The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced details about new regulatory proposals for residential woodstoves that could go into effect throughout the United States by 2015 and tighten dramatically by 2019.
The EPA says that the new woodstove regulations are necessary to reduce the amount of fine particulate air pollution, known as PM 2.5, produced by the stoves. The regulations will apply to woodstoves, wood-pellet stoves, forced-air wood furnaces, wood boilers, fireplace inserts and masonry heaters built in 2015 or later.
Via The Associated Press:
Fine particulate pollution is made up of solid particles and liquid droplets that measure 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less. The EPA currently certifies non-catalytic wood stoves if they produce less than 7.5 grams of fine particulate per hour.
Fine particulate absorbed by breathing has been linked to heart attacks, decreased lung function and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.
The proposed EPA regulations would reduce that to 4.5 grams per hour for stoves manufactured after the regulations go into place next year.
The standards would tighten again in 2019. New stoves could emit just 1.3 grams per hour.
Wood heaters produced before the regulations go into effect, residential fireplaces, backyard fire containers or fire pits, and wood-fired cooking stoves will go unaffected by the new burdens.
The EPA says that compliance costs will be recouped by medical savings.
“When these standards are fully implemented, EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to comply with these standards, the American public will see between $118 and $267 in health benefits,” it said in a statement. “Consumers will also see a monetary benefit from efficiency improvements in the new wood stoves, which use less wood to heat homes. The total health and economic benefits of the proposed standards are estimated to be at $1.8 (billion) to $2.4 billion annually.”