Air district urges caution using generators during power shutoffs

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With a Public Safety Power Shutoffs in effect for more than 38,000 Yolo County and Solano County residents, the Yolo Solano Air Quality Management District (AQMD) urges people to use caution when operating emergency backup generators.

While backup generators offer convenience during extended power outages, it’s important to consider safety, noise and cost along with your emergency power needs.

“Backup generators aren’t for everyone,” said Mat Ehrhardt, Yolo-Solano AQMD’s Director. “Gas and diesel-powered generators emit toxic pollutants that are very dangerous to breathe. If you must run a generator, it should be outside away from windows, doors and vents.”

Diesel exhaust contains toxic air contaminants that have been linked to lung cancer and other adverse health conditions. Portable gas engines emit carbon monoxide, an invisible, odorless gas that can kill within minutes. Proper use and adequate ventilation are vital for the safe use of any generator.

It’s also important to know that there are different permit and registration requirements for use of emergency backup generators. Contact the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District for assistance.

For more information about the emergency backup generators, visit or call 530-757-3650. To learn more about the Yolo-Solano AQMD, including signing up for air quality alerts and the monthly newsletter, visit: Connect with the District on Facebook at: or on Twitter at:


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