The rule would also broaden the types of heaters covered by EPA standards. However, it will likely not include fireplaces, because they are often used to provide ambiance, not to heat homes.
“We don’t know what’s in the proposed rule but we have reason to believe that we are not included,” said a spokesman from Innovative Hearth Products.
Last week, company executives and lawyers met with officials from the White House, the EPA and the Small Business Administration to say that fireplaces should be added to the list.
That would make it harder for towns and jurisdictions to ban people from using fireplaces, as has happened during times of severe smog in places like Los Angeles, and improve overall air quality.
It would also make advanced fireplaces that can cut down on the pollution from wood smoke by as much as 80 percent a lot more attractive for consumers and builders.
“This is not just commercial issue. This is a public health issue,” said the company spokesman.
The industry is currently operating under voluntary standards, but that program has not been successful at requiring better designs for new fireplaces, company officials said.
New federal rules, though, should do the trick, they told the administration.
Though the EPA has not yet released its proposal, it has been labeled a “major” rule, indicating that it will have an affect on the economy of at least $100 million per year.