Thursday, October 26, 2017

Heart & Stroke Foundation sends the WRONG message


What's wrong with this picture?


The Heart & Stroke Foundation's brochure advertising their 2017 lottery includes an image of a three-generation family sitting lakeside...AROUND A FIRE PIT!
Yes, yes, the device pictured is actually fuelled by propane, but that fact is disguised by a metal surround, presumably to make it look like the (authentic) wood-burning kind.

The message couldn't be more off base, unless the adults were passing cigarettes to the kids ("Let me light that for you, and then I'll teach you how to inhale!").

It's hard to believe that no one at H&S is aware of recent research connecting wood smoke with cardiovascular issues, such as the study done in B.C. and funded by Health Canada, that found increased levels of fine particulate matter were associated with increased heart attacks in seniors: http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Citation/2017/05000/Biomass_Burning_as_a_Source_of_Ambient_Fine.5.aspx

H&S does have a Position Statement buried on their website entitled "Air pollution, heart disease and stroke", but it hasn't been updated since 2009, and the dangers of burning wood/inhaling particulate matter aren't mentioned in any of the "healthy lifestyle choice" advice offered up front.

The issue is even more disturbing when one considers that the person who disregards all the conventional advice offered on the H&S website (concerning weight, diet, exercise, smoking, medical attention), probably puts only their own health at risk, while the person who regularly burns wood damages the health of their entire community.

It would be wonderful to see the Heart & Stroke Foundation redeem itself from this faux pas by launching a wood-smoke-awareness campaign.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Message to WEAC

Oh, the irony!
Sign at Cowan Park, with fire pit in background.


e-mail sent July 2017:

Hello, members of WEAC
It has been over a year since I last had occasion to comment on your agenda, so I will once again touch base with you and share some thoughts.
Last July the subject of your Green Tips column in WOW was smog, to which I responded with a UR opinion piece published in the Sentinel Review on July 26, 2016; it's also on my blog, with your column reproduced for reference:  https://cleanairforwoodstock.blogspot.ca/search?updated-max=2016-08-13T08:41:00-07:00&max-results=7
Needless to say the dangerous and highly polluting practice of open air burning continues to be legal in Woodstock, and what I called "the general level of ignorance regarding wood smoke" prevails (see the post "Would you do this to YOUR grandmother?", which includes an excerpt from the MOECC's website):  https://cleanairforwoodstock.blogspot.ca/

Today I would like to bring to your attention the website of Doctors and Scientists Against Wood Smoke Pollution:  http://woodsmokepollution.org
I encourage each of you to explore the material presented under the "Health", "Residential Sources" and "Environment" tabs, including the extensive bibliographies of scholarly articles.
You might then wish to ask yourselves why WEAC continues to tolerate a practice as damaging to human health and to the environment as open air burning.

I look forward to your response.


In that e-mail I provided links to three sites:
1) the website of DSAWSP, which includes a bibliography of over 400 articles regarding wood smoke, which I encouraged you to explore
2) Pictures and story of the campfire event held at Woodingford Lodge in September of 2016
(and if this event didn't horrify you, you need to review the previous information)
3) my critique of WEAC's Green Tips column on smog, from July 2016

To which I would like to add one comment:  the column discourages driving and idling.
Research done in California where they studied the impact of beach bonfires concluded:
"The particulate emissions rate per minute from one beach bonfire is equal to that from:
Three average big-rig diesel trucks; or
The secondhand smoke from 800 cigarettes. Wood smoke contains many of the same toxic chemicals as secondhand cigarette smoke.
Also, one fire pit in one evening emits as much fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) as one big-rig diesel truck driven 564 miles."
http://www.aqmd.gov/home/library/public-information/2013-news-archives/fire-pit-board-decision

There has been a lot of new information about fine particulate matter since Woodstock's Bylaw was passed in 2013.
This is what the MOECC says:
"Exposure to fine particulate matter has been associated with hospital admissions and several serious health effects, including premature death. People with asthma, cardiovascular or lung disease, as well as children and elderly people, are considered to be the most sensitive to the effects of fine particulate matter. Adverse health effects have been associated with exposure to PM2.5 over both short periods (such as a day) and longer periods (a year or more)."
http://airqualityontario.com/science/pollutants/particulates.php

The World Health Organization, on particulate matter:

"PM10 and PM2.5 include inhalable particles that are small enough to penetrate the thoracic region of the respiratory system. The health effects of inhalable PM are well documented. They are due to exposure over both the short term (hours, days) and long term (months, years) and include:
• respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity, such as aggravation of asthma, respiratory symptoms and an increase in hospital admissions;
mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and from lung cancer.

