DOE offers funding for “state-of-the-art” residential wood and pellet heater R&D

Jonathan Male, Director of the Bioenergy
Technology Office at DOE, speaking at
the 2018 Wood Stove Design Challenge
Funding can help manufacturers meet 2020 emission standards
Updated on May 9 – For the first time, the US Department of Energy issued a funding announcement to support the development of innovative, state-of-the art technology in residential wood and pellet stoves and central heaters.  
The announcement is part of a larger funding opportunity from the DOE’s Bioenergy Technology Office (BETO), which includes wood heaters because of a Congressional earmark. The DOE will provide up to $ 5 million in grants from $ 300,000 to $ 1,000,000. They expect to issue between 5 – 7 grants. The timeline for applying is short and requires a concept paper to be submitted by June 3 as a precondition of submitting the full application on July 22, 2019.
The funding is timely as it could assist wood stove, boiler and furnace manufacturers in developing heaters that meet the EPA’s 2020 emission standards. Funding is available for research and development on innovative heater design, not just for certification lab testing. Thus, manufacturers who may have delayed R&D could benefit from this grant the most, compared to those who already have a nearly full line of 2020 compliant heaters. Manufacturers can bring Step 2020 compliant heaters to market any time before or after the May 15, 2020 deadline. Funding from the DOE is expected to last for 2 – 3 years, covering work completed in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Many manufacturers are in the midst of completing their testing prior to the May 2020 deadline, but innovation will not end after that. Many manufacturers will initially be offering a smaller variety of models and add more to their product lines based on market conditions.  

“The Alliance for Green Heat applauds the DOE bioenergy program for moving beyond funding for biofuels and supporting innovation in the wood and pellet heater sector,” said John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat. “This funding and hopefully more in the future could kickstart a new wave of American innovation and ingenuity in wood heater design which is vital to keep wood and pellet heaters competitive with solar and other renewable technologies.”

The US is a world leader in manufacturing clean wood stoves, but behind European countries when it comes to efficient pellet stoves and wood and pellet central heaters. Most European governments have invested in R&D in biomass heaters, leaving US manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage.
R&D to design cleaner stoves and perform internal testing before sending the stoves to a certification lab constitutes one of the biggest expenses for manufacturers striving to meet 2020 emission targets. If this DOE funding had come two years earlier, it could have played a far greater role in assisting wood heater manufacturers, some of whom are cash-strapped as they must redesign their entire line of stoves and central heaters. 

The DOE appears to be trying to fund more than just tweaks and adjustments to traditionally-designed cat and non-cat stoves. Applications that can demonstrate genuine advancements toward state-of-the-art technology that ensure heaters burn well during start-up and reduce the opportunity for human error may have an edge.

The requirements of the application process include baseline emissions data matched with design change concepts that could substantially lower emissions and increase efficiency. These and other requirements are likely to make it tougher for smaller entities that do not have sophisticated internal labs or certified Step 1 stoves to apply within the short application timelines. Any company that has Step 1 products with baseline data showing they are within the 2015 Step 1 emission standards are eligible if their R&D ideas could achieve the DOE’s requirements of a 50 – 80% reduction in emissions and a 5 – 15% increase in efficiency.
Beyond merely preparing for traditional EPA testing, “applicants are encouraged to expand the testing regimen to evaluate performance over the full cycle of residential wood heater operating conditions (representative of how homeowners actually use their residential wood heaters with representative wood feedstocks).” 
The awards will be substantial but widely dispersed among 10 areas within the bioenergy field. “At DOE, we are focused on expanding America’s energy supply, growing the economy, and enhancing energy security, which will all be furthered by the significant advancements made in bioenergy technologies,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “The funding opportunities announced today will help ensure our nation’s competitive advantage in the emerging bioeconomy and allow us to continue to offer U.S. consumers and businesses more homegrown energy choices.”
Areas of R&D interest
DOE listed four specific areas of interest, though other innovations are not excluded.

Automation of wood
stoves using sensors
is one of key areas of
interest for the DOE

  • Novel and innovative residential wood heater designs 
  • Improvements in automation of stoves
  • Wood heater power generation via thermoelectric module integration, and 
  • Improvements in catalyst technologies 
The first area, novel and innovative heater designs, encompasses changes to the combustion chamber, combustion air flow and baffle designs. It could be challenging for the DOE panel reviewing applications to distinguish between more traditional design changes and novel ones in this area, as either one could result in emissions under 2 grams an hour.

The second area, improvements in automation of stoves, includes robust sensing technologies and remote control and real-time performance monitoring. Wood and pellet stoves, boilers, and furnaces could all integrate sensors that monitor and control combustion conditions better. The DOE was a core funder of the 2018 Wood Stove Design Challenge that focused on automation and gave them insight into the potential of this area.

The third area covers producing electricity from thermoelectric technology, an area that the DOE also explored through the 2018 Wood Stove Design Challenge.

Lastly, the fourth interest area is improvements in catalyst technology, which appears to cover R&D in the making of catalyst manufacturing as well as their integration into heaters.

The timeline is tight and successful applications for similar DOE funding opportunities often do much of the work prior to the release of the funding announcement. The 4-page concept papers are due on June 3, and only applicants who submitted concept papers can submit a full application due on July 22. The DOE expects to notify applicants by September 30 and issue awards in October and November, which is in the DOE’s 2020 fiscal year. Deadlines and other requirements are strictly enforced, and the DOE will not consider applications that stray from the guidelines.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to register and sign on to the DOE’s Exchange System at least a few days before submitting a concept paper, so registration issues can be averted ahead of time.
DOE has relatively broad eligibility requirements. Individuals, for-profit companies, non-profits, universities, and state, local, and tribal governments can all apply. Foreign entities and companies can also apply as long as they have a US office. Federal agencies and DOE labs, such as Brookhaven National Lab, are not eligible to be prime recipients but could be a sub-recipient of a grant. All work must be performed on US soil.
Cost Share

Applicants must provide 20% of the total project costs. The 20% can include in-kind services or cash from non-federal sources.  Cost share may be provided by the prime recipient, subrecipients, or third parties. 


All questions about the FOA must be submitted to: DOE personnel are prohibited from communicating directly with applicants.  All questions and answers related to this FOA will be posted on EERE Exchange:
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EPA releases long-awaited searchable wood heater database

A screen shot of part of the
navigation of different fuel types
in the new EPA database
Consumer friendly site is cause of worry for some

Updated May 30 – This week, the EPA released its long-awaited searchable stove and central heater database, overhauling a decades-old practice of using basic excel sheet lists.

The EPA said the new database was designed to“improve accessibility and usefulness” by allowing users to search for the cleanest stoves, the most efficient stoves, those designed to burn cordwood and other attributes.
A wide range of stakeholders, from industry to states to non-profits, had been urging the EPA to switch to a modern searchable format for nearly a decade. The painfully slow development of the database at times seemed to epitomize the government’s reputation to move at a snail’s pace. The list is maintained by the EPA’s Office of Enforcement, which like much of the EPA has been hit with repeated budget cuts and loss of staff in recent years.
The sleek new functionality of the list, allowing users to focus on one parameter or another, is also worrying to many in the stove industry. Traditionally, this list of certified wood heaters has not been a primary information source for consumers. But with this new functionality, consumers may start relying on it more and more, leading to some unintended results, such as worse buying decisions or ones that favor some manufacturers over others.  One feature that the old excel spreadsheets had that will be particularly missed by many was the clear designation of which stoves were newly added to the list each time it was updated.
One fear is that consumers will put too much reliance on higher BTU output if they can easily search and cross reference by these values. Right-sizing a stove is already problematic, and the BTU values on the list are overinflated due to loose parameters that allow labs to show high BTU output. Another fear, expressed by some manufacturers at the recent HPBA Expo in Nashville, is that consumers will favor “Cord Wood” stoves over “Crib Wood” stoves because they are not familiar with the lexicon of stove testing and the legacy of crib wood. This could lead to a surge in the sales – and reputation – of the 10 models that have been designed for and tested with cord wood. Other stakeholders welcome the feature, hoping that the companies who were among the first to invest in cord wood testing will benefit.
The EPA chose to include a box that helps consumers identify the cleanest and most efficient stoves,

and some say that this puts unwarranted attention to values that won’t necessarily translate from the lab to the home. This “Quick Searches” box will likely be used by consumers who don’t understand pellet stoves work similarly in the home as they do in the lab, but wood stoves can only achieve the optimal lab numbers with a large bed of coals, dry wood and careful operation.

This “certified fuel type” feature also sheds light on one the biggest problems with the new searchable data – accuracy. Six wood stoves are listed as using wood chips as a fuel, an apparent mistake according to one of the manufacturers of those stoves. This could hurt sales of those units if consumers are relying on the database to narrow down the stoves they may purchase. EPA staff are quick to say that this is a work in progress and it is incumbent on manufacturers to vet the list and provide the EPA with corrections. In 2017, the HPBA warned the EPA that many inaccuracies – such as stoves being listed as wood chip stoves – existed in the database. Many of the same errors are still listed two years later.

