Saturday, January 04, 2014
EPA Regulating New Wood Stoves
The proposed new rules would require manufacturers of wood stoves, wood-pellet stoves, forced-air wood furnaces, wood boilers, fireplace inserts and masonry heaters to build a generation of devices that burn 80 percent more cleanly than current models. The rules would go into effect in 2015 and become more strict after five years, though the EPA is asking whether they should be phased in over eight years instead.
Particulate matter is a big health issue and has been linked to heart attacks and strokes and can aggravate asthma. A number of studies have linked it to premature death among people who suffer from heart and lung disease. Other pollutants in wood smoke include carbon monoxide and organic compounds that contribute to smog.
About 11.5 million U.S. homes use wood for heat, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The EPA estimates that 85,695 wood stoves will be manufactured and sold in 2015.
In places where wood is commonly used for heat, communities are occasionally forced to issue “no-burn” alerts when the concentration of particles in the air becomes too high. Utah banned the use of wood-burning stoves in five counties last month when weather conditions led to high levels of fine particles in the air. Wood is a popular heat source in parts of New England, the upper Midwest and the Northwest. (Wash Post, 1/3/2014)