Susceptible groups with pre-existing lung or heart disease, as well as elderly people and children, are particularly vulnerable. For example, exposure to PM affects lung development in children, including reversible deficits in lung function as well as chronically reduced lung growth rate and a deficit in long-term lung function (4). There is no evidence of a safe level of exposure or a threshold below which no adverse health effects occur. The exposure is ubiquitous and involuntary, increasing the significance of this determinant of health."
http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/189051/Health-effects-of-particulate-matter-final-Eng.pdf

The most important recent document to bring to your attention is a joint publication from Public Health Ontario and Cancer Care Ontario entitled "The environmental burden of cancer in Ontario"
https://www.cancercare.on.ca/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=362767

Background legislation:  most open air burning is limited under
O. Reg. 213/07, PART 2, FIRE SAFETY, FIRE CODE 2.6.3.4. (1), which states:

"Open-air burning shall not be permitted unless approved, or unless such burning consists of a small, confined fire, supervised at all times, and used to cook food on a grill or a barbecue."

Municipalities who are savvy, leave it at that.

Personally, I couldn't serve on a committee that I felt existed only for window dressing.
I wonder if the same is true for the other Woodstock advisory committees.
Personally, I am really annoyed if my tax dollars are wasted on such committees, and I'm beyond annoyed, I'm angry, that my tax dollars are spent on an infrastructure that exists only to pollute, by which I mean Fire Dept. staff going out to inspect sites and issue burn permits, and then wasting more resources in responding to complaints.

I expect that everyone on this committee has respect for science, and supports evidence-based decision making.
The evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that burning wood is bad for human health, and bad for the environment.
If this committee chooses to NOT advise Council AGAINST open air burning, every one of you is complicit in the suffering, illness, and expense - both personal expenses, and our collective healthcare costs - that ensue from Woodstock's open air burning policy.

other studies:

Biomass burning as a source of ambient fine particulate air pollution and acute myocardial infarction
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5389593/
Air pollution and mortality in the Medicare population
www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1702747
Particulate matter air pollution and the risk of incident CKD and progression to ESRD
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28935655





Saturday, April 29, 2017

Doctors and Scientists Against Wood Smoke Pollution

As the weather warms and the smoggy air of FIRE PIT SEASON descends on southwestern Ontario, anyone concerned with local air quality might wish to have a look at the website of the above organization.
At London's Community and Protective Services Committee meeting on April 25, most committee members made it clear that they were indifferent to
a) a mountain of peer-reviewed, scholarly articles documenting the dangers of wood smoke
b) the suffering of local residents forced to inhale toxins from recreational burning.
Backyard fire pits are illegal under the Ontario Fire Code.  Municipalities have to do an end run around the provincial legislation by granting "permission", by passing their own Open Air Burning Bylaws, (thus demonstrating their indifference to air quality, human health, and global warming).
All members of London Council need to hear from concerned citizens ASAP.

The above text appeared as a UR Opinion piece in the London Free Press on April 26, 2017

Doctors and Scientists Against Wood Smoke Pollution

Would you do this to YOUR grandmother?


Outdoor Campfire for residents

On Wednesday, Sept. 21 Woodingford Lodge residents, family members, staff and volunteers gathered around an outdoor campfire beside the community garden for some songs, roasted marshmallows and hot dogs. The Woodstock Fire Department was also on hand to enjoy the event, while ensuring the event went off safely.
Thanks to all of the staff and volunteers who helped make the evening possible!  


Pictures and story are from Oxford County's website: 
http://www.oxfordcounty.ca/Services-for-You/Long-Term-Care

I suppose that this event just illustrates the general level of ignorance regarding WOOD SMOKE in Oxford County.
Apparently no one involved (Long Term Care staff, families, volunteers, and [gasp] the Fire Dept.!) had any qualms about exposing a group of vulnerable residents to a hefty dose of particulate matter (of which the World Health Organization tells us that there is NO safe level of exposure), and all the other toxins that are found in wood smoke.

