The Alliance for Green Heat did an analysis of stakeholder positions which can be found here and also pulled out these excerpts for those who do not want to download and wade through hundreds of pages of comments, much of it repetitive.
The following excepts are what we view as key positions taken by stakeholders in the Advance response to the EPA’s request for comments on a range of issues, including:
· compliance date for the Step 2 emission limits,
· Step 2 emission limits for forced-air furnaces, hydronic heaters and wood heaters,
· Step 2 emission limits based on weighted averages versus individual burn rates,
· transitioning to cord wood certification test methods,
· compliance audit testing,
· electronic reporting tool, and
We have taken key excerpts from all sides of the debate to highlight differences, The full comments can be found here. Many other comments can be found in response to the EPA’s request for comments of the Proposed Ruleto give a sell-through for boilers and furnaces. We only excerpted language for comments to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking, which elicited a far wider range of responses.
Excerpts are organized by: State Agencies, Industry, Retailers, Air Agencies, Federal Office and Non-profits.
The Attorneys General of New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington and the Puget Sound Air Quality Agency
The step two compliance date is feasible and necessary to protect public health. Any delay in the implementation of the step two standards would have significant adverse public health consequences. Moreover, EPA has not provided any basis to change its previous determination that five years was an adequate amount of time for manufacturers to develop cleaner burning devices.
· The step two standards for wood boilers and forced-air furnaces are also feasible.
· Finally, the evidence shows that the 2.0 g/hr. emission limit is already too lax. In 2014, EPA proposed to set a limit of 1.3 g/hr, which the Attorneys General of New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts supported based on demonstrated cost effective design technologies that could reduce emissions.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
1. The 2015 New Source Performance Standards for wood stoves, hydronic heaters, forced air furnaces (40 CFR 60 Subparts AAA and QQQQ) should not be reopened. Any changes to the rule (see items 2–3 below) should be addressed during the first review period for these rules in 2023.
2. The Environmental Protection Agency should adopt the Integrated Duty-Cycle (IDC) Test Methods under development by Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management prior to the 2023 rule reviews.
3. The 2023 rule reviews should lead to PM emission standards based on performance data generated using the IDC Test Method.
4. EPA should ensure that third-party certification reviews are not conducted by the laboratories conducting the certification tests.
In the event that EPA weakens the 2015 NSPS rules, it is likely that several states, including New York, may consider backstop regulations to bring the NSPS provisions back into effect, potentially resulting in a patchwork set of state regulations that may increase compliance costs to manufacturers.
Western Governors Association
The emissions from wood heaters represent a critical public health and environmental issue in the West. Since the 1980s, states have implemented regulatory and voluntary strategies to address these emissions. The efficacy of such strategies depends on an effective NSPS.
The Western State Air Resources Council (WESTAR) requested that EPA extend the comment periods for the NPRM and ANPRM for an additional 45 days to provide sufficient time for state regulators to fully evaluate these proposals. WESTAR also requested that EPA hold a second public hearing in the West, as the only hearing on these proposals was held in Washington, D.C., with a minimal two-week notice. EPA summarily denied these requests, hampering the cooperative federalism that this Administration has made a priority.
Western Governors request that EPA maintain the current NSPS compliance deadlines for new residential wood heaters.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Oregon communities depend on the NSPS and particularly the 2015 NSPS for residential wood heaters to complement our efforts to attain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5 to protect community health and environmental quality. Since wood heaters are not manufactured in Oregon, any public health costs associated with EPNs proposed rules in the NPRM or this ANPRM are disproportionately accrued to Oregon.
ODEQ is concerned that this language [in the ASTM 2515 cordwood test method] allows manufacturer instructions to change almost any aspect of the emissions test method, without the requirement, such as fuel species or loading, to include these changes in the test report or the owner’s manual.
This language is highly problematic and opens up the test to significant modifications that impact emissions measured during the test. The manufacturer should not be provided the discretion to determine what information is provided to owners or regulators regarding test results.
Considering the test method research described above, EPA should build upon this multiyear effort by adopt a requirement now, to take immediate effect, for the concurrent use of a tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM) test method to measure real-time particulate matter (PM), using the NESCAUM Standard Operating Procedures, along with standard filter measurements for all EPA residential wood heating device NSPS certification testing, including pre-burn activities. For all testing, a complete real-time emission profile should be submitted as part of the non-confidential business information (CBI) portion of the test report.