The Alliance for Green Heat welcomes the new database and had the opportunity to provide input on several occasions as other stakeholders did. Some of our suggestions and wording was adopted and some was not. AGH believes that the new database will help consumers become more educated about the working of stoves and the terminology, but it will take time and effort by the wood heating community.

The release of the database was coordinated with the update of some key pages on the EPA’s Burn Wise website. The EPA finally changed their page on hydronic heaters which previously defined and pictured them just as outdoor boilers, a change that AGH had urged them to make for years. They also made major changes to their efficiency page which had not been updated since the EPA began requiring testing and reporting of efficiency of stoves.

Features and functions
·      Pellet stoves
A simple search that used to take hours, now takes seconds.  For instance, with 5 clicks, the database shows that 40 of the 70 pellet stove models that are 2020 compliant emit one gram an hour or less – an impressive feat considering pellet stove lab values are relatively consistently with how they perform in homes. 
·      Catalytic Stoves
The database shows that 27 of the 68 wood stoves that are 2020 compliant are catalytic, underlining the surge in catalytic models that resulted from stricter emission limits.  
·      Hybrid Stoves
Wood stoves are divided into three
subtypes – cat, non-cat and hybrid – but
hybrid stoves are not yet listed

Hybrid stoves, which almost all use both catalysts and air tubes for secondary combustion, are listed as a subtype, but no stoves turn up in a search for that term.  It is unclear if the EPA intends to populate that subtype. AGH is urging the EPA to also add “automated stoves” as a subtype in the future. Both hybrid and automated stoves offer great promise to help consumers run stoves more cleanly and should be identified in the database.

·      BTU Output
With tighter homes and a new breed of tiny homes, it is now easy to search for stoves with the lowest BTU output. Forty stoves, 20 wood and 20 pellet, were tested at less than 25,000 BTU. AGH believes that many units still have erroneously high BTU values based on loose parameters in lab testing and reporting, and these values should be used with great caution.  For wood stove, firebox size is probably a more accurate indicator of BTU output.
·      Efficiency
The EPA has chosen to use the term “overall efficiency” instead of simply “efficiency.” Some manufactures use “optimal efficiency” or “maximum efficiency” instead of publishing the EPA tested efficiency, which is lower. The database quickly shows, for example, that 37 of the 70 pellet stoves that are 2020 compliant are 75% efficiency (HHV) or higher – another great improvement compared to the performance of pellet stoves just 5 years ago.
·      Carbon monoxide
Nearly 150 stoves that are 2020 compliant have CO values showing a huge range from 0.0 to 6.1. Of the 23 stoves tested at less than 0.1 gram of CO per minute, all but 3 were pellet stoves. The carbon monoxide listing raised concern from some who worry that consumers may use it instead of PM as a primary indicator of cleanliness, or that consumers may think it’s an indication of amounts of CO emitted into the room.
·      In and out of production
The database shows 565 models in production, a number that will likely drop significantly as of June 2020. And it has nearly 700 stoves that emit less than 4.5 grams but are out of production.
·      Previously certified
The database also shows the 205 stoves that were previously EPA certified at 4.6 grams or higher, a feature that could be very helpful for change out program managers who want to target older certified stoves, many of which need replacement.
·      Key terms and definitions
The EPA provides a new page with definitions of key terms such as adjustable burn rate vs. single burn rate heaters, fireplace insert, wood pellets, etc.
·      Central Heaters
The database is separated into two: “Room Heaters” and “Central Heaters” and you have to select one or the other or your search may turn up empty. There are only 12 central heaters that are 2020 compliant, and eleven of those use cord wood. While central heaters have had a harder time meeting the Step 2 requirements, many more have either been approved by labs or are in the pipeline to be 2020 compliant.  Efficiencies of pellet boilers are more complex because those that get listed with European test data are likely to show higher efficiencies, even though they are converted to HHV. 
Not included in the new database

Some stakeholders have urged the EPA to include more search attributes, such as the test method, lab, and a link to the detailed lab report that manufacturers are required to post on their websites. The list also does not say whether PFI certified pellets were used during certification testing and are thus technically required to be used by the consumer.  Up until 2007, list used to include the deadline that the five year certification certificate expired.  Up until the summer of 2015, the list included the outmoded estimated default efficiencies, which listed all non-cats at 63%, cats at 72% and pellet stoves at 78%.  The default efficiencies were set based on testing in the mid and late 1980s, resulting in relative accurate estimates for wood stoves, but helping to develop the enduring myth that pellet stoves had such high average efficiencies.

Contact Rafael Sanchez at the EPA’s Office of Enforcement to address errors or omissions in the database, ( at (202) 564-7028.

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$300 wood heater tax credit extended retroactively for 2017

This map shows which states historically
have the highest percent of residents
claiming the energy tax credits, including
the credit for wood and pellet stoves.

Feb. 9, 2018 – Today President Trump signed into law a budget deal that included a one year, retroactive extension of the wood heater tax credit.  Thus, consumers who bought stoves that are 75% efficient or higher may qualify for a $ 300 tax credit on their 2017 taxes.

However, stove manufacturers often mislead consumers into thinking they are buying a stove that is at least 75% efficient when in fact it may be in the low or mid 60s. Manufacturers are allowed to self-certify which stoves are eligible for the credit and some appear to ignore any common sense definition of the Congressional language which stipulated requiring a stove “which has a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent.”

The Alliance for Green Heat is calling on HPBA and stove manufacturers to publicly support and abide by a policy of only recognizing the average, overall efficiency of stoves based on third party testing at an EPA approved lab.  Currently, some manufacturers will self-certify a stove to be eligible for the tax credit if it reached 75% efficiency on only one of its 4 burn rates. Others self-certify that their stoves are eligible when the stove did not reach 75% efficiency on any burn rate.

The Alliance for Green Heat supports tax credits and other incentives that focus on the cleanest and most efficient stoves.  However, he federal tax credit has no criteria for grams per hour and virtually all stoves have claimed to be at least 75% efficient, minimizing the underlying intent of a tax credit.

The definition of 75% efficient is still unresolved. The IRS recognized the use of the European lower heating value (LHV) efficiency measurement until 2010 when Congress removed the LHV language.  The efficiency measurement should have reverted to the North American standard of using HHV, but industry has continued to use LHV.  (A stove measuring 75% efficiency using LHV would be about 70% efficiency using HHV.)

We will update this blog as it becomes more clear which companies are self-certifying stoves at 75% efficient when they may only be in the low or mid 60s.

To be sure that you are buying a higher efficiency stove, check the EPA’s list of certified wood stoves, and choose one that with an actual, verified efficiency.  There are many non-cat stoves over 70% efficiency and many catalytic and pellet stoves over 75% efficiency.  Unfortunately, if you are buying a stove in 2018, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get a tax credit for it.  Congress may make the credit retroactive again in 2019, but then again, they may not.

For more background on the wood heater tax credit, click here.

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Congress to Extend Wood Heater Tax Credit through 2016

Labs test wood and pellet heaters for
efficiency and ones that are 75%
efficiency or  higher  can qualify
for the $ 300 tax credit.

The United States Congress is on the verge on finalizing a massive omnibus spending bill that would fund the government and provide tax breaks to businesses and individuals.  Among them is the $ 300 tax credit to purchase a wood heating appliance.  The bill extends that credit through Dec. 31, 2016 and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.

In a far more widely anticipated move, Congress is poised to extend the 30% tax credit for residential solar panels through 2019 and then gradually reduce it.  This credit was set to expire at the end of 2016 and offers that industry a level of support and certainty for strong growth.
For wood and pellet heaters, the bill extends the $ 300 tax credit, contained in Section 25C of the IRS tax code, which states taxpayers are entitled to a $ 300 tax credit for the purchase of a wood or pellet heating appliance that is 75% efficient or greater.  Consumers need to obtain a certificate from the manufacturer, stating that the appliance is qualified for the credit.
For consumers who purchased a wood or pellet stove in 2015, or who will do so in 2016, they will likely be entitled to the $ 300 credit if they have not used up their $ 500 lifetime maximum credit for energy efficient property. 
For wood, pellet stove, and boiler manufacturers, the process of issuing a certificate claiming their appliance is 75% efficient may be more complicated than in the past.  In previous years, manufacturers claimed that every single stove they made was at least 75% efficient, flouting the letter and intent of the law, which was to only qualify stoves at 75% efficiency or higher, measured by the lower heating value (LHV). As of May 15, 2015 all stoves and boilers certified in the US are tested for efficiency using the CSA B415.1-10 efficiency test.  This efficiency test provides a guideline for how to test and not all stoves will achieve an efficiency of 75%.
“Higher efficiency wood and pellet heaters deserve renewable energy incentives to help American families reduce reliance on fossil fuels and to encourage companies to build higher efficiency appliances,” said John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat, an organization that advocates for wood and pellet heating. “In the past, some in industry has made a mockery of this tax credit, misleading tens of thousands of consumers into thinking they are buying higher efficiency stoves.  Its time to start measuring efficiency and reporting it honestly and only qualifying those heaters that are 75% efficient or higher, using the lower heating value,” Ackerly said.
The Alliance for Green Heat estimates that up to half of all wood and pellet stoves and boilers could meet the 75% efficiency threshold, giving consumers a wide range of choices.  Appliances that are 75% efficient using the European lower heater value (LHV) are usually between 69 – 71% efficient using the North American higher heating value (HHV).  A leading industry expert, Rick Curkeet concluded in a 2008 letter to an industry trade association that “the intent of the solid fuel appliance incentive program recently enacted by Congress is … to require a minimum of 69.8% efficiency.”

