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Newport Beach Installing Gas Fire Rings, Possibly With Meters

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For the past couple years, Newport Beach has desperately been trying to ditch the wood-burning fire pits at its beaches, claiming they're bad for air quality; the case ended up getting so embroiled (and stupid) that for a while there the Air Quality Management District was recommending a full ban on the rings in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, which the California Coastal Commission warned would be a threat to the public's use of the beach (they eventually settled on a compromise allowing many to stay in place). Now the dramz continues as Newport Beach goes ahead with a plan to take out more than half of their fire pits "and replace some with cleaner, gas-fueled rings to reduce smoke drifting into shorefront homes," according to the LA Times. About two dozen new gas/propane pits will be installed at a cost of $24k a pop. They haven't been designed yet, but could be either retrofits of existing rings with ceramic logs or "new ones based on models already found in backyards and mountain resorts." No one's decided yet who will pay for the gas itself, but the city is considering charging individual users via a meter system. Meanwhile the Coastal Commission still opposes removing any pits at all, and says Newport needs to get the state's permission to do any of this work; they're also not so hot on the idea of running gas lines under beaches.
· Air district moves ahead on Newport Beach plan for fire pits [LAT]
· Newport Could Ditch Wood-Burning Fire Rings For Propane [Curbed LA]