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Regulating Fireplaces and Wood Burning Stoves

Regulating Fireplaces and Wood-Burning Stoves

fireplaceWood-burning fireplaces and stoves can contribute to air pollution. The smoke from burning wood releases toxic particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide that can be harmful to the environment and human health. To ensure healthy indoor and outdoor air quality, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set emissions standards for newly manufactured woodstoves, and states and counties have implemented No Burn Days to minimize health concerns and pollution. States have enforced laws using both methods to reduce wood smoke.

EPA Certified Wood-Burning Stoves

The EPA has set a PM emission standard for woodstoves at 7.5 grams an hour. Since 1990, any manufactured woodstove must meet the EPA PM emission standards.

No Burn Days

No Burn Days are implemented by states and counties to minimize pollution for a particular time period. On a No Burn Day, it may be illegal to use any wood-burning devices such as fireplaces and woodstoves. These days are enforced under certain weather conditions or when pollution levels are high. Each county and state’s No Burn Day policies are unique and may have different requirements.

State Laws Addressing Wood-Burning and Air Quality

States have addressed toxic emissions from wood stoves and fireplaces by:

  • Restricting the use of fireplaces and wood burning stoves during No Burn Day periods.
  • Prohibiting the sale, installation, or construction of non-certified wood stoves and fireplaces.
  • Requiring that all new and used wood stoves and fireplaces meet emissions standards set by the EPA.
  • Offering financial incentives for the installation or replacement of cleaner wood burning alternatives.
  • Requiring emission performance labels on all wood burning stoves and fireplaces.

Arizona

Arizona A.R.S. § 11-871
Requires certain areas of high air pollution to adopt residential wood burning restrictions that include a no burn restriction when monitoring or forecasting by the department of environmental quality predicts the carbon monoxide standard is likely to be exceeded.  Exemptions are made for wood-burning fireplaces and stoves that meet certain emissions requirements or are the sole source of heat or fuel for cooking in the home.

Arizona  A.R.S. § 9-500.16  / Arizona A.R.S. § 11-875
Prohibits the construction or installation of a fireplace or wood stove unless it has a permanently installed gas or electric log insert, is certified by the EPA or meets specific performance standards. Exemptions may be made for heating or industrial equipment, cooking devices and outdoor fireplaces.

Select State Agency:  Glendale Environmental Resources -- Air Quality

Colorado

Colorado C.R.S.A. § 25-7-401 to -413
Sets emission performance standards for wood stoves. Establishes criteria and procedures for testing new wood stoves for compliance with emission performance standards. Requires that the sale of a wood stove to be certified by the air quality division control and an emission performance label is attached to the wood stove. The law also implements voluntary no burn days when the air quality division determines that the level of wood stove emissions would have an adverse affect on air quality.

C.R.S.A. § 25-7-106.3;
Establishes limitations and regulations on the use of wood burning stoves and fireplaces during periods of time declared by the Colorado department of health to be a high pollution day. Such regulations may not apply to any person who utilizes wood burning stove or fireplaces as the primary source of heat in a person’s place of residence. Stoves that meet a more strict emission standard may be exempt from the no burn day limitations.

Select State Agency:  Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment -- Residential Burn Information

Idaho

Idaho I.C. § 63-3022C
Tax deduction for alternative energy device at residence. An individual tax payer who installs an alternative energy device to serve a place of residence, may deduct from taxable income allowable under this section. An alternative energy device may include either a natural gas heating unit, or propane heating unit, or a wood burning stove that meets the most current Environmental Protection Agency certification.

Select State Agency:  Department of Environmental Health -- Wood-Stoves and  Air Quality

Maine

Maine 38 M.R.S.A. § 610-D
The Residential Wood Stove Replacement Fund provides a financial incentive for the replacement of wood stoves with cleaner alternatives. A Residential Wood Stove Replacement Program is included and requires public outreach and education and establishes eligibility criteria and approved methods for disposal of the replaced residential wood stoves.

Select State Agency:  Department of Environmental Protection -- Air Quality

Oregon

Oregon  O.R.S. § 468A.460 to .520
Prohibits the sale of uncertified and unlabeled wood stoves. Requires that installation of used stoves are certified by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Quality.  Also requires that all used stoves that are not certified by the EPA are removed and destroyed. Exemptions are made for cook stoves and other solid fuel burning devices that meet specific standards.

Select State Agency:  Department of Environmental Quality -- Air Quality Wood-Stoves

Utah

U.C.A. 1953 § 59-7-606
Offers a tax credit for items using cleaner burning fuels. This tax credit is against the tax of the purchase cost and installation services of each pellet burning stove, high mass wood stove, and solid fuel burning device that is certified by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Washington

Washington West's RCWA 70.94.450-483
Prohibits the sale or construction of fire places or wood stoves that do not meet the emission standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Select State Agency:  Washington Department of Ecology -- Air Quality

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