Southern Californians will be roasting their chestnuts in the oven if an air pollution plan is passed that would ban fireplaces in all new homes and prohibit wood-fueled blazes for as many as 20 days every winter. The regulations, proposed by South Coast Air Quality Management, seeks to clean up the most polluted region in the nation, reports the LA Times, as well as meet federal standards.
Officials can cut out 7 tons of nitrogen oxides (out of a goal of 192) by restricting fireplaces, even as realtors and homebuilders decry the removal of the hearth from the proverbial home. The AQMD encourages cleaner alternatives. "Let me tell you, the natural gas logs are wonderful," said a board member. (Read more fireplaces stories.)