Not content with restricting what kind of woodstoves New Englanders can have in their homes, the EPA is setting their sights on what kind of outdoor grills that people can use during cookouts.
The agency awarded a $15,000 grant to the University of California-Riverside to look into technology for grills that is intended to "reduce air pollution as well as health hazards in Southern California, with potential for global application". This has led to some concerns that the EPA will introduce further restrictions on newly manufactured propane grills.
One Missouri state lawmaker has taken exception to the EPA's maneuvering and has called for a campaign of defiance and civil disobedience dubbed the 'Pork Steak Rebellion' to preemptively thwart any moves by the agency.
It's a sentiment shared by State Senator Eric Schmitt.
Although this is not a new law the agency pushing to get on the books, Senator Schmitt isn't taking any chances.
He introduced a resolution discouraging any regulations on the tradition of backyard barbecuing. The lawmaker has a lot of support from people who couldn't agree more.
Schmitt has also taken his campaign to twitter--#porksteakrebellion--encouraging people to barbeque in their backyards.
Meanwhile, in Texas, Austin's city council is mulling an ordinance that would require BBQ joints or mobile food vendors within 150 feet of a residence to install restaurant grade scrubbers. Some businesses have stated they would have to move of shut down altogether due to the high cost of compliance.
Several council members believe the smoke being emitted from these businesses are having an adverse affect on the health and quality of life of the people who live nearby. Renteria says he’s fielded calls from concerned constituents.
“Saying that if this keeps on, they were just going to have to sell their house and move out,” said Renteria. “The whole resolution is not to try and run anyone out of business it’s just we all want to be good neighbors.”
This requirement does not apply to locations that burn supplemental wood chips and chunks in stove-top box smokers using gas-powered stoves or grills.
“We would have to leave town most likely, or just close up because it’s just not an option to put scrubbers in for eight smoke stacks,” explained Aaron Franklin, founder of the popular Franklin BBQ on East 11th Street.
Franklin says a solution is out there but they just have to find one so Austinites can enjoy BBQ without living in smoke.
“This BBQ thing creates a ton of revenue here in town,” said Franklin, who understands that something needs to be done to help neighbors cope with the smoke, but he feels that scrubbers are not the answer.
As recently as last year, the Texas state environmental agency- the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality- had received complaints about smoke had visited multiple BBQ joints in Austin, but in those instances the TCEQ found no violations.