Stove manufacturers do not have to publicly disclose their efficiencies and very few of them doA few stove companies, such as Blaze King, Jotul, Kuma, Seraph, Travis, Woodstock Soapstone publicly disclose actual efficiencies of most of their models on the EPA website and almost all of those models appear to qualify for the tax credit.  The EPA considers higher heating value as a more accurate measure of efficiency for devices in the U.S. and therefore uses only those number on its list of EPA certified wood and pellet stoves.  
Unlike other heating and cooling appliances, prior to May 2015 wood and pellet heating appliances did not have to test or report efficiencies and there are still few accepted norms on advertising practices.  Websites and promotional materials of many major stove brands contain exaggerated efficiency claims, some of which may come from the company’s internal laboratory, not from a reputable, third party lab.  

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Legislation repealing EPA wood heater regulations passes House of Representatives; Obama promises veto

29 Republican House members
sponsored the bill to repeal the new
EPA heater regulations
An energy bill passed the House of Representatives with an amendment that repeals the EPA’s new residential wood heater regulations.  The bill is not likely to pass the Senate and President Obama vowed to veto it, if it comes to his desk. 
The passage of a bill that includes repealing the EPA’s residential wood heater regulations came as a surprise to most in the hearth industry, as well as in relevant state and federal agencies.
The bill, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015, H.R. 8, was passed the House of December 3 with 240 Republican votes and 9 democrats.  In addition to core issues in bill, it repealed more than 20 energy and energy efficiency studies and programs, including the EPA’s wood heater regulations which “shall have no force or effect and shall be treated as if such rule had never been issued.”
The underlying bill, H.R. 1986, dubbed “the Stop EPA Overregulation of Rural Americans,” had 29 Republicans and no Democrat co-sponsors.  The sponsors of the bill are almost all from very rural parts of the country but members of Congress representing districts with the highest levels of wood heating did not co-sponsor the bill.  Most of the sponsors come from the southern half of the United States and likely reflect their deep-seated opposition to the EPA regulations generally.
Some of the sponsors of the bill refer to a “War on Rural America.”  One of the most vocal advocates for the bill, Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO-8) repeatedly says the EPA is regulating existing stoves, not just new ones. He said in a statement that there are 12 million stoves in 2.4 million homes, probably referring to the distinction between the estimated total of 12 million stoves and the 2.4 million homes that use wood or pellets as a primary heating source. 
None of the industry groups representing sectors of the hearth industry, including Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC), and Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI), supported H.R. 1986, and it is unclear if any major company in the hearth industry supported the bill. One small Michigan company, Eco-Fab Industries that makes Eco-Maxx outdoor wood stoves which do not meet EPA emission regulations and cannot be sold in the residential market after Jan. 1, 2016, supports the bill.
Hearth industry leaders indicate that they are vested in broad parts of the NSPS and think that a judicial challenge to certain parts is the best strategy for the solution they want. 

HPBA had mounted a legislative push in 2014, urging members of Congress to sponsor H.R. 4407that would have prohibited the EPA from setting emission regulations lower than 4.5 grams per hour.  Some of the members who supported H.R. 4407 became co-sponsors of H.R. 1986.

“Thousands of hard working industry, non-profit and agency officials put years of work into these regulations and they are truly a compromise of competing interests,” said John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat.  “If no major stakeholder group is supporting the repeal of the regulations, why is the House of Representatives voting to do that?” Ackerly added.

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Non-public talks yield consensus on key problems in EPA wooden heater restrictions

In July, three gentlemen fulfilled in Canada for delicate, private meetings to see if they could achieve settlement on important sections of the proposed EPA wood heater rules.&nbsp Two represented regional air high quality agencies and a single represented the wood stove and boiler business.&nbsp They were ready to compromise on many troubles, but have been too far aside to attain any arrangement on a lot of other people.&nbsp Much more than a thirty day period later on, right after consulting with their associates, they flew to Washington and presented their consensus positions to EPA Performing Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe.
The a few folks had been Arthur Marin of the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Administration

Arthur Marin, Govt Director of

(NESCAUM), Dan Johnson of Western States Air Assets Council (WESTAR) and Jack Goldman of the Hearth, Patio &amp Barbecue Affiliation (HPBA).&nbsp The meeting arose from initiatives by the air organizations and it was agreed that only the principals of every institution would get part in the experience-to-experience conferences as they had been under a tight timeline and needed to maintain the discussions high-stage.&nbsp

The EPA was not component of these conversations nor present, and is below no obligation to adopt any of the consensus positions. However, it is expected that the agency is very likely to adopt a lot of, if not almost all of them.
Most of the regions of settlement ended up around offer-through, grandfathering, certification extension and cordwood tests timelines.&nbsp There was no point out of emission ranges in the document.&nbsp The EPA will put up the 3-website page consensus document in the official report shortly.
Jack Goldman, CEO of HPBA
The positions replicate an effort by the a few establishments to achieve consensus but do not always replicate the positions of all the groups’ users.&nbsp Some manufacturers come to feel that the HPBA has not represented them aggressively sufficient, and the consensus positions offer with every single technological innovation really otherwise.&nbsp For illustration, the consensus position is toughest on outdoor boilers as it does not advise any grandfathering or offer-by means of of unqualified boilers.&nbsp The situation on exempt wooden stoves is much more lenient: a a single-yr offer-via.&nbsp Even much more lenient is the placement on unregulated indoor warm air furnaces, which would get a 1-yr extension for manufacturing and an added sell-by way of year, for a whole of two a long time.

Janet McCabe, EPA Performing Assistant
Administrator of the Office of
Air and&nbspRadiation

The other major region of arrangement is that the swap to cordwood tests for certification must occur, but it is not possible to put into action right away.&nbsp Both sides agree that the EPA should move in that direction but a obviously described check method and a far more sturdy databases of cordwood testing is required.&nbsp However, the consensus paper is silent on the drawn out ASTM cord wooden fueling protocol method and alternatively proposes that a cordwood protocol be designed by a working team established by the EPA under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). This would be the protocol utilized to develop the database of emissions from cordwood screening.&nbsp It is unclear if this protocol could capture commence-up emissions, or how it would greater represent genuine world emission profiles in consumers’ homes.

The consensus positions produced no point out of pellet stoves, hangtags or a lot of other contentious problems.&nbsp Typically, concerns have been not described in the document since they ended up not integrated in the discussions.&nbsp For case in point, the concern of client hangtags, which sector opposed in their comments, was reportedly not raised by possibly facet.

An additional quite significant consensus placement is that all boilers that are qualified by New York (and tested by EPA methods) &nbspon the powerful day of the rule will have their certifications extended for 5 many years.&nbsp This might indicate that producers will not have to bear the time and price of retesting any of their current units for a five year period of time and as an alternative emphasis their efforts on redesigning cleaner stoves. &nbspVirtually all the exempt and unregulated pellet stoves are previously likely by means of the certification method and several wooden stoves are utilizing the “K record” to get new five calendar year certifications. &nbspThese new certifications and “freshening up” of existing ones would have offered most stoves certifications up to four years into the new rule.

If the EPA adopts these tips, it would supply aid to most manufacturers and merchants.&nbsp Even so, the EPA could nonetheless established Phase two requirements, which would take effect in 2020, as reduced as 1.three grams for each hour for wooden and pellet stoves.&nbsp Many observers feel that the EPA is not probably to require this kind of a low emission degree and some in industry say they would be relieved if the EPA settled at 3 grams for every hour.

The key positions of agreement are outlined underneath.&nbsp Preserve in mind that these agreements, if adopted by the EPA, would begin on the efficient day of the regulation, which will most likely be in May possibly of 2015:

one. Woodstoves:
a)&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Unregulated and exempt stoves cannot be made.
b)&nbsp&nbsp &nbspRetail revenue of all exempt and qualified stoves (up to seven.5 g/hr for non-cat stoves) cam keep on for one particular yr.
c)&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Certification of stoves that meet Sept 1 stages (proposed at 4.five g/hr) will be prolonged for 5 many years or until Phase two emissions requirements take influence.
2. Hydronic Heaters (indoor and out of doors):
a)&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Only New York certified heaters may possibly be made.
b)&nbsp&nbsp Retail product sales of boilers that are not EPA Phase 2 experienced – and accredited by New York – are not authorized. (New York&nbspneeds a thorough regulatory evaluation procedure for certification.)
c)&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Designs analyzed to EPA’s voluntary plan&nbspandlicensed by New York will be considered accredited for five years.
3. Warm Air Furnaces:
a)&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Supply a one-year extension to continue production unregulated furnaces.
b)&nbsp&nbsp Retail revenue might be allowed for a single year over and above the effective day.
four. Cord wood:
a)&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The transition to twine wooden screening to certify new heaters should be executed&nbspfor Phase 2 but will require a sturdy database and EPA accepted strategy.

five. Oversight of Labs:
a)&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Labs will supply thirty times recognize of testing to states to let for federal and state accessibility to witness emission tests.
b)&nbsp&nbsp All certification info associated to emissions should be publicly offered.
c)&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Provide states with partial delegation of authority more than some enforcement and compliance concerns and prohibit them from action on other issues.

