This bill delays by three years the date by which manufacturers, owners, and operators of new residential wood heaters, including residential hydronic heaters (wood-fired boilers) and forced-air furnaces, must comply with emission standards promulgated under the Clean Air Act.
Sponsor: Colin Peterson (D-MN)
Cosponsors: Jason Lewis and 16 additional Republicans; 4 Democrats.
Why This Bill Is Against Progressive Values:
H.R. 453 delays implementation of the Step 2 emissions standards for three categories of new wood-fueled heaters: residential wood stoves, hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces. The current Step 2 compliance date for these appliances is 2020, which the bill extends until May 15, 2023. No delay of these new standards is justified, and any delay will result in a significant cost to the public’s health. Wood heaters are long-lived appliances; once installed, they operate for 25 years or more. So, any delay of the standards translates into more decades of added pollution and adverse health effects. (Source: Dissenting View, Energy and Commerce Committee Report. 115-508).
The New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG) Environmental Protection Bureau reviewed information on OWBs and analyzed the manufacture, distribution, testing, and sales of OWBs in New York State. We found that while OWBs are advertised as a clean and economical way to heat one’s house and water, OWBs may be among the dirtiest and least economical modes of heating, especially when improperly used. Even when used properly, OWBs emit, on an average per hour basis, about four times as much fine particulate matter pollution as conventional wood stoves, about 12 times as much fine particle pollution as EPA-certified wood stoves, 1000 times more than oil furnaces, and 1800 times more than gas furnaces. Such emissions are significant because fine particulate matter pollution has both short- term and long-term health effects. Report by the New York Attorney General.