EPA Proposes New Woodstove Regulations: You Can Comment!

Elmira Fireview Wood Cookstove
Elmira Fireview Wood Cookstove


The EPA recently proposed a change to the rules regarding wood stove emissions.  These new rules set a high bar, and most specifically address stoves that are the most polluting models on the market.  Those stoves were exempt in the last round of rules, which were put into law in 1988.  It also tightens standards significantly for low-polluting stoves.

The new rules would eliminate many types of non-airtight stoves, wood-fired cookstoves and wood-fired furnaces, IF they do not meet tough new standards.  So far as I know, none of the current stoves in those categories meet the new requirements.  It is possible, but unlikely, that they will be able to.
You Can Comment! See Link Below
I have been personally following the development of the new rules for months.  You can see full details on the new rules at the EPA’s website: http://www2.epa.gov/residential-wood-heaters/proposed-new-source-performance-standards-residential-wood-heaters
The proposed rules have led to an outcry from people who depend on those types of stoves for heat.  However, it’s important to note that the EPA does not plan to ban you from using such stoves.  They only propose banning the sale of new stoves that don’t meet the regulations.  And, I think it is a certainty that the new regulations will mean that new stoves are more expensive.
The EPA also proposes tightening the rules for conventional wood stoves.  These stoves were already regulated by rules the EPA put in place back in 1988.  They make very little pollution already, and will make even less if they can comply with the new rules.  That’s because the new rules are tough.  About 80% of the stoves on the market will not meet the new standards without changes.
It’s important to remember three key things about these changes.
1) The EPA is not planning to ban the use of stoves you already use.  They say they only want to apply some new regulations that will apply to the sale of new stoves.
2) The rule changes have been proposed.  They aren’t law yet!  You can protest the changes by clicking here.  And, NOW is the time to protest if you want to have an affect on the new rules.  Click here to file your protest online.
3)  The new rules will result in sweeping and disruptive changes. I think it is a certainty that some manufacturers will go of business, jobs will be lost and consumers will have less choice.  Prices will be higher.  On the other hand, most of the effect will be felt on notoriously high polluting stoves like outdoor furnaces.  The air quality and the health of people who live in rural areas will undoubtedly improve as a result.
Lehman's store, east entrance.
We’re here to help you live the country life you want, by keeping you up to date on issues like the proposed EPA regulations for wood burning stoves.

At Lehman’s, our bottom line is this:  I’m confident that many wood stove manufacturers will find a way to respond.  Wood burning stoves will continue to be part of America’s rural landscape.  The new stoves will be more expensive, but also more efficient and less polluting.  No matter what happens, we are committed to helping you find safe and effective ways to heat and cook without electricity.

Galen Lehman, president, Lehman's Hardware
Galen Lehman
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