News Brief

EPA to Tighten Pollution Rules for Wood Heaters

The new regulations will slash particulate emissions from woodstoves, wood hydronic heaters, pellet stoves, and masonry heaters.

Proposed EPA Particulate Emissions Limits for Wood Heaters

Source: U.S. EPA
For the first time in decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed updated emissions standards for new wood heaters. The new rules would reduce particulate emissions from wood heaters an estimated 80% and would also greatly expand the categories regulated by EPA.

Under the proposed regulations, new wood heaters would have to meet emissions standards in a two-step process, with a small reduction in emissions within 60 days after the final rule is published and a much larger reduction in emissions within five years.

Current EPA standards, issued in 1988, apply only to adjustable-burn-rate woodstoves (those designed to allow airflow changes) and woodstove inserts. The new standards would also apply to single-burn-rate woodstoves (which pollute more because they don’t allow for airflow adjustments; these are commonly called “EPA-exempt” stoves) and to various new types of wood heaters—pellet stoves as well as wood-fired hydronic heaters, forced-air furnaces, and masonry heaters.

EPA is also seeking comment on regulation of emissions from new fireplaces, which are not considered heaters.

Once finalized, the rules will go into effect in 2015, with full compliance phased in over five years.

For more information:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

epa.gov

Published February 3, 2014

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