The previously mentioned summary does not capture all the element and nuance of these 5 areas of consensus.&nbsp Please refer to the original “Consensus Positions” for specific language that was agreed upon by HPBA, NESCAUM and WESTAR.

“We commend NESCAUM, WESTAR and HPBA for enterprise this crucial work and for their willingness to all make sizeable compromises,” stated John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Eco-friendly Warmth. &nbsp”We urge the EPA to adopt these suggestions in the NSPS and to provide the enforcement to quickly shut any loopholes that might emerge after implementation,” Ackerly ongoing.

The consensus positions may possibly give producers and merchants far more certainty about what they can construct and distribute in the months foremost up to the promulgation.&nbsp It is also achievable that the EPA has presented some assurance to sector about the probability of some of these provisions.&nbsp The EPA might have previously made a decision some of what was contained in the Consensus Place paper.&nbsp For instance, it is noted that the EPA had made a decision not to use cordwood for certification tests in 2015 months prior to the meetings between industry and air companies.&nbsp
It is most likely that most key conclusions on the NSPS have presently been manufactured or are near to last as the ultimate draft of the NSPS will be submitted to the Business office of Spending budget and Management in October.&nbsp Even the tips in the Consensus paper had been late for thought by the EPA.
This consensus paper might not make litigation considerably less probably, but it could decrease the quantity of issues that are probably to be litigated.&nbsp Longer offer-by means of intervals, for instance, in contrast to the extremely short types in the proposed NSPS, will lessen economic impacts on numerous little businesses, making the small enterprise issue much more challenging to litigate. &nbspFurther, this work in between air companies and the sector trade team that had been important protagonists throughout much of the discussion all around the proposal propose a a lot more collaborative connection can be forged amongst these parties to aid apply a new NSPS.

NESCAUM is an association of the 8 northeastern states, such as New Jersey, New York and the New England States.&nbsp On NSPS issues, Maine is not getting represented by NESCAUM and is taking far more pro-industry positions.&nbsp WESTAR now signifies fifteen states, from Alaska to New Mexico.&nbsp People states represent an even wider selection of the political spectrum than people in NESCAUM, but none have produced the open crack with their association that Maine has. &nbsp

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AGH Comments on the EPA’s Wood Heater NSPS

Alliance for Green Heat
Comments on
EPA’s Proposed Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces, and New Residential Masonry Heaters
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734
May 5, 2014
The Alliance for Green Heat (Alliance), appreciates the opportunity to comment on EPA’s proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for wood heating devices.[1]  The Alliance is an independent non-profit organization that works with environmental and forestry organizations, air quality experts, the wood and pellet stove industry, and others in the wood burning community to promote high-efficiency wood combustion as a low-carbon, sustainable, local and affordable heating solution.  The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review and revise, if appropriate, the NSPS at least every eight years.  The Alliance strongly supports EPA’s decision to update the standards for wood stoves and to require a number of previously unregulated wood heating devices to reduce their emissions.  We also believe that the new standards, which reflect significant improvements in wood heating technology, are both appropriate and long-overdue. 
We have several suggestions for improving the proposed NSPS, which we outline below.
In our comments on the NSPS, we make the following points:
·      First, it is important to recognize that wood heating is renewable heating and should be acknowledged as such by EPA.
·      Second, the Alliance strongly supports EPA’s decision to issue revised performance standards for wood stoves and other wood and pellet heating appliances.
o   The Alliance supports EPA’s decision to close existing loopholes and to include all major categories of wood-fired heating devices in the new performance standards.  Previously exempted devices (such as non-qualified outdoor boilers and single burn-rate stoves) and devices above the new Step One emission limits should not be “grandfathered.”  
o   The Alliance supports a six-month sell through for certified stoves with emissions that are greater than the Step One emission standards, and a two-year sell through for boilers or furnaces that are EN303-5 (Class 3, 4 or 5) certified or EPA qualified.
o   In the agency’s next revision to the wood heater NSPS, EPA should regulate uncertified, pre-1988 stoves as new sources if they are installed in a new location.  Doing so will help to hasten the removal of the oldest, most polluting stoves from our airsheds.
o   In the agency’s next revision to the wood heater NSPS, EPA should also regulate fireplaces.
·      Third, the Alliance believes that the proposed emission limits, though reasonable, could be more stringent for certain devices:
o   Data from currently certified stoves appear to justify a more technology-forcing, lower Step One performance standard for wood stoves.
o   Pellet stoves are clearly capable of meeting a lower limit for Step One.  The majority of pellet stoves certified by EPA are already emitting less than 2.5 grams per hour (g/hr).  We call on the EPA to set a 2.5 g/hr standard for pellet stoves in Step One.
o   Forced air furnaces could achieve a Step One emission limit of 0.48 pounds per million BTUs (lbs/MMBTU), instead of the proposed 0.93 lbs/MMBTU.A 0.48 lbs/MMBTU standard corresponds to the pound/MMBTU of a typical Washington State-approved wood stove, and some furnaces are already meeting that standard already.
o   In addition, although we believe a .06 lbs/MMBTU Step Two standard for pellet boilers is justifiable, this limit may not be appropriate for cord wood boilers, particularly for test methods that include start-up emissions.  A 0.15 lbs/MMBTU standard appears to be a reasonable Step Two standard, assuming that start-up emissions are part of the test.
·      Fourth, the Alliance strongly supports a shorter, five-year implementation period for the NSPS.  This deadline is both achievable and reasonable given the state of wood heating technology today.
·      Fifth, the Alliance believes that credible testing and enforcement are essential components of any New Source Performance Standard under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
o   The Alliance supports the proposed transition to cord wood testing, and calls on EPA to continue its cord wood testing to obtain additional information on the performance of existing wood stove models using cord wood prior to promulgation of the final rule. While we believe that EPA has sufficient data to justify EPA’s Step Two standards, it is important to show that the emission limits contained in the standards can be achieved using the best systems of emission reduction available for several types of wood heaters.  To that end, if EPA believes that it lacks sufficient data to determine that the Step Two limits are achievable with cord wood, we recommend that the agency commit to re-examining the achievability of the Step Two standards for stoves that must be certified on cord wood before those standards become effective.
o   The Alliance urges EPA to establish a clearer path to certification for advanced technologies like automated stoves.  The Alliance is also encouraged by ClearStak’s comments and urges EPA to consider some of the forward-thinking ideas put forth in those comments.
o   The Alliance supports EPA’s proposal to delegate some oversight and enforcement authority to the states, and urges EPA to improve the capacity of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) to help ensure that enforcement programs are effective, that the list of EPA certified stoves is updated in a more consistently expeditious fashion, and that manufacturers and retailers comply with the NSPS.
·      Sixth, the Alliance believes that mandatory efficiency standards are needed. Greater efficiency is particularly import to low-income wood stove users because it can lower their heating bills by requiring less fuel to heat their homes.  Nevertheless, the Alliance supports EPA’s decision to delay imposing a mandatory efficiency standard as long as manufacturers are required to quickly post their efficiency numbers, and with the understanding that future NSPS would set mandatory efficiency standards.
o   The Alliance strongly supports a requirement to post B415.1 HHV efficiency numbers on all wood heating appliances on the market within six months of the rule’s promulgation.  Models that are EN 303-5 certified or qualified by an EPA voluntary program should be allowed to use HHV numbers from existing test data until they become EPA certified.
o   The Alliance opposes the elimination of the hangtag requirement and urges EPA to consider additional consumer information resources such as a Green Label and state incentives for changing out old stoves and installing the most efficient new stoves.
o   The Alliance agrees that both particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions data, as well as efficiency data, should not be considered Confidential Business Information (CBI), and urges EPA to make emissions and efficiency data about all four burn rates public on its website.
o   The Alliance urges EPA to immediately begin requiring manufacturers and labs to scan and electronically submit all paper data submissions, even as the agency works to develop a more streamlined Electronic Reporting Tool (ERT). 
o   To avoid misleading consumers further, EPA should remove the “default” emission factor column from its posted list of certified wood stoves, and require manufacturers and retailers to stop using these default factors in their advertising materials by the time this NSPS goes into effect.
  • Finally, while EPA’s Environmental Justice (EJ) analysis for this round of revisions to the wood heater NSPS appears to be sufficient, a full, comprehensive EJ analysis would better account for the importance of reducing PM and other emissions from wood heating devices as a key step in eliminating the disproportionate impact that wood heater emissions can have on low-income and minority communities. Therefore, we urge EPA to perform a more comprehensive EJ analysis in the next revision to the wood heater NSPS that looks at the full range of wood smoke impacts on tribal, low-income, and minority communities.
We appreciate your attention to our comments and look forward to working with EPA to successfully implement this important rule.  The full text of our comments is below.

