UPDATE FROM ALBANY, N.Y. — New outdoor wood furnaces sold in New York state will have to comply with strict air pollution regulations approved by a state environmental board Wednesday.
The regulations, which take effect in 30 days, are designed to reduce pollution and adverse health impacts from the furnaces, also called boilers. The heaters are growing in popularity in rural areas because they save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year by using wood often harvested on the farmer’s or homeowner’s own land.
A Bill that will ban outdoor wood furnaces will be a Committee Bill before the Environment Committee of the CT State Legislature this session. The Bill will exempt farmers and their farm houses from the proposed ban. However, that exemption will not stop the Farm Bureau from lobbying hard — as they also want to protect the timber growers. Outdoor wood furnaces burn wood 7 days a week/24 hours a day.
The Farm Bureau is fighting hard in every state. CT now has 14 towns that have banned outdoor wood furnaces in order to protect their citizen’s health and their citizen’s property values.
The legislature’s Environment Committee’s vice chairman, Sen. Andrew Maynard, D-Stonington, was taken aback recently. “My understanding is that we were going to continue working toward compliance with federal regulations,” Maynard said. “If Ed (Meyer) has decided to support a ban, then I’m startled by that.”
Maynard, whose district includes Griswold, Preston, Plainfield, Sterling and Voluntown, said he remains against a statewide ban, calling it “a blunt instrument.” Public health and people’s use of the appliances can be balanced, he said.
From Melinda Tuhus of Public News Service:
NORTH HAVEN, Conn. – Smoke gets in your eyes…and in your throat and lungs, according to opponents of the shed-like structure known as an outdoor wood furnace. They are already banned in 14 Connecticut towns, but opponents are seeking a statewide ban.A research organization, called Environment and Human Health, Inc., recently put out a report detailing what it sees as the health impacts, including respiratory problems and exposure to carcinogens.
From the CT Mirror:
Connecticut is a state looking for renewable energy sources, where wood is in abundant supply. But one method of heating with renewable fuel, outdoor wood furnaces, could be all but banned under terms of a bill to be introduced next General Assembly session.