EPA compliance audit testing
With respect to the selection of the lab to perform audit testing, one independent, third-party lab should be selected to conduct all compliance audit testing so that there is consistency across the program. The audit testing lab must not be allowed to complete certification testing for devices that it is auditing to ensure that the audit process is unbiased.
With respect to variability in the compliance audit testing program, wood stoves that certify at less than 1 gram per hour (g/hr) should be allowed a variability of ± 1 g/hr. For units that certify at more than 1 g/hr, the current variability provision is adequate.
EPA seeks comment on retention, revision or elimination of the warranty requirements included in the 2015 NSPS Rule. DEQ supports the retention of the warranty requirements for catalytic devices. For non-catalytic devices, EPA should add warranty requirements, particularly ones for key components related to controlling emissions from the device (including, among others, tubes).
Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection
In summary, MassDEP opposes any delay or weakening of the existing Step 2 emission limits, which would defer needed reductions in air pollutants that adversely affect the health of Massachusetts citizens. The existing NSPS has resulted in manufacturers developing cleaner wood burning devices that are achieving real emission reductions, and it is critical that the NSPS be fully implemented according to the schedule in the 2015 rule. MassDEP supports the development of new test methods that better reflect real world operations of wood heating devices, which should be included in the next update of the NSPS in 2023.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,
EPA should therefore recognize that modifying the Step 2 limits or adjusting the Step 2 compliance date for wood heaters would disadvantage manufacturers who already completed the Step 2 certification process to comply with EPA’s original deadline.
Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association
Since 2009, HPBA has led efforts to move from crib wood testing to cordwood testing for all residential wood heating product categories, and we continue to support that transition.
HPBA believes that a two-year sell-through period is critical to the health of the hearth products industry for —wood stoves, pellet stoves, hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces.
Revising the current standards to provide a two-year sell-through period (from May 2020 to May 2022) for Step 1 stoves, roughly three-quarters of which are well under the 4.5 g/hr emission limit, would have a relatively miniscule environmental impact.
EPA cannot remedy the errors in the Step 2 emission limits for central heaters by extending the compliance dates for central heaters. EPA should repeal those standards altogether.
The Step 2 limit for forced-air furnaces was not based on any data.
The Step 2 emission limit for hydronic heaters is not achievable at reasonable costs.
Weighted Averages vs. Individual Burn Rates
Compliance with all emission limits should be on a weighted average basis. Manufacturers often focus on performance at more heavily weighted burn rates.
EPA should limit audit testing to instances where there is suspected fraud in certification test results. Alternatively, EPA should add language to the regulations that prohibits audit testing for appliance categories until there has been a determination on variability for the applicable test.
ISO-Accredited Third-Party Review
EPA should rely on ISO-accredited third-party certification bodies to issue certificates of compliance rather than continue to issue every final certification application itself. This would allow EPA to focus its limited resources on performing oversight and enforcement functions.
Transition from Crib Wood to Cord Wood Testing
USSC is fully supportive of working towards a cordwood test method that better represents real world use of residential wood heaters. Our company was actively involved in the ASTM standards development process for ASTM E3053
As of today, there are companies testing and certifying stoves under this cordwood alternative, however hindsight is not a rulemaking mechanism that the EPA can or should use to regulate industry. The “limit” had already been set at 2.5 g/h before a test method even existed, and thus the EPA has artificially put its thumb on the scale. The only test reports that the EPA is going to see are those manufacturers who have been lucky enough to meet the 2.5 g/h limit. That is not how standards should be set.
Feasibility of the 2020 timeline
The EPA has stated it has given 5 years to meet the Step 2 2020 requirements. Although that may be true when looking at the actual dates, we, nor our industry as a whole, have not been given those 5 years to meet these requirements. The 5 years that the EPA intended, effectively moved to 3.5 years in the eyes of the wood heater marketplace.
At USSC we analogize the 2015 rule for residential wood heaters to the feat of climbing Mt. Everest, you have to strategically take one step at a time.
It is our opinion that EPA also did not consider the reduced revenue which has occurred because of the lack of sell-through. Therefore, we have not benefited from 5 years of revenue required to fund the work necessary to meet the 2020 deadline.