      I.         Wood Heating Is Renewable Heating.
On June 25, 2013, President Obama announced a bold new commitment to addressing climate change by cutting American fossil fuel emissions and promoting the increased use of renewable energy.  The Alliance strongly supports this commitment and urges EPA to recognize the important role that wood heating can play in meeting the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing the process of climate change. 
Although the industrial, commercial, and agricultural sectors are important sources of greenhouse gas emissions, the residential sector—where most home heating devices are installed—contributes over a billion metric tons of CO2-equivalents each year.[2]  Many of these emissions are the result of homeowners using natural gas, fuel oil, or fossil-fuel generated electricity to provide heat in cold weather.  In contrast to these heating options, which accelerate the movement of carbon from under the earth (where it is harmless) to our atmosphere (where it leads to climate change), wood heating is effectively carbon neutral.  This is because the greenhouse gases released when wood is burned are the same greenhouse gases that were absorbed and sequestered while the fuel source was growing.  In addition, by using wood instead of fossil fuels to heat their homes, Americans are reducing the rate at which we deplete our stores of non-renewable fossil fuels.  In other words, wood heating is renewable heating, and it is good for the climate.
We urge EPA to recognize the important contribution that wood heating can make to reducing residential fossil fuel use, and to ensure that EPA’s updated wood heating regulations support continued innovation in the wood heating industry that will lead to more efficient, cleaner, and more customer-friendly wood heating options in the future.  With the right regulations, wood heating can become an important renewable, environmentally sound, and home-grown substitute for fossil fuels.  The Alliance urges the EPA to acknowledge this in the preamble to the NSPS, and to reflect the contribution that wood heating can make to reducing GHG emissions in other EPA publications and materials.
    II.         The Alliance Strongly Supports EPA’s Decision to Issue Revised Performance Standards for Wood Stoves and Related Devices.
The Alliance strongly supports EPA’s decision to issue performance standards for wood stoves, pellet stoves, hydronic heaters, forced air furnaces, and masonry stoves.  The Alliance firmly believes that technology developed since 1988 is capable of dramatically more efficient, cleaner-burning performance, and that new renewable wood heaters can and should be operated without making particulate matter or other local pollution problems worse.
Although many in the wood heater industry have continued to innovate, EPA’s wood heater regulations have not been updated since 1988.  Moreover, hydronic heaters, forced air furnaces, masonry heaters, and some pellet and wood stoves are not currently regulated by EPA.  It is past time that EPA revise its original 1988 wood heater NSPS to close these significant loopholes.  Regulating these devices will help to promote the innovation that will continue to reduce emissions, increase fuel efficiency, and allow the wood heat industry to better contribute to reducing Americans’ reliance on fossil fuels.
In addition to closing these loopholes, the Alliance urges EPA to consider another loophole in the new source performance standards—residential fireplaces—in a future rulemaking under section 111.  Like the other home heating products EPA proposes to regulate in this NSPS, residential fireplaces can be either prefabricated or custom-built.  Moreover, even though fireplaces are not often used to provide the primary source of heat in most homes, they can contribute to local air pollution problems.  We believe that regulating residential fireplaces would help to encourage innovation in the fireplace industry while ensuring that fireplaces are as clean and efficient as possible. We also applaud the EPA for initiating a voluntary qualification program for fireplaces[3] to build capacity for the industry to adopt cleaner designs.
Finally, we note that the Proposed Rule would not address the significant issue of old, uncertified second-hand wood stoves being resold and installed in new locations.  The market for these uncertified stoves is typically composed of devices that are far more polluting than new stoves.  The Alliance believes that these new installations of existing wood stoves brings these stoves within the definition of “new sources” that can be regulated under CAA section 111(b).[4]  If EPA were to clarify that new installations of second-hand stoves are “new sources” subject to regulation under section 111(b), it would level the playing field between the cleaner, newly manufactured stoves and the dirtier second-hand stoves that are currently being sold and installed in many residences in the U.S.  Consequently, regulating these second-hand stoves would help to hasten the removal of the oldest, most polluting stoves from our air sheds.  We recommend that EPA consider regulating new installations of old and uncertified wood stoves during the agency’s next eight-year review of wood heater new source performance standards, if not sooner.
  III.         Stringency of the Proposed Standards.
Although EPA’s proposed standards for wood heaters, hydronic heaters, forced air furnaces, and masonry heaters are well within the capability of manufacturers to achieve, we believe that data from the hundreds of catalytic, non-catalytic, and pellet stoves that EPA has certified over the years can support a more stringent standard for both wood stoves and pellet stoves. We also suggest that EPA modify the proposed standards for forced air furnaces, and urge EPA to clarify whether its proposed NSPS for hydronic heaters and forced air furnaces will include a binding upper limit on emissions per hour after 2015.
a.     Wood Stove Data Indicates that EPA’s Proposed Step One Standard for Wood Stoves is Too Lenient.
Although we appreciate EPA’s proposal to lower the existing wood stove performance standard from 7.5 g PM/hr (for non-catalytic stoves) to 4.5 g/hr (for all stoves) in “Step One” of the new NSPS,[5]we believe that data in EPA’s possession could support the establishment of an even lower Step One emission limit for wood stoves.  For example, our analysis of EPA’s wood heater certification data[6]indicates that the median emission rate for EPA-certified non-catalytic wood heaters is 4.1 g/hr.[7]The medians for certified catalytic and pellet stoves are even lower: According to our analysis, the median emission rate for catalytic stoves is 3.0 g/hr, while the median for pellet stoves is only 1.88 g/hr.  The median for the entire wood stove category (including catalytic, non-catalytic, and pellet stoves), meanwhile, is 3.6 g/hr, while the average across all stoves is approximately 3.7 g/hr.  Moreover, as Washington State’s comments point out, a review of the HPBA database indicates that the top 20 percent of stoves (a cross-section that includes both catalytic and non-catalytic stoves) are already able to meet a 2.5 g/hr emission limit when the data is converted to 5G equivalents.
The fact that the majority of catalytic and non-catalytic stoves are already meeting (indeed, beating) the proposed Step One emission limits indicates that these limits could be more stringent.  As EPA has correctly stated in other recent rulemakings, EPA’s performance standards under section 111 of the CAA are meant to be technology-forcing, rather than simply continuing the status quo.[8]  Although EPA’s proposed Step Two limits for wood stoves will force some technological innovation, we believe that EPA could further promote this innovation by setting a reasonable, achievable, and more stringent near-term standard in Step One of the proposed NSPS.[9]  Moreover, in light of the current state of wood stove technology, we believe that if the Step Two limits remain at the levels proposed, allowing manufacturers five years to meet the stricter standards with cord wood is reasonable.
b.     EPA Should Establish a Separate, Lower Performance Standard for Pellet Stoves.
Under section 111(b), EPA is permitted to “distinguish among classes, types, and sizes” of regulated sources in establishing NSPS.[10]  The Alliance urges EPA to use this authority to establish a separate, more ambitious performance standard for stoves that burn wood pellets.  As we explain below, we believe that such a decision would comport with the intent of section 111(b) and is supported by data on existing pellet stove emissions.
Section 111 provides that EPA’s NSPS must be based on the “emission limitation achievable through the application of the best system of emission reduction . . . adequately demonstrated.”[11]  Furthermore, under the Clean Air Act, EPA is required to evaluate whether “emission limitations and percent reductions beyond those required by [existing NSPS standards] are achieved in practice,” and to “consider the emission limitations and percent reductions achieved in practice” when setting revised new source performance standards.[12]  Nearly every model of pellet stove manufactured today is capable of achieving a 2.5 g/hr emission limit—an emission rate that is already far below EPA’s proposed Step One (4.5 g/hr) limit for other wood stoves.  In other words, these stoves are already achieving, in practice, an emission rate that is far below both the current NSPS performance standard for pellet stoves and the standard that EPA proposes to establish for Step One of the NSPS.  The Alliance believes that the CAA requires EPA to take into account this information by setting an emission limit for pellet stoves that reflects the emission reductions that these devices achieve in practice. Moreover, we believe that this information demonstrates that the “best” system of emission reduction for pellet stoves is capable of achieving emission rates that are much lower than the limits proposed by EPA.
In addition, pellet stoves are easily distinguishable from other wood stoves because pellet stoves use a different fuel, different pollution control systems, and different mechanics (e.g., mechanical feed) than do traditional wood stoves.  Therefore, the Alliance believes that the better environmental performance of pellet stoves should be recognized and incorporated into the final rule in the form of a separate performance standard with more stringent emission limits for these devices.  Consequently, we urge EPA to consider treating pellet stoves as a separate subcategory of wood stove.  EPA could set lower Step One and Step Two emission limits for the pellet stove subcategory, set an earlier pellet stove compliance deadline for the lower Step Two emission limit, or both.
c.     Additional Changes and Clarifications for the Hydronic Heater and Forced Air Furnace Category.
Although the Alliance generally supports the proposed performance standards for hydronic heaters and forced air furnaces, we believe that the final rule should reflect the following changes.
First, the proposed Step One standards for forced air furnaces is too lenient.  These devices can and should be required to meet the same standards that wood stoves must meet.  For most devices, a Step One limit of 0.48 lbs/MMBTU would be equivalent to EPA’s proposed 4.5 g/hr limit for wood stoves. Therefore, forced air furnaces should be required to meet a 0.48 lbs/MMBTU standard rather than the proposed Step One limit of 0.93 lbs/MMBTU.  The Step Two standard for forced air furnaces should be the same as the standard for boilers.
Second, although a 0.06 lbs/MMBTU Step Two standard is justifiable for pellet boilers, this limit may not be appropriate for cord wood boilers, depending on the test method.  For example, although we think the BNL method should be used for boilers with thermal storage, it is not clear that EPA’s proposed Step Two limit of 0.6 lbs/MMBTU would be achievable for cord wood boilers because the BNL method includes startup emissions. We think that a 0.15 lbs/MMBTU, which EPA has proposed as an “alternative” Step Two limit, would be a reasonable limit for two-step, five-year emission limit for cord wood boilers.
Third, we agree that the NSPS for hydronic heaters and forced air furnaces (proposed as new subcategory QQQQ) should include both a lbs/MMBTU heat output emission limit and a g/hr PM limit. As proposed, these sources would be subject to a 7.5 g/hr limit during the first phase of the NSPS (effective 2015).[13]  However, it is not clear whether sources in subcategory QQQQ would continue to be required to meet both a lbs/MMBTU limit, and the 7.5 g/hr limit after2015.  We urge the EPA to require the 7.5 g/hr after 2015.  If these devices will not be subject to this requirement after Step One, we request that EPA explain its reasoning.
  IV.         Implementation Deadlines.
a.     EPA Should Require All Devices to Meet the Final Emission Limits Within Five Years.
The Alliance strongly supports an approach that requires manufacturers to meet the final emission limits as soon as practicable.  The proposed two-step implementation period for wood stoves, hydronic heaters, and forced air furnaces is clearly achievable.  Indeed, some manufacturers are already meeting the lower emission limits that EPA proposes for five years from the effective date of the rule, even with cord wood.[14]  Most others will be able to meet those standards within five years at reasonable cost.
