FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2013
CONTACT: Stephanie Freedman, 916- 319-2072
Assemblyman Travis Allen Urges Local Residents To Attend AQMD Hearing This Friday
Hearing to ban beach bonfires will take place at 9 a.m. at the AQMD office in Diamond Bar
SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) is urging the communities from Orange and Los Angeles Counties to attend the upcoming South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) hearing this Friday, July 12th at 9 a.m. at their Diamond Bar headquarters.
“Simply put, we are talking about unelected bureaucrats trying to ban a cultural and historical tradition in our local communities. I sincerely hope that the board of SCAQMD takes into consideration the voice of the people when they discuss Rule 444, and the proposed amendments, on Friday,” said Assemblyman Allen.
The ban originated per request of The City of Newport Beach to the Coastal Commission to remove fire rings. Upon denial, the city turned to SCAQMD, changing their story to say that beach bonfires cause air pollution. Last week, Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff publicly acknowledged community dissent and sent a letter to the California Coastal Commission withdrawing the city’s controversial application to remove the fire rings. Unfortunately, Newport Beach’s letter to the Coastal Commission does not mean that the SCAQMD will stop their efforts. There is still a pending regulation by the SCAQMD that will be voted on this upcoming Friday, which could result in our communities’ loss of the historic right to enjoy beach bonfires.
Local California residents have voiced their overwhelming support of beach bonfires. Huntington Beach Mayor Connie Boardman, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, The Huntington Beach Visitor’s Bureau, the City of Huntington Beach, and many other public and local officials have spoken out in opposition to this initiative. The fire ring ban has attracted local, statewide and national media. The California Legislature unanimously passed Assemblyman Allen’s ACR 52 supporting beach bonfires in fire rings. Additionally, Assemblyman Allen has hosted multiple community bonfire rallies to draw further attention to the issue.
“We need to make our voices heard to show that we will not accept any attempts to ban beach bonfires. Beach bonfires are part of our lifestyle that has been passed down from generation to generation, and we will fight to keep them. When it comes to the ruling tomorrow on July 12th, our message will be loud and clear: ‘Our bonfire rings are here to stay’,” said Assemblyman Allen.
The address of the hearing is 21865 Copley Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91765. More information can be found on their website here.
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