TO
EXEMPT WOOD BURNING COOKING DEVICES
BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of Berkeley as follows:
Section 1. That Berkeley Municipal Code Section 19.28.060 is amended to read as
Article 4. Wood Burning Appliances
19.28.060 3114 Wood Burning Appliances.
A new section is added to CBC Chapter 31 Masonry as follows:
3114.1 Wood Burning Appliances
A. The purpose of this section is to reduce the health risks caused by wood
smoke under the climatic conditions applicable to Berkeley.
B. For purposes of this section the following terms shall be defined as set forth
1. "EPA" means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
2. "EPA Certified" means any wood heater that is labeled "EPA Certified" in
accordance with the standards in Title 40, Part 60, Subpart AAA, of the Code of
Federal Regulations or equivalent, in effect at the time the wood heater is installed.
3. "Pellet heater" means wood heaters that burn pellet fuel exclusively and are
either EPA-certified or exempted under EPA requirements set forth in Part 60 Title
40, Subpart AAA, of the Code of Federal Regulations, February 26, 1988.
4. "Wood-burning" means that an appliance that burns wood or any wood-based
solid fuel, including but not limited to wood pellets.
5. "Wood burning cooking device" means any wood-burning device that is
designed or primarily used for cooking.
6. "Wood-burning fireplace" means any permanently-installed masonry or
factory-built wood-burning appliance, either open or with doors in front of the
combustion chamber, which is neither a wood heater as defined in 40 CFR 60.531
nor designed and used for cooking.