The Step 2 requirements for forced-air furnaces as stated in the 2015 NSPS should be repealed; Step 1 standards for forced-air furnaces should be revisited at a future date to determine whether more stringent standards would be appropriate. There was no justification or data on the EPA’s part to warrant the Step 2 requirements. As we have stated above, the economic feasibility in the marketplace of a Step 2 compliant forced-air furnace is impractical given today’s technology. To move from a previously unregulated product (with no voluntary program) to Step 1 where these products are approximately 75% cleaner, and then in just 3 or 4 years later (small vs large forced air furnaces) move to approximately 97% cleaner (EPA estimates) at Step 2, without any data to justify a Step 2 limit, is preposterous and unrealistic.
Hearth & Home Technologies
Test Methods – Transition to Cordwood
HHT strongly supports moving to a cord wood standard as it better aligns with the fuel type used in the real world, but manufacturers have invested millions of dollars designing, testing and certifying to Step 2 crib wood standards and will need additional selling time to recoup their investment to fund future cord wood designs.
HHT recommends using ASTM E3053 until such time there is data showing that the ASTM method doesn’t replicate real-world cord wood emissions or that a new Federal Reference Method is needed.
Step 2 Emission Limit for Wood Heaters
The wood stove and pellet stove users tend to be very different people. With respect to different emissions standards, we believe this is a secondary issue to the EPA first understanding the precision and repeatability of the different fuels before making any more changes to emissions standards.
The EPA Compliance Audit Testing
It is not appropriate for the EPA to select a lab to perform audit testing. With so much variability, it makes more sense to keep compliance audit testing with the same lab.
ISO-accredited Third-party Review
The only way to streamline the process would be to allow accredited third-party laboratories to do the emissions testing and grant the certificate of compliance. Having the EPA review the application and test report, which can take as long as 90 business days/16weeks to complete, is not a good use of time and resources. Instead, they should rely on their ISO-accredited third-party laboratories to issue certificates and the EPA retain oversight and enforcement with the laboratories.
Warranty Requirements for Certified Appliances
We would support eliminating the warranty requirements of the NSPS. All manufacturers already have warranty language that if the appliance is not installed and operated according to the installation/owner’s manual, the warranty will be voided. This language would be the warranty whether the EPA required it or not, it is standard warranty language for an appliance.
Lamppa Manufacturing, Inc.
If our small company (Lamppa Manufacturing, Inc.) can pass the Phase 2 NSPS mandate (we were actually 40% cleaner than the Phase 2 mandate), these other manufacturers with their sizeable R&D resources should also be able to meet the mandate within the timeframe. Lamppa Manufacturing achieved the mandate solely by hard work and determination and by borrowing from our family’s retirement funds.
Lamppa Manufacturing adhered to the law and the timeline and has created a business plan based on meeting the NSPS. Our new manufacturing facility is being built at a cost of $ 1.8 million, plus the cost of additional production capital equipment . This investment would not have been undertaken if we knew the EPA was going to weaken or re-write the standard.
We feel strongly that had EPA taken into consideration our comments for the 2015 NSPS, EPA and state regulators would have cordwood data that is real-world.
Blaze King feels that Method 28R should be retained with crib fuel testing. We also feel that the goal of regulators, from various parts of the country with various species of wood, could be addressed.
When a manufacturer advises EPA of an upcoming test of a wood heater, required by law, EPA would then direct the lab of record to conduct a randomly selected additional cordwood run. EPA would direct the test lab to conduct 1 run from low or medium low or medium high or high burn categories. Additionally, EPA would direct a species of wood for that run. The one extra cordwood run emissions result would not influence the weighted average. This would eliminate the need to have a cordwood standard specific passing grade and yet provide cordwood data. As an example, regulators from Washington would shortly have data for how catalytic wood heaters perform on low with Douglas Fir. Meanwhile, Eastern regulators would soon receive data on how secondary combustion stoves perform on hardwood on another burn category.
