The Utah Air Quality board will discuss and develop strategies for controlling wood smoke during winter at their monthly meeting Wednesday.
Those strategies include making homeowners who use wood burning stoves as their sole source of heat transition to gas or electric furnaces. They’ll also discuss expanding wood burning restrictions for commercial and industrial sources. Kerry Kelly is a researcher at the University of Utah and a member of the Air Quality Board. She says finding strategies for controlling fine particulate pollution during the winter inversion season is one of their more difficult tasks.
“I think everyone is interested in controlling wood burning as much as we feasibly can because we see that as something that can happen relatively quickly and it’s something that we can do something about now,” she says.
Kelly says she isn’t sure, however, if the board will discuss placing restrictions on wood burning during the whole inversion season like Governor Gary Herbert has suggested.
“I have heard that it might be politically so unpopular that it might do more harm than good,” she says.
If the air quality board decides to make any recommendations, new rules could be approved and implemented as early as Autumn this year.