Clearing the Air
Residents of Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties who are currently relying on old woodstoves or open fireplaces to heat their homes may qualify for a new program recently launched by the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District. Targeting old wood burning devices that burn inefficiently and emit high levels of unhealthy smoke throughout the region, the Air District’s new ”Woodstove Replacement Program” is aggressively targeting these old heating systems with funding for new, EPA-compliant replacements. According to Ted Schade, the Air District’s Air Pollution Control Officer, “Because smoke from old woodstoves is emitted in our communities, where we live, work and play, it is a source of air pollution that impacts the health of all District residents, but it especially impacts our children and the elderly. Great Basin’s Woodstove Replacement Program will improve air quality and allow homes to be heated more efficiently.”
As part of the Air District’s larger’ Clean Air Projects Program’ (CAPP), the new Woodstove Replacement Program was approved earlier this month with $1.1 million to provide cleaner heating systems throughout the District. Qualified residents must live within this territory (including tribal lands) and be currently relying on a 1990 or older wood burning system or open fireplace as their main heating source (pellet, gas and kerosene systems do not qualify). Low-to-no cost replacement choices include new, EPA-certified, free standing wood or pellet stoves, wood and pellet inserts, and propane or kerosene heating systems.
Funding is limited to a ‘first come, first served’ basis. All interested, qualified Air District residents are encouraged to immediately contact a local woodstove and heating equipment retailer for more information. To find a list of participating retailers, go to CAPP’s weblink at http://capp.gbuapcd.org. Additionally, with invaluable assistance from the Bishop Post Office and Postmaster Alicia Wendt, several thousand postcards have also been mailed to Air District addresses advertising the Woodstove Replacement Program noting the list of participating retailers.
Discover your density
Mammoth Hospital has expanded its health and wellness services with the addition of body composition analysis with Discovery™ QDR bone densitometry, (DXA) system from Hologic. DXA is the most common method used in clinical trials investigating bone and body composition outcomes and has numerous advantages over other body composition techniques.
The prevalence of obesity has reached pandemic proportions. Globally, 1.8 billion people were obese or overweight in 2007, and the number of obese and overweight people now exceeds the underfed.
When associated with high waist circumference and high BMI, obesity is an independent risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases and conditions including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke as well as some cancers. In 2004 the financial impact both directly and indirectly amounted to $122 billion or 9.4% of total medical care costs, making obesity a serious public health problem.
For more information, please visit www.mammothhospital.com.
Animals attracted to wastewater
The Mammoth Community Water District Wastewater Treatment Plant is located on the edge of Jeffery pine forest and sagebrush scrub. This wild land setting along with the alluring smells and steady supply of fats and grease in the wastewater tanks make it a popular spot for local animals, particularly bears and ravens. These conditions present a unique and consistent challenge for Rob Motley, plant maintenance and instrumentation supervisor at the District.
“Bears are basically 500 pound raccoons with powerful and dexterous hands bent on destruction driven by appetite,” Motley said. One winter morning, staff arrived to discover a bear had removed a heavy metal grate and tossed it into another tank where it broke expensive machinery. District staff was forced to drain the tank to perform repairs. The bear’s quest for an easy meal took a toll of 36 hours of District staff time plus the expense of replacing the broken equipment.
After continuous innovation and testing, Motley has successfully implemented measures to keep bears and ravens from bathing and dining in the wastewater tanks. The District has installed an electric fence around the perimeter of the wastewater tanks. This new fence has proven to be an effective, non-harmful method of keeping the bears out; they can sense the electricity and won’t even touch the fence. Now that the bears are kept out, netting has been placed over the wastewater tanks to keep the ravens from dining and dashing. The success of the netting and deterrence of bears has convinced the District to invest in sturdy wire mesh covers for the open tanks. The results of District staff time and financial investments to maintain a critter-free wastewater plant has increased the plant’s efficiency and decreased employee time repairing damage and cleaning up after our wild neighbors.