From the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change website:
Air Quality Ontario: Particulate matter
"Exposure to fine particulate matter has been associated with hospital admissions and several serious health effects, including premature death. People with asthma, cardiovascular or lung disease, as well as children and elderly people, are considered to be the most sensitive to the effects of fine particulate matter. Adverse health effects have been associated with exposure to PM2.5 over both short periods (such as a day) and longer periods (a year or more)."

From the DSAWSP website:  https://woodsmokepollution.org/particulate-pollution.html
"Increases in particulate pollution levels can trigger heart attacks, strokes and irregular heart rhythms, especially in those with preexisting heart or lung diseases, and aggravate other lung  diseases such as asthma anCOPD."

"A study of New England Medicare recipients over age 65 determined that the death rate rises for each 10μg/m3 increase in PM2.5, both from short-term and long-term exposure, and even when pollution levels do not exceed US EPA or World Health Organization thresholds."


Should I even mention the carcinogenic food served:  burnt sugar and nitrate-laced processed meat?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

London: April 25, 2017

Wood Smoke: Background for CPSC presentation

Doctors and Scientists Against Wood Smoke Pollution

As a society, we made a choice that people must not be exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke against their will. Given what we now know, it is time to extend this attitude to wood smoke.

https://woodsmokepollution.org/

Sam Harris:  The fireplace delusion

The case against burning wood is every bit as clear as the case against smoking cigarettes. Indeed, it is even clearer, because when you light a fire, you needlessly poison the air that everyone around you for miles must breathe. Even if you reject every intrusion of the “nanny state,” you should agree that the recreational burning of wood is unethical and should be illegal, especially in urban areas. By lighting a fire, you are creating pollution that you cannot dispose. It might be the clearest day of the year, but burn a sufficient quantity of wood and the air in the vicinity of your home will resemble a bad day in Beijing. Your neighbors should not have to pay the cost of this archaic behavior of yours.

https://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-fireplace-delusion

Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment: 17 reasons to ban wood burning

1. All pollution is not created equal. Wood smoke is the most toxic type of pollution in most cities, more dangerous than auto pollution and most industrial pollution. Lighting a wood fire in your house is like starting up your own toxic incinerator.
2. Lifetime cancer risk is 12 times greater for wood smoke compared to an equal volume of second hand cigarette smoke.
3. Burning 10 lbs. of wood for one hour, releases as much PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) as 6,000 packs of cigarettes.
4. Toxic free-radical chemicals in wood smoke are biologically active 40 times longer than the free radicals in cigarette smoke.
5. Wood smoke is the third largest source of dioxins, one of the most intensely toxic compounds known to science.
6. The very small size of wood particles make them seven times more likely to be inhaled than other particulate pollution.
7. Wood smoke easily penetrates homes of neighbors creating concentrations up to 88% as high as outdoor air.
8. If you smell wood smoke, you know you are being harmed. The sweet smell comes from deadly compounds like benzene.
13. Wood smoke is the only pollution emitted right where people spend most of their time. It disperses poorly, is not evenly distributed and stays in the air longer because of its small size. Concentrations can be 100 times higher for neighbors of wood burners than what is captured at the nearest monitoring station. Real local “pollution victims” are created even when overall community levels are low.
16. Long ago most communities passed ordinances protecting people from second hand cigarette smoke. Ironically those laws protect people at places they don’t necessarily have to be (restaurants, stores, buildings, etc). But in the one place they have to be, their own home, they have no protection from something even worse—wood smoke. People should have just as much protection from wood smoke as from cigarette smoke and for all the same reasons. We don’t allow people to blow cigarette smoke in your face, why should we allow people to blow wood smoke into your home?
17. Wood burning is not even close to carbon neutral over the short term, the next few decades, and it is that time frame that will make or break the climate crisis. Burning wood is extremely inefficient. Per unit of heat created wood produces even more CO2 than the fossil fuels do. Furthermore, the black carbon particulate matter released enhances the absorption of radiant heat in the atmosphere, making global warming worse, and prematurely melts already imperiled mountain snow pack.

http://uphe.org/priority-issues/wood-burning/wood-burning-quick-facts/

Ontario: protecting children from tobacco smoke

Motor vehicles with children inside
You must not light or use a tobacco product in a motor vehicle with anyone inside under 16 years of age. The law applies to both moving and parked vehicles – even if a window, sunroof, rooftop, door, or other feature of the vehicle is open.