Further, although the Alliance supports the intent behind EPA’s three-step “Alternative Approach,”[15]we do not support the proposed eight-year deadline for meeting emission limits.  There are aspects of the Alternative Approach that make sense.  For example, a three-step approach would require manufacturers to demonstrate reasonable interim progress toward meeting the final emission limit targets.  Requiring manufacturers to meet an interim goal ensures that progress is being made toward reaching the end target.  Including such an interim target would also ensure that emissions from wood stoves are reduced sooner.  That said, the Alliance does notsupport the Alternative Approach for the NSPS, because we strongly believe that manufacturers do not need eight full years to reach the final emission rate targets (indeed, several commercial models are likely already able to meet these targets today).  Delaying implementation of the more technology-forcing final performance standards in the manner proposed for the Alternative Approach would allow existing, less efficient technologies to remain in use for longer while failing to provide manufacturers and retailers with a near-term incentive to offer better, cleaner, more sustainable options for wood stove users. In addition, because NSPS must be reviewed at least every eight years,[16]the Alternative Approach would effectively require manufacturers to meet the most stringent performance standard just as EPA would be initiating its eight-year review (during which the agency could decide to revise the standards further).  Therefore, we recommend that EPA retain its proposed five-year compliance deadline for the final, Step Two emission limits for all devices.
b.     Recommendations for Grandfathering of Existing Stove Lines and Other Devices. 
The Proposed Rule would allow a “transition period” for stove models certified prior to the effective date of the final rule.  Under this transition period, stoves that were certified under the 1988 NSPS would be “grandfathered in” and could continue to be manufactured and sold for up to 5 years from the date of certification (which could occur at any time before the Proposed Rule’s “effective date”).[17]  Although we agree that a transition period is appropriate, we support a transition period only for appliances that already meet the Step One standards.  As EPA’s certification database demonstrates, there are already numerous catalytic, non-catalytic, and pellet stove models on the market today that are certified at 4.5 g/hr or below.  Allowing existing stove lines with emissions greater than the Step One emission limits to continue to be sold would allow too many high-emitting, inefficient stoves to stay on the market far longer than is appropriate given the state of the technology and the importance of reducing emissions from wood stoves.  In addition, because manufacturers could continue to certify new models up until the effective date of the final rule, we believe the Proposed Rule’s approach to grandfathering provides manufacturers with an incentive to quickly certify all of their high-emitting stoves before the deadline, rather than discontinuing production of less clean devices and transitioning toward a cleaner wood stove fleet.  We note that section 111 appears to anticipate and preempt such a perverse incentive, in that it defines new sources as those sources for which “construction or modification . . . is commenced after the publication of regulations (or, if earlier, proposed regulations) prescribing [an NSPS].”[18] 
In keeping with the intent of section 111, the Alliance recommends that all heaters, regardless of whether they were certified before or after the date of the Proposed Rule—should be required to meet the initial Step One standards for wood stoves and pellet stoves.  Manufacturers and retailers selling heater models certified prior to the Proposed Rule whose emissions are higher than the Step One standards should be given a reasonable, six-month grace period to sell these certified but non-compliant stoves, beginning with the date when EPA issues the final rule.  Following the six-month sell-through period, certifications for any stove that does not meet the Step One standards should be rescinded by EPA—regardless of whether the certificate expiration date extends beyond the six-month sell-through period.  Stoves with emissions lower than the Step One standards that were certified before the Proposed Rule (i.e., under the existing crib wood test methods) should be allowed to be manufactured and sold until their certificate expires or the Step Two standards take effect (by which time those stove models should be required to either be re-certified under the revised test methods or removed from the market).  Currently exempted wood stoves—sometimes referred to as single burn rate stoves, or 35- to-1 stoves —and unqualified wood boilers should not be grandfathered or given any sell-through period.
In addition, we support a two-year sell through period for boilers and furnaces certified under the EN303-5 standards that are Class 3, 4 or 5, or qualified by the EPA. With the exception of these models, EPA should not allow devices that are currently exempt from the regulation to be grandfathered.  As required by CAA section 111, any currently unregulated devices (e.g., hydronic heaters, forced air furnaces, and some wood and pellet stoves) manufactured after the date of the Proposed Rule should be required to meet the Step One emission limit immediately.   
Finally, we do not believe that a small volume manufacturer compliance extension is necessary for either boilers or furnaces.  Even small volume manufacturers currently market their products on a regional or nationwide basis.  Allowing potentially high emitting hydronic heaters or furnaces from small volume manufacturers into areas that are already at risk is not advisable.  However, we do support the proposed five-year small volume manufacturer compliance extension for masonry heaters, because these devices are already sufficiently clean-burning.  In addition, we recommend that EPA carefully consider the comments submitted by the Masonry Heater Association and Norbert Serf regarding how EPA should set performance standards for masonry heaters.
    V.         Proposed Test Methods and Enforcement.
a.     The Alliance Supports the Transition to Cord Wood Testing.
Credible testing and enforcement are essential components of any New Source Performance Standard under the CAA.  In this regard, the Alliance strongly supports the Proposed Rule’s requirement to transition from the crib wood test to the cord wood test for certifying wood heaters and other devices, because the cord wood test more accurately represents “real world” emissions.  EPA has proposed that wood stoves certified during Step One of the revised NSPS would be tested using both crib wood and cord wood and could be certified using either test.[19]  For Step Two, EPA proposes that stoves would be certified using only the cord wood test.[20]  The Alliance believes this approach will allow a reasonable transition period for manufacturers to test and, if necessary, adjust their stove offerings so that they can meet the Step Two emission limits using a cord wood test alone. 
However, the Alliance notes that the vast majority of emissions data that EPA has gathered to date appears to be crib wood data and little cord wood test data exists.[21]  Furthermore, the Alliance is not aware of any simple or technically defensible method of estimating the emissions that a stove tested on crib wood would emit when tested on cord wood. We understand that EPA will be testing additional stoves using cord wood over the next several months.  If EPA can obtain sufficient cord wood test data to adequately support its proposed Step Two standards before issuing a final rule, we would support the emission limits as proposed. 
If EPA cannot obtain sufficient data to make a reasoned determination as to the achievability of its proposed Step Two standards using a cord wood test, we suggest that EPA consider conducting a mid-term review of the Step Two cord wood-based emission limit at least 12 months before the effective date of the Step Two limits.  During this mid-term review, EPA would be able to examine additional cord wood test data obtained from stoves that are certified during the first phase of the new NSPS.  This data would either reinforce EPA’s determination that the Step Two limits are achievable using a cord wood test, or indicate that these limits should be adjusted (either upward or downward).  Following this mid-term review, EPA could amend the NSPS (if necessary) to account for the new cord wood test data the agency receives.  Such a mid-term review is authorized by the Clean Air Act,[22]and would be in line with the approach that EPA has taken for regulating emissions from mobile sources[23](which, like wood heaters, are typically mass-produced devices that are certified and then sold into commerce).
b.     EPA Has Ample Data Showing that Step Two Emission Limits Are Achievable for Pellet Stoves.
In contrast to other types of wood stoves, EPA has not proposed to change the test method for pellet stoves.[24]  These stoves are currently tested using pellet fuel, and the fuel that pellet stoves will use for certification will not change significantly (as it will for cord wood stoves).  EPA has clarified that new pellet stoves would be required to be tested using Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) approved pellets[25]—a proposal that we support.[26]  We do not believe that using fuel certified under the PFI program will substantially affect the emissions of these devices.  Therefore, as discussed above, EPA already has ample data in its possession showing that the Step Two pellet stove limits are achievable.  (Indeed, as we point out above, EPA’s certification data shows that these limits could be even lower for pellet stoves.)  As a result, no mid-term review would be necessary for pellet stoves.  We believe this distinction in test methods between traditional wood stoves and pellet stoves is yet another good reason for treating pellet stoves as a separate subcategory.
c.     EPA Should Establish a Clear Pathway for Certification of Automated Stoves. 
New sensing and automation technologies could be vitally important to improving wood stove efficiency, lowering emissions, and making wood stoves a viable option for more consumers in the future.  For example, automated stoves that employ this kind of technology can achieve greater emission reductions in practice because they significantly reduce or eliminate the possibility that some users would misoperate their stoves, which leads to less efficient heating and higher emissions.  Several automated stoves were included in the Wood Stove Decathlon,[27]which is sponsored by the Alliance and more will be tested in November 2014 as we develop a test method for them.  These automated stoves represent the exciting, cutting edge of wood stove technology, and EPA should design the new NSPS so as to eliminate all unnecessary barriers to the introduction and use of these stoves in the U.S. market.  Furthermore, automated stoves could be tested on a cold-to-cold basis, as automation can be designed to reduce start up emissions.  This capability to reduce start-up emissions should be built into future test methods, because the current hot-to-hot approach may overlook the significant amounts of PM that can be emitted when a stove is first warming up or cooling down.
We are concerned that the Proposed Rule’s testing protocols do not provide a clear procedure for certifying automated stoves.  We therefore recommend that EPA provide a clearer path to certification for new technologies such as automated stoves.  For example, EPA could clarify that automated stoves (which cannot be manually adjusted by the user) may be tested and certified according to the single burn rate heater testing procedure, adjusted as EPA believes appropriate.  EPA should consult with stakeholders and issue a supplemental notice of data availability that explains how the agency would test and certify an automated stove under the final rule.
d.     Additional Comments on Testing and Certification. 
Transition to Bimodal Test Method.  The Alliance supports the change in the variable burn-rate wood stove test method from an average of four operational modes to a focus on the two modes most likely to emit high levels of particulate matter—Category 1 (the lowest burn rate) and Category 4 (highest burn rate).[28]  This modification will help to ensure that low emissions during the optimal stove operational mode do not hide the potentially higher emissions occurring during very low or high burn rates.
Filter Pulls.  The requirement for one-hour filter pull should be applied only to hydronic heaters and furnaces, and no further than the first five hours of testing.  Requiring additional filter catches from room heaters and other small devices would be overly costly, and would not yield significant amounts of additional information.
Moisture Sampling Techniques for Method 28.  The alliance supports Washington State’s comments on EPA’s proposed changes to the moisture sampling techniques, and urges EPA to ensure that the test method is workable for test labs.
Certification for Multi-fuel Stoves.  Certain pellet stoves are capable of using either wood pellet fuel or corn.  EPA should clarify whether such multi-fuel stoves can or must be certified using corn as well as wood pellet fuel.  If these stoves must be certified using corn, EPA should allow manufacturers to use the Method 28 test with corn to demonstrate compliance with the NSPS.
Potential Issues for Small Test Labs.  Although we generally support EPA’s proposal to require test labs to be accredited under ISO protocols,[29]we are concerned that this requirement could be too costly for small labs, and might lead some of these labs to go out of business or to stop performing wood heating device certification tests.  The elimination of these labs could lead to a testing bottleneck, especially in the first few years of the NSPS, as manufacturers begin to recertify and retest their existing lines using EPA’s revised test protocols.  It could also increase the rule’s impact on small businesses.  Therefore, we suggest that EPA consider allowing laboratories with five or fewer employees that have been accredited under appropriate state laboratory accreditation programs (where they exist) to qualify as certifying laboratories under the NSPS without having to become ISO-accredited.  EPA can and should continue to monitor these and other labs to ensure that they continue to provide accurate certification data.
