Trump Administration to change Obama era wood stove and boiler emission regulations

leadarrows

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https://forgreenheat.blogspot.com/2018/04/trump-administration-to-change-obama.html

Delaying or weakening emission regulations will impact thousands of communities nationwide

The EPA is “taking steps to provide relief to wood heater manufacturers and retailers” according to a statement released by the EPA. The EPA expects to issue a proposed rule this spring that could potentially weaken parts of the regulations enacted under the Obama administration.

This move is supported by companies such as Central Boiler, the largest outdoor wood boiler manufacturer in North America, who has been aggressively lobbying to delay and weaken the standards that were to come into effect in 2020. But to some smaller companies who have already invested in the R&D to meet the stricter 2020 standards, the EPA announcement undermines the significant investment they’ve made in designing cleaner and more efficient wood heaters.

Thousands of cities, towns and communities are impacted by excessive wintertime levels of wood smoke, posing health risks and undermining support for an iconic renewable energy technology.

It is widely expected that part of the relief that EPA will be providing to industry is a three-year delay in the emission standards that were set to take effect in June 2020. Republicans in the House of Representatives had already passed legislation for a three-year delay, but the Senate has not. A court filingby the EPA said that it “intends to take final action on this first proposed rule by this fall,” and that would allow manufacturers to slow down their R&D and certification testing.

But the EPA can pick and choose which parts of the Obama era wood heater regulations that it wants to rewrite and they say they will issue a series of federal register notices asking stakeholders for comment and input on substantive issues. Experts believe that a statement released by the EPA indicate that emission test methods are being considered.

Environmental groups, industry and the EPA have been wanting to move away from testing and certifying wood stoves with crib wood – 2x4s and 4x4s – which has been the standard testing fuel since the first set of wood stove regulations in 1988. All parties want to switch to using cordwood, the fuel used by homeowners, recognizing that stoves have been fine tuned to run better on crib wood, rather than cordwood. This has resulted in stoves that may run at 4 grams an hour of smoke in the lab, but may be 10 grams an hour or more in the hands of homeowners. In a statement this week, the EPA said it is concerned that its regulation“may not be achieving the environmental benefits it was supposed to provide.”

The EPA appears likely to accelerate the transition to testing with cordwood but industry seems to favor an ASTM cordwood test method while some states and others are developing a new method that reflects how stoves are used by homeowners. This method, call the Integrated Duty Cycle (IDC) method is still in draft form and is a drastic departure from the traditional way that stoves have been tested since the 1988.

The EPA could also decide to weaken emission limits for wood boilers, which would primarily benefit the outdoor wood boiler industry led by Central Boiler.

Since the 2015 regulations went into effect, scores of wood and pellet stoves and boilers have been tested to meet the 2020 standards and most prices have not gone up significantly. The 2015 regulations began a process of requiring that manufacturers test and report their efficiencies, and delaying the 2020 deadline would set back efficiency disclosures, harming the ability of consumers to choose more efficient appliances.

States are allowed to set stricter standards but not looser ones, and if the EPA were to weaken the federal rule too much, some states could either stick to the original standards set by the Obama administration in 2015 or develop new ones. States like New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington are already battling long-term wood smoke problems and have started to chart their own course for wood heater regulations. If several states adopted a different cordwood test method or stricter emission standards, they could have a “California effect” of moving the entire market.

“We are very concerned that the Trump Administration may weaken consumer and environmental protections for wood stoves,” said John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat, an independent non-profit that promotes cleaner and more efficient residential wood heating. “Wood and pellet stoves are vital to help families affordably reduce fossil heating fuels, but we can’t move this technology forward unless they can burn cleaner in people’s homes,” he said.
Posted by John Ackerly at 12:47 PM
 
LondonNeil

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Dunno what it's like for you guys but over here its an area likely to get tightened up, although possibly making little difference as it is.
Basically for people like me in UK cities, the clean air act that brought an end to the smogs of the 50s means I can't burn wood in the house accept in an approved appliance (no controls on bonfires though). However even with the right stove, if I smoke out my neighbour and they complain I can be made to change the setup or stop.

The current trend for stoves for ambience, leading to a lot more stoves and many run by novice/occasional/uneducated users, combined with lots of diesel vehicles, and we miss eu targets for air quality and politicians are looking to crack down. Their suggestion, bring forward the next set of stove regs (copies of your EPA regs). However, without educating users, improving fuel quality (dry wood) and most of all without any real and effective means of enforcing it, it's largely carry on as is. One proposal was to outlaw the sale of older stoves, but since many people don't live in clean air zones, and many many of our small stoves are often capable of burning smokeless coal as well as wood, such a ban is heavy handed.
I'm all for improved air quality, though how to deliver it isn't clear.
 
macattack_ga

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The biggest cause of smoke is poor operation, either wet wood or shut down smoldering stoves. The first can't be tackled by the manufacturer, it would be good to find a way to tackle though

>>can't be tackled by the manufacturer
Hold my beer.

