AG Joins Request for New Rules on Wood Burning Boilers

By Swebilius, Phyllis | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), September 6, 2013 | Go to article overview

AG Joins Request for New Rules on Wood Burning Boilers


Swebilius, Phyllis, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


hartford » Connecticut's attorney general, and seven others, have put the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on notice they want standardized laws governing residential wood-burning heaters.

Wood smoke contains pollutants that harm the coronary and pulmonary systems and can cause cancer, the eight said in a letter to the EPA.

The boilers have been linked to increased incidence of asthma and other respiratory problems, "especially in young children," the letter says.

"They are wood stoves that use forced air or hot water for central heating, whereas a wood stove is used for space heating," said Jeff Hallowell, an owner of ClearStak LLC, an environmental engineering company in Woodstock.

The letter of intent to sue EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was signed by state Attorney General George Jepsen and the AGs of New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

It cites the "patchwork" of regulations in individual states and seeks federal standards to "provide certainty" for manufacturers and buyers.

The eight are acting because of "outdated" standards on the heaters, which they say are "a major source of air pollution in many communities."

Pollution is caused by poor design, inefficient burning of the wood and smoldering of the flame, it said.

One state dealer, John Shamansky of Connecticut Outdoor Wood Furnaces in Woodbury, said rules are needed.

"We want regulations. We as an industry want regulations," Shamansky said.

Jepsen, in a prepared statement, said EPA has been working on standards for some time, but the eight "were concerned that the efforts may have stalled."

Jepsen said the effort was led by New York state.

The EPA should move to "require appropriate limits."

"Controls on new outdoor wood boilers are important for protecting public health," Jepsen said.

Since 1988, use of residential wood heaters and boilers has grown; boilers are not covered by EPA regulations, the letter says.

Boilers burn stick wood or pellets. They can look smaller than a tool shed, but bigger than a dog house, depending on how much heat they generate. …

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