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Let’s bring zero-emission commercial ovens to SoCal

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

A few months ago, we talked about the risks of gas stoves. Having a gas stove in your home or workplace can threaten the health and safety of you and your family. Children living in homes with gas stoves have a 42% higher chance of experiencing asthma symptoms.

The good news is that there is growing momentum behind policies meant to limit the amount of harmful gas appliances in our buildings. It’s time to bring clean air and zero-emission commercial ovens to Southern California.

SoCal’s air quality regulator is proposing zero emission commercial ovens -- here’s why that’s a great idea.

On August 4, Southern California’s lead air quality agency—the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)—will consider an important regulation to improve air quality in the region, putting limits on commercial ovens based on the pollution they create. The proposed policy builds on the success of similar measures by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and would pave the way for more limits on health and climate-destroying pollution sources in the near future.

Cleaner air and major health benefits for 17 million SoCal residents

The proposal is good news for anyone who breathes air in Southern California. This year, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties again ranked as the most ozone-polluted region in the US.. Sadly, that’s nothing new – the area has earned that dubious distinction in 23 of 24 years that the Lung Association has ranked cities. The SCAQMD rule under consideration would limit ovens that emit NOx, a large component of ozone. Ozone is a powerful oxidant that can irritate the airways and harm our health. Even low levels of ozone can make the lungs more susceptible to infection and aggravate lung diseases such as asthma. The people most at risk from ozone include anyone with asthma, children, older adults, and people who spend time outdoors, especially outdoor workers. Children are at greatest risk because their lungs are still developing, more likely to have asthma than adults, and they are more likely to be active outdoors when ozone levels are high.

If SCAQMD approves a ban on NOx-emitting ovens this week, it would also be a big step toward improving the health of commercial kitchen workers who currently sacrifice their health every day breathing invisible, dangerous pollution from these appliances.

Our chance to keep moving toward all-electric buildings

Limiting NOx is also important for reaching climate goals. Appliances that emit NOx also burn methane, a powerful climate pollutant.

Recently, there was a Ninth Circuit ruling against the City of Berkeley that has put gas-free buildings on hold for dozens of California cities. This decision, brought forth by a lawsuit backed by SoCalGas and the gas industry, blocks one of our many paths towards clean energy and all-electric buildings. Fortunately, air quality regulations are not subject to this ruling. This is a unique opportunity to protect SoCal residents and forge ahead in the adoption of clean energy.

The SCAQMD board has an exciting opportunity to protect 17 million people in 163 SoCal cities by voting in support of this item. Fossil fuel appliance pollution caused 500+ premature deaths in CA in 2017.

Here’s how you can help win clean air for SoCal families

OC has two representatives on the SCAQMD board – City of Yorba Linda Councilmember Carlos Rodriguez and OC First District Supervisor Andrew Do. Let’s make sure they know that OC supports clean air and a climate-safe future.

  1. Click here to send an email to the SCAQMD board

  2. Join us at the SCAQMD board meeting Friday at 9am in Diamond Bar. Contact or for carpooling.

  3. Or call in to comment at the meeting

--> You can use this toolkit to help form your public comment and learn more meeting details.

--> Join us at the AQMD meeting in Diamond Bar at 9am on Friday August 4.

• Friday, August 4, 2023 in the Dr. William A. Burke Auditorium at South Coast AQMD, 21865 Copley Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91765, at 9:00 a.m., at which time evidence will be taken and all interested persons will be heard by the South Coast AQMD Governing Board.

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