Sure it can. The same way auto manufacturer mitigate poor drivers.

By adding expensive gadgetry to remove control from the operator.

In a car: ABS, traction control, collision avoidance, blind spot detection, reverse sensors, etc, etc, etc.

In a wood burner... who knows... how about a built-in fuel moister meter, smoke opacity meter, or propane/NG pre-heater to bring the device up to clean burning temp. I sure hope it doesn't go that way.

Unfortunately, we legislate for the lowest common denominator.
 
muddstopper

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I have always like the smell of smoke from a fireplace or stove. What I find interresting is how my smoke can cause more air pollution that the US Forest Service doing one of their controlled burns. For the last several weeks the forest Service has been doing burns In NC, Ga, Tenn. These burns are of such scope that there is a heavy haze of smoke that reduces visibility for miles around. I have never seen that much haze from wood heaters in the winter time. The Forest Service is putting many times more smoke in the air than all the people burning wood to heat their house. I dont know how many acres the Government burns every year, the information is probably available if one looks for it, but it is enough that I feel it out paces the amount of wood homeowners use to heat their homes.
 

AIM

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The EPA in itself isnt such a bad idea but the fact that their wide sweeping rules and regs affects everyone is what annoys me. A guy living in Podunk, Idahoe with a population of 4 families per square mile is bound by the same regs a guy in Dallas, Texas or LA.
 
sbhooper

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The EPA in itself isnt such a bad idea but the fact that their wide sweeping rules and regs affects everyone is what annoys me. A guy living in Podunk, Idahoe with a population of 4 families per square mile is bound by the same regs a guy in Dallas, Texas or LA.

Exactly. There needs to be some environmental standard, but it is different in each location and population density. Under Obummy, the EPA got completely out of control. Even gravel pits have to be OK'd by them, now. Their tentacles have reached way past where they need to be. Common sense in regulation would go a long way.
 
MNGuns

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I have always like the smell of smoke from a fireplace or stove. What I find interresting is how my smoke can cause more air pollution that the US Forest Service doing one of their controlled burns. For the last several weeks the forest Service has been doing burns In NC, Ga, Tenn. These burns are of such scope that there is a heavy haze of smoke that reduces visibility for miles around. I have never seen that much haze from wood heaters in the winter time. The Forest Service is putting many times more smoke in the air than all the people burning wood to heat their house. I dont know how many acres the Government burns every year, the information is probably available if one looks for it, but it is enough that I feel it out paces the amount of wood homeowners use to heat their homes.


Wildlife refuge here is doing their annual burn. The smoke plume can be seen near 30 miles out. A haze has settled across the area....but the grass will look nice later.
 
LondonNeil

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Would suspect that they are worried that people in Dallas would buy the Idaho version. It's hard to police regional variations in product.

That's why Sadiq kahn, mayor of London, called for the sale of non compliant/older stoves to be banned. Could be seen as harsh on those people outside the cities/smoke control zones, but then if they need a new stove will a compliant one be much more costly? A little yes, but is that a fair price to pay for benefits for all?

I understand in some Scandinavian countries where wood burning is prolific, they have controls on sale of wood and penalties for sale of wet wood. I don't know if that's effectively enforced though.
 

sb47

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I think location and weather conditions are a big factor in how much smoke hangs around in the air and if it becomes an issue. Sometimes smoke rises and is not an issue, other times the air is heavy and the smoke just hangs low on the ground. In places where there are mountains, hills and valleys, smoke can get trapped and build up the very high levels. Also some people are close together and others are out in the country where there closest neighbor is a long way away.
 
gunny100

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https://forgreenheat.blogspot.com/2018/04/trump-administration-to-change-obama.html

Delaying or weakening emission regulations will impact thousands of communities nationwide

The EPA is “taking steps to provide relief to wood heater manufacturers and retailers” according to a statement released by the EPA. The EPA expects to issue a proposed rule this spring that could potentially weaken parts of the regulations enacted under the Obama administration.

This move is supported by companies such as Central Boiler, the largest outdoor wood boiler manufacturer in North America, who has been aggressively lobbying to delay and weaken the standards that were to come into effect in 2020. But to some smaller companies who have already invested in the R&D to meet the stricter 2020 standards, the EPA announcement undermines the significant investment they’ve made in designing cleaner and more efficient wood heaters.

Thousands of cities, towns and communities are impacted by excessive wintertime levels of wood smoke, posing health risks and undermining support for an iconic renewable energy technology.

It is widely expected that part of the relief that EPA will be providing to industry is a three-year delay in the emission standards that were set to take effect in June 2020. Republicans in the House of Representatives had already passed legislation for a three-year delay, but the Senate has not. A court filingby the EPA said that it “intends to take final action on this first proposed rule by this fall,” and that would allow manufacturers to slow down their R&D and certification testing.