Blaze King Industries, Inc. is aware of a letter sent to EPA date September 7, 2018 from the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). We are deeply concerned about a concerted effort by a state agency and a single manufacturer to work in concert to spread false, misleading and out of date information in an effort to secure market share. It appears the DEP is interpreting EPA’s solicitation of comments to include not just the bifurcation of pellet heaters from cordwood heaters, but additionally the return to bifurcated standards amongst cordwood heaters. The letter sent to EPA contains outdated and misleading falsehoods and statements. Blaze King Industries, Inc. is 100% in opposition to the bifurcation of cordwood heaters based upon current data and sound reasoning.
In reviewing comments filed by retailers in the NOPR regarding sell through, we recognized the names of dealers that submitted the form letter provided to them by the manufacturer mentioned previously. We contacted those dealers to inquire why they signed a form letter that contained false statements regarding catalytic wood stoves. The response we received each time was…”Didn’t even read it, we thought it was about getting a sell through.”
Blaze King encourages EPA to make their decisions, as they have in the past, on science and data. Not the claims of two parties working in concert to benefit a single manufacturer.
Masonry Heater Association
Although the MHA has submitted numerous comments, data research, and proposals, the EPA has not moved forward to consider the implications of adding masonry heaters to the EPA Certified List of Products.
By leaving masonry heaters out of the EPA Certified Products List, the EPA is drastically limiting clean burning heating choices for American consumers, which is against the EPA’s purpose.
The inclusion of masonry heaters in the NSPS would allow a cottage industry to grow into an industry that could encompass masonry contractors and hearth retailers throughout North America and promote the replacement of inefficient masonry fireplaces into safe, clean burning hearth systems. MHA research is “open source” and MHA intends to continue to share test data and assist state and federal agencies to promote clean burning options for customers who want the benefits of radiant heat and single batch burning appliances.
We hope that the following improvements can be made to the regulations:
· Eliminate Step 2 emissions until more data on cordwood testing using a widely accepted testing method can be collected to determine an effective, achievable level that reflects real world results as accurately as possible.
· Go back to the weighted average rather than individual run criteria in testing
· Use ISO Accredited 3rd party view to speed up the approval process for newly tested models
· Start categorizing pellet fuel appliances and cord wood appliances separately
Yoder Outdoor Furnaces LLC
My biggest concern has been the complete lack of enforcement by the EPA. Any person willing to take an hour or two can find on the internet numerous smaller manufacturers advertising untested and unapproved models of wood stoves and hydronic heaters. This has been a huge hindrance to sales of approved Step 1 units (like our G series) as they are $ 1,500 to $ 3,000 higher than these cheap polluting models. Our sales post 2015 are about 50% of pre-2015 levels. HeatMaster is promoting that their dealers comply with the 2015 NSPS. Which we should, but it has come at a cost.I would guess that until enforcement actually happens no manufacturer can afford to invest heavily in testing as these cheap illegal models will not allow them to recoup costs.
Currently there is very little enforcement of the law. In my area I have heard of installs that to not comply. A commercial stove, legal at a business is not legal at a home. But no one checks. Any law without enforcement is nothing more than a request. Honest manufacturers and dealers will follow the law and the unscrupulous characters will cheat. I lose out when the cost of a compliant stove is above the cheater stove. If EPA wishes to regulate our products, they need to enforce it so that the good dealers and manufacturers who are acting
in good faith don’t get punished. All we ask is for a level playing field.
In the last 3 years, I have lost approximately 50 sales to other manufacturers and dealers that have completely ignored the law and sell illegal appliances to customers. I support reducing emissions from wood burning appliances, but I feel as though the EPA needs to enforce their lawmaking if they are making laws. We are trying to follow the laws but feel as we are being punished for it by lack of enforcement on companies who aren’t.
AIR QUALITY AGENCIES
Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM)
NESCAUM opposes any changes to the emission standards promulgated under the 2015 NSPS. There is simply no need or basis to delay or weaken the standards in light of the large body of evidence demonstrating they are technically feasible and cost-effective.
NESCAUM does not support any sub-categorization scheme under the NSPS and urges EPA to maintain the current single standards for all space heating devices and for all central heaters. Establishing different emissions standards based on control technology is contrary to the fundamental construct of the NSPS program, which embodies the notion that emissions standards are established according to the best system of emission reduction (BSER), rather than on specific control technologies. If EPA decides to sub-categorize, it must provide details as to the data used to deem the current BSER analysis deficient and complete new BSER analyses for each potential category to support sub-categorization.
