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Monterey Bay Air Resources District announces Spare the Air program

Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD)

CENTRAL COAST — Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) has started announcing wintertime Spare the Air alerts for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.

MBARD will send out notifications by 3 p.m. on days when conditions warrant a Spare the Air alert. Conditions include colder temperatures and the presence on an inversion, which helps to keep wood smoke pollution trapped close to the ground.

While the alerts will routinely apply to San Lorenzo Valley in Santa Cruz County, there may be times when MBARD will provide an alert for areas in Monterey and San Benito counties.

MBARD is implementing this voluntary program, which began Nov. 19, to address unhealthful air quality conditions that may occur in the San Lorenzo Valley. 

“Public awareness and response are critical to help reduce pollution levels during stagnant winter conditions,” said Richard A. Stedman, air pollution control officer. “If air quality conditions do not improve, MBARD will take steps toward a mandatory program.”

During a Spare the Air alert, MBARD will ask residents to choose an alternative home heating source, such as electricity, propane, natural gas or pellets. 

The program runs from November through February.

Call the MBARD office at 831-647-9411 with any questions or concerns. To sign up for alerts via email, visit the website mbard.org and click on the “Subscribe to Email Lists” button.