Children’s playgrounds and publicly owned sports fields
It is illegal to smoke on and within 20 metres of children’s playgrounds and publicly owned sport fields and surfaces (e.g., areas for basketball, baseball, soccer or beach volleyball, ice rinks, tennis courts, splash pads and swimming pools that are owned by a municipality, the province or a postsecondary education institution)

https://www.ontario.ca/page/smoke-free-ontario


Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, on particulate matter:

Approximately 39% ... of PM2.5 emitted in Ontario in 2012 came from [the] residential sector.

Exposure to fine particulate matter has been associated with hospital admissions and several serious health effects, including premature death. People with asthma, cardiovascular or lung disease, as well as children and elderly people, are considered to be the most sensitive to the effects of fine particulate matter. Adverse health effects have been associated with exposure to PM2.5 over both short periods (such as a day) and longer periods (a year or more).

http://airqualityontario.com/science/pollutants/particulates.php

The World Health Organization, on particulate matter:

PM10 and PM2.5 include inhalable particles that are small enough to penetrate the thoracic region of the respiratory system. The health effects of inhalable PM are well documented. They are due to exposure over both the short term (hours, days) and long term (months, years) and include:
• respiratory and cardiovascular morbidity, such as aggravation of asthma, respiratory symptoms and an increase in hospital admissions;
mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and from lung cancer.

Susceptible groups with pre-existing lung or heart disease, as well as elderly people and children, are particularly vulnerable. For example, exposure to PM affects lung development in children, including reversible deficits in lung function as well as chronically reduced lung growth rate and a deficit in long-term lung function (4). There is no evidence of a safe level of exposure or a threshold below which no adverse health effects occur. The exposure is ubiquitous and involuntary, increasing the significance of this determinant of health.

http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/189051/Health-effects-of-particulate-matter-final-Eng.pdf

Region of Waterloo Public Health:  The Health Effects of Wood Smoke:

Emissions from wood burning can affect outdoor and indoor air quality. Outdoor air pollution has been associated with a wide range of adverse health effects and the scientific literature to date indicates that most sources, including wood smoke, appear to play a role in these effects. Smoke from outside can also seep into buildings, including nearby homes, and affect indoor air quality.
The health effects of wood smoke exposure include eye, nose and throat irritation, increased respiratory symptoms, exacerbation of asthma, and increased hospital admissions for lower respiratory infections. As with exposure to other substances, the health effects would be dependent on the degree of exposure to wood smoke, and would be influenced by factors such as the duration, magnitude and frequency of exposure.
While occasional exposure to wood smoke may cause minor and reversible problems (even with persons with respiratory disease), regular and continued exposure to this and other sources of smog may cause more significant health risks. The harmful pollutants associated with wood smoke can impact the health of otherwise healthy people. Young children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing cardio-pulmonary disease are most likely to be affected.

The best way to minimize the risk of health effects is to minimize the production of the air pollutant itself; in this case, wood smoke.

http://chd.region.waterloo.on.ca/en/researchResourcesPublications/resources/WoodSmoke.pdf

The Lung Association:  Expert Opinion on Residential Wood Burning

Breathing in wood smoke can cause increased respiratory symptoms, increased hospital admissions, exacerbation of asthma and COPD, and decreased your ability to breathe normally. If you have a lung disease, breathing in wood smoke can make your disease worst and cause a flare-up.

Environment Canada and Health Canada have identified many hazardous chemical substances in wood smoke, including:

PM2.5 (inhalable particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter) - PM2.5, which consists of a mixture of microscopic particles of varied size and composition, has been declared a toxic substance under the Environmental Protection Act. These particles can be inhaled deep into the lungs, leading to serious respiratory problems, including excess mortality, especially among those with pre-existing cardiopulmonary illness.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) - can reduce the blood's ability to supply necessary oxygen to the body's tissues, which can cause stress to the heart. When inhaled at higher levels, CO may cause fatigue, headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion and disorientation and, at very high levels, lead to unconsciousness and death. Fire Prevention Canada advises that CO detectors be installed in every home that has a combustion appliance or an attached garage.
Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) - can lower the resistance to lung infections. In particular, nitrogen dioxide can cause shortness of breath and irritate the upper airways, especially in people with lung diseases such as emphysema and asthma.
Hydrocarbons (HC) - can damage the lungs.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) - can cause respiratory irritation and illness. Some VOCs emitted by wood-burning appliances, such as benzene, are known to be carcinogenic.
Formaldehyde - can cause coughing, headaches and eye irritation and act as a trigger for people with asthma.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) - Prolonged exposure to PAH's is believed to pose a cancer risk.
Dioxins and furans- Some dioxins and furans are carcinogenic.
Acrolein - can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation.

The Canadian Lung Association recommends that you don't burn wood in residential setting.

https://www.lung.ca/news/expert-opinions/pollution/residential-wood-burning


South Coast Air Quality Management District [California]:  Fire pit decision, 2013

The particulate emissions rate per minute from one beach bonfire is equal to that from:
Three average big-rig diesel trucks; or
The secondhand smoke from 800 cigarettes. Wood smoke contains many of the same toxic chemicals as secondhand cigarette smoke.

Also, one fire pit in one evening emits as much fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) as one big-rig diesel truck driven 564 miles.

Smoke does disperse and is diluted as it travels downwind from a fire pit. An air quality model indicates that the concentration of PM2.5, the key harmful ingredient in wood smoke, decreases by about 98 percent at a distance of 700 feet from a fire pit, SCAQMD officials said.

Fine particles in wood smoke contain cancer-causing chemicals as well as common combustion pollutants such as nitrogen oxides. Numerous health studies during wildfires, and in communities where large amounts of wood or other biomass is burned, show that wood smoke causes respiratory irritation and an increase in hospital admissions for respiratory problems. Fine particles also can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases and are linked to premature deaths in people with these conditions.

http://www.aqmd.gov/home/library/public-information/2013-news-archives/fire-pit-board-decision

London's Community and Protective Services Committee April 25, 2017

Presentation to CPSC
April 25,2017

Good afternoon, everyone.
Full disclosure:  I don't live in London.
I'm from Woodstock, where we also have problems with open air burning.

So what's wrong with woodsmoke?
Pretty much all the same things that are wrong with cigarette smoke: it's a toxic chemical stew of compounds known to be carcinogenic and otherwise detrimental to human respiratory and cardiovascular systems.  In fact, wood smoke is quite similar to cigarette smoke, but with an extra dose of fine particulate matter (of which the World Health Organization tells there is NO safe level of exposure) AND a dump of greenhouse gases and black carbon, that contribute to  global warming.

Let's consider how we treat cigarette smoke in a civilized society.
We protect ourselves from it, and we go to great lengths to protect children and other vulnerable groups from it.  We educate the public about smoking hazards, and try to help the addicted to quit.
In Ontario it's illegal to smoke in a vehicle with a child on board, and it's illegal to light a cigarette within 20 meters of a children's playground or a sports field.  Compare that to London's Open Air Burning Bylaw, that permits backyard fires a mere 4 meters from a property line!   And consider the volume of material being burned: the tip of a cigarette versus a pile of wood: hundreds of times the fuel, and hundreds of times the smoke.  ALL dead vegetation produces similar, hazardous smoke when burned.  This applies to wood, autumn leaves, and tobacco.  No matter how dry, clean, and well seasoned your fire wood is, as the Utah Physicians expressed it, that fire pit is still a toxic incinerator.

Let's jump to California where the authorities are quite aware of air quality issues.  The research done there prior to the 2013 decision on beach bonfires determined that particulate matter from a bonfire disperses downwind, and decreases by 98%...at a distance of 700 feet.  Hence their ruling that bonfires must be at least 700 feet from the nearest residence.  Compare again to London's Bylaw with its 4-meter-from-the-property-line ruling.
Beaches tend to be breezy places; smoke will disperse.
For fire safety reasons, London's Bylaw prohibits open air burning when wind speed is above 15 k per hour.  Minimal wind means minimal dispersal.  To quote the eloquent Sam Harris:  "It might be the clearest day of the year, but burn a sufficient quantity of wood and the air in the vicinity of your home will resemble a bad day in Beijing".
That is a crucial concept to grasp: proximity.  On March 30 last year this committee was told that fire pits probably don't affect London's overall air quality.  That misses the point. People near a fire don't get to breathe overall or average air, as recorded by the city's one monitoring station; they get the "bad day in Beijing" air, probably right off the scale of the Air Quality Health Index.