EPA must require that a different lab be used for audit testing than was used for certification testing to minimize biases associated with the pre-existing relationship between test facility and manufacturer. NESCAUM suggests that EPA consider using a single and independent federal lab, such as Brookhaven National Lab, for all compliance audit testing.
NESCAUM recommends that EPA use the Integrated Duty-Cycle (IDC) approach as the platform for certification testing of all residential wood heating appliances in the future. This procedure is designed to be accurate, representative, repeatable and affordable. It incorporates emission measurements during typical operating situations, including start-up, reload, and transition across various heat output loads. The single-day test allows for replicate testing without increasing certification test costs.
NESCAUM does not believe that the ASTM or CSA cordwood test methods for heaters, furnaces and boilers, as currently designed, effectively replicates real-world conditions nor do they provide solutions for precision and variability concerns.
Existing information indicates that redesigning wood heating devices to comply with Step 2 emission standards has not generally resulted in increased retail prices. In fact, verified consumer cost data from state woodstove change-out programs show that on average, cordwood stoves with emission performance levels below the Step 2 standard of 2.0 grams per hour are priced somewhat less than those with certified emissions above 2.0 grams per hour. Many states in the Northeast provide incentives that further reduce the cost of purchasing and installing high efficiency, low emissions wood heating appliances.
NESCAUM requests that EPA sunset EN303-5 as a qualified certification method for the NSPS as soon as possible, but no later than the May 2020 deadline in the rule.
EPA should adopt a requirement, to take effect immediately, for the concurrent use of a tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM) test method to measure real-time particulate matter (PM) during certification testing. We recommend using the NESCAUM Standard Operating Procedures.
National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA)
EPA must undertake a review of the 2015 NSPS in 2023 and, based on its review, must revise the standards, if needed, to reflect improvements in methods for reducing emissions. EPA should reserve any review of or amendment to the level of or compliance dates for the 2015 NSPS until the statutorily required NSPS review, to begin in 2023.
NACAA does not, however, support any changes in this regard at this time. Rather, the agency should begin now to develop new test methods as described in these comments, above. With a rigorous schedule these methods could be completed and available for the statutorily required NSPS review in 2023. We urge that EPA work closely with state and local air agencies, as well as other stakeholders, throughout this test-method-development initiative.
Also related to testing, EPA should adopt a requirement now, to take immediate effect, for the concurrent use of a tapered element oscillating microbalance (TEOM) test method to measure real-time particulate matter (PM), using the NESCAUM Standard Operating Procedures, along with standard filter measurements for all EPA residential wood heating device NSPS certification testing, including pre-burn activities.
Weighted Averages Versus Individual Burn Rates for Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces
In the final 2015 NSPS Rule EPA did not include a weighted-average approach for HH and FAF Step 2 compliance and, instead, called for these devices to meet the standards at each individual burn rate to prevent large emission discharges.
NACAA opposes the use of a weighted-average approach, which minimizes peak emissions, thereby presenting a less accurate reflection of in-field performance and would have the effect of weakening the Step 2 standards. The best system of emission reduction (BSER) analysis conducted by EPA for the 2015 NSPS Rule, and which underlies the Step 2 standards, did not include use of a weighted average. If EPA believes compliance should be determined with a weighted average instead of an individual burn rate the agency should conduct another BSER analysis to make this case and also demonstrate why its analysis for the 2015 NSPS Rule resulted in a different conclusion.
EPA Compliance Audit Testing
With respect to the selection of the lab to perform audit testing, one independent, third-party lab should be selected to conduct all compliance audit testing so that there is consistency across the program and that a lab that conducts certification testing is not permitted to conduct audit testing.
With respect to variability in the compliance audit testing program, wood stoves that certify at less than 1 gram per hour (g/hr) should be allowed a variability of ± 1 g/hr. For units that certify at more than 1 g/hr, the current variability provision is adequate.
ISO-Accredited Third-Party Review
NACAA does not support allowing the EPA-approved lab that conducted the certification testing to also act as the third-party reviewer of the test results and recommends that EPA amend the 2015 NSPS Rule to prohibit this from occurring.
California Air Resources Board
CARB supports the progress of the integrated duty-cycle test method being developed by Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Management (NESCAUM).5 The proposed test methods address what is absent in the current test methods.