Public Availability of Test Data.  We urge EPA to make summary data from certification testing available to the public via a central, web-accessible database on the EPA website.  Under section 114 of the CAA, certification test data must be made available to the public unless the manufacturer demonstrates, to the satisfaction of EPA, that making the test data public would “divulge methods or processes entitled to protection as trade secrets.”[30]  We have no reason to believe that posting the results of the required wood heater emissions and efficiency tests would compromise any manufacturer’s confidential trade secrets.  We support EPA’s proposed clarification that all certification test data (including PM, CO, and efficiency data) under the NSPS are public data.[31]  We urge the agency to post this data—including disaggregated information from all burn rates tested for each device—on the EPA website in a timely fashion, and in a format that consumers and others can easily access.  The European Josephinum website provides a good example of how this can be accomplished.[32]
Electronic Submittal of Test Data.  In the past, manufacturers have been allowed to submit their certification test data on paper, a procedure that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the public to view or access this data.  Although we are encouraged by EPA’s proposal to require manufacturers to use electronic reporting in the future, we note that as proposed, this requirement will apply only if the test data is “collected using test methods compatible with [the Electronic Reporting Tool (ERT)]” and only if the ERT is operational.[33]  These two exceptions raise the distinct possibility that test data will continue to be submitted on paper for some time, notwithstanding EPA’s intention of requiring electronic submission.  Therefore, while we urge EPA to continue working toward the timely implementation of mandatory, industry-wide ERT reporting, we recommend that EPA immediately begin requiring manufacturers and labs to scan and electronically submit any paper data they currently submit (e.g., in Portable Document Format (PDF) or similar format).  EPA should make these PDFs available on its website within a reasonable amount of time (less than 60 days), so that the public can access this data, as required by CAA section 114.
Enforcement.  Effective enforcement of EPA’s proposed NSPS is critical to ensuring a fair market for wood stove manufacturers and retailers.  In the past, compliance with the NSPS has been hampered due to the small number of staff and the limited resources the agency has devoted to enforcement.  EPA proposes to address these issues by delegating some of the agency’s monitoring and enforcement responsibilities to states,[34]as permitted by section 111(c) of the CAA.[35]  The Alliance supports this proposal as one means of improving monitoring and enforcement of these important performance standards, especially where state agencies demonstrate a willingness and an ability to ensure that the federal NSPS is being followed.  However, we urge EPA to further clarify the following elements of this proposal: 1) what specific authorities will states have to monitor, enforce, and remedy potential violations; 2) how will the agency determine whether to delegate these functions to states; 2) how will EPA  monitor and respond to allegations that delegated states are not carrying out their enforcement responsibilities; and 4) how will the standards be enforced in cases where EPA does not delegate monitoring and enforcement authority.  In addition to delegating appropriate authority to the states, EPA should also separately commit to improving OECA’s capacity, and the capacity of enforcement staff in EPA’s regional offices, to ensure that manufacturers and retailers comply with the NSPS.  Furthermore, the Alliance supports Washington State’s recommendation that OECA redirect its resources to examine retailers’ and manufacturers’ sales claims and provide a mechanism for online reporting of false advertising.  Also, because wood stoves are analogous to motor vehicles (in that they are tested, certified, mass-produced, and then sold into commerce),  EPA should consider adopting and adapting elements of its vehicle and engine compliance programs for the wood stove context, as appropriate.  For example, the Alliance would support a rigorous EPA spot-check program to ensure that all market participants are complying with the rule.   
Finally, we also support Washington State’s suggestion that EPA create a mechanism for online reporting of false advertising.  A link to this reporting form can be placed in various locations within the EPA domain (e.g., Burn Wise, Wood Smoke Education, Report a Violation, etc.) allowing the public, industry, and regulators to participate in the elimination of false claims. 
  VI.         The Alliance Supports EPA’s Decision to Gather More Data on Stove Efficiency, with the Understanding that Future NSPS Would Set an Efficiency Standard in Addition to Emission Standards.
Although the Alliance strongly recommends that EPA require new wood stoves to meet minimum efficiency requirements at some point, we support the Proposed Rule’s approach of requiring that data on efficiency be gathered from all new appliances, as long as manufacturers are required to submit their efficiency data within 6 months of publishing the final rule. Having actual efficiency data posted for the duration of the proposed NSPS is reasonable, with the understanding that efficiency requirements could be set in 8 years during when EPA re-evaluates the NSPS for room heaters.  We suggest that EPA clarify in the final rule that it is gathering data with the goal of establishing mandatory efficiency standards in a future rulemaking, so that manufacturers are put on notice that such standards will eventually be promulgated.  Improved efficiency is particularly important to low-income wood stove users because the greater the efficiency of the wood stove, the less fuel the heater must consume to heat a home, and the lower the user’s fuel costs. Lower income families are more likely to be impacted by fuel costs because they typically use the heaters far more than higher income families.
In addition, the Alliance believes that transparency and customer information are critical to maintaining a vibrant, successful, and environmentally sustainable wood stove industry.  Just as car buyers are entitled to know the fuel efficiency of the car they are buying, so too, consumers of wood stoves should be able to compare the efficiencies of different stove models when deciding whether to purchase a new stove.  Therefore, we urge EPA to require that all wood stove manufacturers publicly report the HHV, CSA B415.1 efficiency numbers based on test data from their current certification test within six months of the promulgation of the final rule.  Any stoves certified under the new NSPS should likewise be required to post their efficiency numbers no later than six months after receiving their certification.  Manufacturers should be required to display the efficiency of their stoves in a uniform manner on a permanent tag that is affixed to the stove.
Furthermore, manufacturers and retailers also should be required to immediately stop displaying “default” efficiency numbers on tags or other advertising materials.  These default factors are often grossly inaccurate, and are misleading to consumers.  Where actual efficiency numbers are not available for a stove based on data from a their previous certification tests, manufacturers and retailers should be required to state that the efficiency of the stove has not been tested and is not known.  This requirement will provide more accurate information to consumers who are searching for a more efficient stove and will lead to more purchases of less polluting, more efficient devices.  To avoid misleading consumers further, EPA should also remove the “default” emission factor column from its posted list of certified wood stoves.[36]
Finally, the Alliance urges the EPA to clarify how efficiency will be measured now that certification tests will be required to be based only on the high and low burn rates, rather than on data from all four burn rates.
The Alliance Opposes Elimination of the Hang-Tag, and Supports Development of Additional Incentives for the Most Efficient Stoves.  The Alliance does not support EPA’s proposed elimination of the temporary label or “hangtag.”[37]  Hangtags provide key information on the efficiency and environmental attributes of different devices at the point of sale and play a critical role in incentivizing consumers to purchase the cleanest, most efficient stoves.  The requirement to include a hangtag is generally an almost insignificant expense, and yet the information it provides to customers can lead to greater deployment of more efficient, low-emitting stoves.  Requiring that hangtags include these items, as well as the device’s maximum BTU output as reported by the test lab (not merely as reported by manufacturer), would also assist consumers.  While EPA’s proposal to place efficiency and emissions information on a website is helpful, it is not a suitable replacement for the hangtag.  Most customers are likely unaware that EPA even maintains a website with efficiency and other relevant information, and we do not believe that replacing the hangtag with the EPA’s website will serve the same, important purpose of informing wood stove buyers of the relative efficiency and emissions impact of the stoves they are considering at the time they visit the retailer to make their purchase.
We oppose requiring permanent labels containing language requiring homeowners to cease using a woodstove certified to the Step One standard when Step Two comes into force.
In addition to maintaining the hangtag requirement, the Alliance would also support the development of a voluntary “Green Label” for the “cleanest of the clean.”  Such a label would give customers who value environmental attributes and efficiency an additional, valuable signal in the marketplace, similar to  “Energy Star” label.  Such a signal would encourage consumer decisions that would further reduce emissions and would spur manufacturers to innovate by reducing emissions in order to improve the competitiveness of their stoves.
Furthermore, owner’s manuals for wood stoves and other room heaters should be required to include the actual efficiency and emissions numbers at which the device was certified. Owner’s manuals should also be required to include information about optimum operating temperatures, thermometer location, proper air control regulation, wood moisture testing and proper annual maintenance.
Next, OECA should begin planning now to provide adequate staffing to conduct periodic (no less than yearly) reviews of manufacturer web sites.  All decisions to revoke EPA certificates should be posted online for easy access by state and local regulators as well as the general public. 
Finally, EPA should consider additional incentives to promote clean stoves. These incentives could include: allowing entities to obtain SIP credits for changing out old stoves with new technology; allowing states to incorporate programs in state SIPs that provide additional incentives for using clean wood stove technology; and continuing to allow change-out programs to qualify as supplemental environmental projects in EPA settlements. Moreover, because waste and PM emissions can be dramatically reduced if outdoor wood boilers are professionally sized and installed, EPA should encourage states to establish certification and professional sizing programs for these devices (where such programs do not currently exist).
VII.         Environmental Justice.
One of the core themes of state regulators during EPA’s February public hearing in Boston on the NSPS was a concern about the impact of the regulations on low-income households who rely on wood heat. Additionally, a core theme from industry is a concern that even moderately higher stove prices will put them out of reach of low and middle-income households, resulting in continued reliance on the existing stock of more-polluting, uncertified stoves in these communities.
While people of all ethnicities and economic classes own wood stoves, low-income households burn far more wood and are more likely to use them as their primary source of heat, whereas wealthier homes use wood stoves as a supplementary heating source.[38]  Greater use of wood and wood heating is also likely to lead to greater exposure of PM2.5 air pollution among non-white populations.  For example, a recent NYSERDA report found that “increased non-white population . . . [was] associated with higher downslope woodsmoke PM2.5.”[39]
EPA defines Environmental Justice (EJ) as the “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Fair treatment means that no group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local, and tribal programs and policies.”[40]
Although we applaud EPA for commissioning the “Analysis of Exposure to Residential Wood Combustion Emissions for Different Socio-Economic Groups” prepared by EC/R Incorporated in 2010, we do not believe that report considered the full range of potential impacts on low-income and minority communities from wood heater emissions.  For example, the EC/R analysis focused primarily on cancer correlations, while failing to fully examine many other considerations that could and should be part of an EJ analysis.
While we believe the EJ analysis for this round of revisions to the NSPS is sufficient, we think that it is important for EPA to recognize that some low-income and minority communities are more likely to rely on wood as a primary heating fuel, and that these groups may be forced to rely on older, uncertified heaters which are more polluting and less efficient.  For these reasons, we believe that a full, comprehensive EJ analysis would better account for the significance of reducing PM and other emissions from wood heating devices as a key step in eliminating the disproportionate impact that wood heater emissions can have on low-income and minority communities. Therefore, we urge EPA to undertake a more comprehensive EJ analysis in the context of any future revisions to these wood heater performance standards.
VIII.         Conclusion
The Alliance appreciates the opportunity to provide input on this important rule and looks forward to working with EPA to implement the points we highlight above.