London has issued this  "Burn responsibly" brochure, from which I quote:  "Following these regulations ensures you do not create a nuisance for neighbours".
NONSENSE.
Wood smoke is a serious pollutant and a health hazard, not a nuisance.  We used to think of tobacco smoke as a "nuisance", too, 3 or 4 decades ago.  And in that same report you received last year, 24-33% of complaints were generated by fully compliant fires.


Last Saturday, April 22, was Earth Day.

Scientists and their supporters around the world participated in Marches for Science.

You may have heard the following, in the media coverage

What do we want?
Evidence based science!
When do we want it?
After peer review!

There is a substantial body of scholarly, peer-reviewed studies on the damaging effects of wood smoke on human health, and on the environment....just like the mountain of studies that document the dangers of tobacco use, and second-hand smoke.

The next step is up to you:  to translate that evidence into action, by implementing a ban on open air burning in London.

A final word from the Doctors and Scientists Against Wood Smoke Pollution:

As a society, we made a choice that people must not be exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke against their will. Given what we now know, it is time to extend this attitude to wood smoke.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

e-mail to 100reontario.org and endorsing organizations

Hello
I sent the following e-mail to 100reontario.org, and am copying your organization because you have endorsed the 100% RE vision.
I, too, am a supporter of clean renewable energy, but not of the Oxford County Plan, as explained below, and on my blog.
If your organization has not had occasion to examine the issue of wood smoke pollution, I would encourage you to do so.
May we all have cleaner air to  breathe!
Alma

Hello 100reontario.org
Your website has recently come to my attention.
As a resident of Oxford County and a clean air activist/blogger, I would like to point out some serious flaws in Oxford's draft plan, which is available here:
http://www.oxfordcounty.ca/Portals/15/Documents/SpeakUpOxford/2016/100RE/OCDraft100REPlan20160622.pdf
The major problem is that the report condones "wood" and "biomass" as acceptable "renewables" (Chapter 1, Background) and as "targets" (2.1)
Burning wood is a way of life in Oxford County. As the area is largely rural/agricultural, wood stoves and outdoor wood boilers are common, as is open air burning in backyard fire pits (the latter being the issue that pushed me into being a clean air activist).  The county charges $2.00 for every bag of garbage picked up, so probably a lot of trash gets burned, too.
The report also perpetuates the fallacy that burning biomass is "carbon neutral" (8.1.4).
A second problem is that there is no plan to measure carbon or any other greenhouse gas emissions, nor is there a commitment to reduce emissions.
There isn't a single provincial air quality monitoring station in the county, which means that current wood smoke (and other) pollution is undocumented, and there is no historical data.
There appears to be no plan even to take inventory of existing carbon emitters (all those back road wood stoves and boilers).
What the county DOES propose to measure is its progression towards the 100% renewable target.  Since wood and biomass are defined as renewables, having homes change from natural gas heating to wood stoves would presumably be seen as progress in the right direction.  (!)

Many people have positive and sentimental associations with fireplaces and campfires, which may help explain why wood smoke pollution seems to fly below the radar.  Given that smoke from wood and other biomass combustion has now been shown to be worse than that produced by all fossil fuels (including coal), should you not make that fact clear on your website?   Your intention is to advocate for CLEAN renewables, so perhaps a detailed list of these would be helpful.  
You may wish to reconsider using Oxford County's plan - in its present form - as an example.

If anyone in your organization is in need of a primer on wood smoke, I recommend this website from Doctors and Scientists Against Wood Smoke Pollution:
http://woodsmokepollution.org

There are links to many more wood smoke-related websites listed on my blog:
www.cleanairforwoodstock.blogspot.ca
The posts dated Aug. 13 & 16, 2016 relate to Oxford County's Plan.

I would love to be in the front lines of those cheering for clean renewable energy; but it's impossible to cheer when one is choking on wood smoke.

Thanks for your attention to this; I will be sending copies of this e-mail to your "Endorsing Organizations", in the hope of raising awareness and generating more discussion on the topic of wood smoke pollution.