The ANPRM’s requests for information with respect to the emission limit for wood heaters do not request the right information, are biased and outcome seeking towards collecting evidence for weakened standards and miss the opportunity to collect the data necessary to perform an accurate and complete economic and regulatory impact analysis.
Asking “whether Step 2 is achievable at a reasonable cost” is not the correct framing of the question. The answer to this question seems predetermined, particularly for those who ostensibly have “been unable to design a wood heater to meet the Step 2 standard.”28 There is no information provided as to how to identify what is “reasonable,” nor is there any request for the necessary evidence to back up a claim that a cost is not “reasonable.” Leaving a regulated entity to decide what cost is “reasonable” will undoubtedly provide a biased and outcome-seeking response.
Electronic Reporting Tool (ERT)
CARB supports the use of modern electronic reporting tools for both the certification process and subsequent public use. Electronic submission will speed up the certification process, increase transparency, and give the public up-to-date information on certified devices and those waiting certification, as well as information on devices that been denied certification and why. U.S. EPA should insure that information in the database will remain available. Wood heating appliances are made to last decades and the public should be able to get information on any certified stove, no matter when the certification was achieved.
Warranty Requirements for Certified Appliances
The requirement to offer a warranty on a new residential wood heater is particularly critical in low-income households. Due to financial constraints, low income households often buy the least expensive devices; if problems arise, they may not have resources to buy replacement parts, leading to unsafe and higher polluting operations.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
This notice requests comments on nearly every aspect of the standard: test methods being used or planned for use; the feasibility of meeting the promulgated compliance deadlines; the feasibility of the promulgated emission limits; revising averaging periods used to determine compliance with the standard; how testing companies are regulated; and how testing data is provided to EPA.
Some of these concerns may merit evaluation, however, the MPCA believes that conducting this assessment prior to final implementation of the standard is premature. EPA is already required to re-evaluate the NSPS under Section 111(b)(1)(B) of the Clean Air Act (CAA)-the Act requires EPA to re- evaluate NSPS eight years after adoption. The MPCA believes that EPA should reserve any review of or amendment of the 2015 NSPS, and instead conduct its revisions or re-evaluations under its authorities of the statutorily-required NSPS review after the compliance deadline.
Weighted averages vs individual burn rates
EPA is soliciting comment on determining compliance with weighted averages instead of individual burn rates. A federally enforceable emissions standard is composed of an emissions limit, a method for measuring or determining emissions, and an averaging period. Similar to our comment about using a new emissions test method, revising the averaging aspect of the emissions essentially revises the standard. In order to consider a weighted average, EPA must evaluate all aspects of the standard- emission limits, averaging periods and the emissions testing method that the emission limit is based on.
The record also highlights the several decades EPA and states have worked with the wood heating industry to develop clean, efficient heating products. To that end, the compliance deadline should come as no surprise to any party involved in developing, testing, or manufacturing the equipment. The contemplated changes are deeply impactful to public health; implementation of the standard should not be delayed.
Missoula Public Health Department,
When the EPA considers rule changes to the 2015 NSPS, the Board recommends the following:
1. Maintain, at a minimum, the 2015 NSPS Step 2 emission limits for new residential hydronic heaters, forced-air furnaces and wood heaters.
2. Keep the 2020 compliance date for the Step 2 emission limits for forced-air furnaces, hydronic heaters and wood heaters as specified in the 2015 NSPS.
3. Cord wood testing methods should continue to be developed and provided as an option for emission testing since cord wood more closely mimics how consumers use wood heating devices.
4. As more is learned about appropriate cord wood testing methods, a path for switching exclusively to cord wood testing for wood heating devices should be incorporated into the wood stove NSPS.
Any delay or weakening of the 2015 NSPS would harm public health and make it harder for local jurisdictions to maintain or achieve the National Ambient Air QualityStandards for particulate matter in the air
Advocacy Office, Small Business Administration
(This office does not necessarily reflect the position of the SBA or the Administration.)
Because Advocacy is an independent office within the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the views expressed by Advocacy do not necessarily reflect the position of the Administration or the SBA.
Advocacy strongly supports the proposal to provide a “sell-through” for hydronic heaters and forced-air furnaces and strongly supports extending a similar provision to wood heaters.