But the EPA can pick and choose which parts of the Obama era wood heater regulations that it wants to rewrite and they say they will issue a series of federal register notices asking stakeholders for comment and input on substantive issues. Experts believe that a statement released by the EPA indicate that emission test methods are being considered.

Environmental groups, industry and the EPA have been wanting to move away from testing and certifying wood stoves with crib wood – 2x4s and 4x4s – which has been the standard testing fuel since the first set of wood stove regulations in 1988. All parties want to switch to using cordwood, the fuel used by homeowners, recognizing that stoves have been fine tuned to run better on crib wood, rather than cordwood. This has resulted in stoves that may run at 4 grams an hour of smoke in the lab, but may be 10 grams an hour or more in the hands of homeowners. In a statement this week, the EPA said it is concerned that its regulation“may not be achieving the environmental benefits it was supposed to provide.”

The EPA appears likely to accelerate the transition to testing with cordwood but industry seems to favor an ASTM cordwood test method while some states and others are developing a new method that reflects how stoves are used by homeowners. This method, call the Integrated Duty Cycle (IDC) method is still in draft form and is a drastic departure from the traditional way that stoves have been tested since the 1988.

The EPA could also decide to weaken emission limits for wood boilers, which would primarily benefit the outdoor wood boiler industry led by Central Boiler.

Since the 2015 regulations went into effect, scores of wood and pellet stoves and boilers have been tested to meet the 2020 standards and most prices have not gone up significantly. The 2015 regulations began a process of requiring that manufacturers test and report their efficiencies, and delaying the 2020 deadline would set back efficiency disclosures, harming the ability of consumers to choose more efficient appliances.

States are allowed to set stricter standards but not looser ones, and if the EPA were to weaken the federal rule too much, some states could either stick to the original standards set by the Obama administration in 2015 or develop new ones. States like New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington are already battling long-term wood smoke problems and have started to chart their own course for wood heater regulations. If several states adopted a different cordwood test method or stricter emission standards, they could have a “California effect” of moving the entire market.

“We are very concerned that the Trump Administration may weaken consumer and environmental protections for wood stoves,” said John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat, an independent non-profit that promotes cleaner and more efficient residential wood heating. “Wood and pellet stoves are vital to help families affordably reduce fossil heating fuels, but we can’t move this technology forward unless they can burn cleaner in people’s homes,” he said.
Posted by John Ackerly at 12:47 PM
are thay now trying to bann wood stoves
 
lknchoppers

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I have always like the smell of smoke from a fireplace or stove. What I find interresting is how my smoke can cause more air pollution that the US Forest Service doing one of their controlled burns. For the last several weeks the forest Service has been doing burns In NC, Ga, Tenn. These burns are of such scope that there is a heavy haze of smoke that reduces visibility for miles around. I have never seen that much haze from wood heaters in the winter time. The Forest Service is putting many times more smoke in the air than all the people burning wood to heat their house. I dont know how many acres the Government burns every year, the information is probably available if one looks for it, but it is enough that I feel it out paces the amount of wood homeowners use to heat their homes.

I agree, then you have the forest fires, outdoor fireplaces, outdoor fire pits, burning barrels, leaf burning all of these are not controlled by the EPA but they want to clamp down on the wood burning stove. If you are in the city it may be a problem but then again so is everything else. In the country it's not a problem where I live.
 

sb47

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Remember back in the 70's when auto pollution was a big thing and the haze would hang in the air? Then they implemented stricter rules and all car had to meat new standards. Catalytic converters, EGR valves, oxygen sensors and all cars had to pass emissions every year during safety inspections. Fast forward to today when there are millions more cars on the road but where did all the pollution go? It's still there only you can't see it anymore.
 
lknchoppers

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Cars are a whole other thing. Some states do not require ODB/emission checks on trucks bigger than a 1/2 ton. All that diesel you see blowing into the air from trucks and buses apparently is ok, and gas powered 3/4 ton trucks and bigger are not regulated by emissions either. It seems like they crack down too tight in one area and completely overlook others. In the end I think somebody is getting paid off.
 

sb47

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Cars are a whole other thing. Some states do not require ODB/emission checks on trucks bigger than a 1/2 ton. All that diesel you see blowing into the air from trucks and buses apparently is ok, and gas powered 3/4 ton trucks and bigger are not regulated by emissions either. It seems like they crack down too tight in one area and completely overlook others. In the end I think somebody is getting paid off.

I don't see smog like I use to back in the 70's. The steps they took did get rid of the visible pollution that was coming from cars did seem to work. Back then it was argued that the pollution components were robbing to much of the power and costing gas millage.
And back then they were right. But now cars are much cleaner, have more power and get better millage then they ever did.
 

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