EPA pollution rules target wood heaters

The Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with a new rule that will limit the amount of pollution from household wood heaters.

The pollution rules target particle emissions from wood heaters, known as soot. Manufacturers will be required to reduce emissions by two-thirds of the current level.

The EPA says the pollution rules will make wood heaters more efficient while also protecting public health.

“It ensures that consumers buying wood heaters anywhere in the United States in the future will be able to choose from cleaner-burning models,” the EPA announced Wednesday.

The EPA rules target newly-constructed wood heaters, but do not apply to products like fireplaces, fire pits, pizza ovens, or barbecues, the agency said.

The rules will be phased in over the next five years, and consumers who already use wood heaters in their homes will not be affected.

The EPA last updated the pollution rules for wood heaters in 1988, but the agency says technological advancements makes the new standards more feasible than in the past.

The EPA touted the health benefits of the improved air quality that is expected to result from limiting emissions from wood heaters and said the rules could save taxpayers between $3.4 billion and $7.4 billion in public health costs.

“Particle pollution is linked to a wide range of serious health effects, including heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks,” the EPA said. 

 

The emissions standards will also save energy and cut household costs, the EPA noted.