In addition, in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Advocacy recommends EPA consider the following measures to reduce the burdens on small businesses.
· Delay the step 2 compliance date by at least two years. Small businesses have lost the sales of their step 1-compliant appliances for the 2019-2020 winter, which has had the effect of forcing exit from the market and delaying R&D for step 2-complaince appliances.
· Review certification procedures to eliminate delays that do not contribute to environmental benefits. EPA should examine its records of step 2 certification to determine whether EPA pre-approval has prevented non-compliant appliances from coming to market. If the significant delays reported by industry are a result of incomplete submissions that have not required subsequent changes to the underlying appliance, then EPA should allow self-certification based on third-party testing.
· Reconsider treating all residential wood heaters as one product category. EPA regulates residential wood heaters fueled by wood pellets the same as those fueled by cord wood. While this is consistent with EPA’s stated desire to not show preference to any particular fuel in its air quality regulations, it may not be appropriate in a market where the vast majority of intended air quality benefits come from replacements rather than new installations. A customer seeking to replace a wood heater fueled by cord wood is discouraged from changing out if the available replacements are mostly fueled by pellets.
Earthjustice, Environment and Human Health, Inc., Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law & Policy Center, and National Parks Conservation Association
EPA’s suggestion that the agency may revisit the possibility of using weighted averages instead of requiring compliance with emission standards at each burn rate for central heaters would needlessly reopen an issue that was thoroughly examined and resolved in the 2015 final rule. See 80 Fed. Reg. at 13,684, 13,690. In order to ensure that wood burning devices do not harm public health in any reasonably anticipated operating mode, EPA must require units to comply at each burn rate, not merely on a weighted average of the unit’s performance at each tested rate.
EPA’s observation that more pellet stoves meet the Step 2 standards than crib or cord wood stoves does not support the adoption of weaker emission standards for crib or cord wood-fired heating devices. The fact remains that the Step 2 standards are achievable using crib or cord wood. Section 111 does not require EPA to establish standards of performance that can be met by all types of sources using all types of fuel.
Integrity of the testing and certification process.
EPA seeks comment on whether compliance audit testing “should be performed by the same lab that did the certification test for a given wood heater appliance.” 83 Fed. Reg. at 61,592. EPA does not suggest what advantages this approach might have, but it has at least two clear drawbacks. First, engaging different labs to conduct audit testing will likely help to reveal ambiguities in the application of EPA’s test methods to specific products, by increasing the opportunities for different personnel at different testing labs to apply the same test method provisions to the same model of wood burning equipment.
American Lung Association
The Step 2 Standards adopted in 2015 were more than two decades overdue, despite explicit requirements in the Clean Air Act that such standards must be updated every eight years. They already included an unusually long implementation period. Normally, new source performance standards must be met immediately by the affected industry, particularly when the technology needed to meet these standards exists and is in use today. The European System showed in 2010 that comparable units were possible and produced greater efficiency in wood use and heat production (MusilSchläffer et al., 2010). Furthermore, as EPA notes, more and more American manufacturers produce many product lines that already meet these standards. However, the 2015 standards afforded industry five years to meet the new requirements, far longer than other industries, such as the automobile industry, receive.
AGH believes it is premature to artificially protect the market for non-catalytic stoves by extending a sell-through to all classes of stoves, including pellet stoves.
Insufficient cost data on Step 2 stoves
While we are likely to see a small rise in the price of many stoves as a result of Step 2 compliance, there is a noticeable lack of data supporting such a conclusion.
Insufficient data that consumers will hold off buying new stoves
There is very little data about the proportion of consumers buying a wood or pellet stove for the first time, as compared to those who are replacing an older stove. And often families switch from wood to pellet stoves, or vice versa. First time stove buyers and those who will buy a stove anyway, may be far more numerous than those who would have bought a new stove if it were $ 100 cheaper.
Minimal public support for sell-throughs
In 2014, EPA received 1,750 Comments in response to proposals that set 2020 as the deadline for Step 2 compliance. Just 5 years later, the process led by the current administration’s EPA generated only 75 comments for the sell-through for furnaces and boilers, including comments from less than 10 individual citizens. In addition, there is no state, county or city that supports providing a sell-through for what constitutes the dirtiest appliance class among wood heaters.
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