States, groups demand EPA update 25-year-old source performance standards for residential wood heaters

Aug 30th, 2013 | By | Category: Featured Story

States and public advocacy groups are demanding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency update 25-year-old new source performance standards for residential wood heaters to account for expanded use and new technology, according to intent-to-sue notices posted on the agency’s website Thursday.

Click here to read the letter from the CT Attorney General’s office stating that Connecticut along with  six other states — Rhode Island, Vermont, Oregon, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts, as well as the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency of Washington State — planned to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for their  lack  of promulgating new source standards for residential wood heaters — under the clean air act.

The petitioners argue that residential wood heaters are fired up much more frequently since the rules were crafted in 1988, including a dramatic hike from the exempted category of boilers. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to review and revise the standard every eight years, but the agency has yet to even consider updating the rule, according to the two notices.

“Given the harm wood smoke poses and the ready availability of technologies to reduce emissions from regulated and unregulated wood heaters, revision of [the rule] is appropriate and, indeed, required,” the nonprofit groups’ notice said.

The American Lung Association, Clean Air Council, Environmental Defense Fund and Environmental and Human Health Inc. filed their notice of intent to sue on the same day as New York, Massachusetts and five other states, with all the petitioners threatening to sue the EPA if the agency doesn’t take action to address the outdated standards.

The EPA’s own statistics reveal that pollution from wood burning devices made up 13 percent of the country’s fine particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, or PM 2.5, according to the groups.

For more on this story, visit: EPA Faces Challenge To Wood Heater Emissions Rule – Law360.

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