The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing more stringent air quality standards for new wood stoves and other residential wood heaters. EPA officials say the new standards would make the appliances 80 percent cleaner and more efficient.
The proposal would phase in tighter standards on new manufactured wood stoves, pellet stoves, hydronic heaters and forced air furnaces over the next five years.
The standards would not apply to existing stoves and heaters—nor would they apply to fireplaces, fire pits or backyard barbecues.
In an overview of the proposed updates, EPA officials say smoke from residential wood heaters increases particle pollution to levels that pose serious health concerns.
The EPA’s existing regulations have been in place since 1988.
Since that time, the agency says technologies for reducing emissions from wood heaters have significantly improved.
Utah bans the use of wood burning stoves on bad air-quality days.
The EPA is expected to issue a final rule in 2015