                                                                                    John Ackerly

[1]Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces, and New Residential Masonry Heaters, 79 Fed. Reg. 6,329 (Feb. 3, 2014) [hereinafter “Proposed Rule”].
[3]EPA, Consumers – Choosing Appliances – Choosing the Right Fireplace,
[4]The CAA defines a new source as “any stationary source, the construction of modification of which is commenced after the publication of regulations (or, if earlier, proposed regulations) prescribing a standard of performance under this section which will be applicable to such source.”  42 U.S.C. § 7411(a)(2).  Because second-hand stoves must be installed anew when moved from one location to another, each new installation of a second-hand stove constitutes a new “construction” that brings that second-hand stove within the definition of “new source.”
[5]Proposed Rule, 79 Fed. Reg. at 6339.
[6]We analyzed data from all certified stoves listed on EPA’s website as of March 2014.  The list is available at 
[7]Three hundred and fifteen (315) listed, non-catalytic wood stove models are currently certified with emission limits at or below 4.1 g/hr.
[8]See, e.g., Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility
Generating Units, 79 Fed. Reg. 1430, 1465 (Jan. 8, 2014) (citing Sierra Club v. Costle, 657 F.2d 298, 347 (D.C. Cir. 1981) and various Congressional Reports interpreting the CAA amendments of 1970).
[9]The Alliance supports EPA’s proposal to set a single standard for both catalytic and non-catalytic stoves, and does not believe that setting a single standard will lead to backsliding among catalytic stove (especially in light of EPA’s proposal that wood stoves meet a more stringent Step Two emission limit within 5 years of the effective date).
[10]42 U.S.C. § 7411(b)(2).
[11]42 U.S.C. § 7411(a)(1) (emphasis added).
[12]42 U.S.C. § 7411(b)(1)(B).
[13]See 79 Fed. Reg. at 6385.
[14]Although we do not believe it is possible to convert between existing crib wood data and the cord wood-based emission limits EPA proposes for Step Two, it is worth noting that fourteen non-catalytic, twenty-one catalytic, and twenty-eight pellet stoves are already EPA-certified at the proposed Step Two emission limit of 1.3 g/hr or less, using a weighted average of all four burn rates.  See EPA, List of EPA Certified Wood Heaters (Mar. 2014), (Note that if they were retested using just the high and low burns as proposed by EPA for this NSPS, it is possible that fewer of the existing models would meet the 1.3 g/hr standard.)  In addition, Tom Morrissey of the Woodstock Soapstone Company has tested at least one of this stoves using cord wood and found that it can meet the lower, Step Two limits proposed by EPA.  We understand that this data will be submitted to the rulemaking docket. 
[15]See 79 Fed. Reg. at 6339.
[16]42 U.S.C. § 7411(b)(1)(B).
[17]79 Fed. Reg. at 6338-39.
[18]42 U.S.C. § 7411(a)(2) (emphasis added).
[19]Proposed Rule, 79 Fed. Reg. at 6340.
[21]We note that Tom Morrissey of Woodstock Soapstone has successfully demonstrated that at least one of his stoves can consistently meet the proposed Step Two emission limits when tested on cord wood.  However, our review of EPA’s supporting documentation does not appear to reveal any additional test data from cord wood testing.
[22]Section 111(b)(1)(B) provides that EPA “shall, at least every 8 years, review and, if appropriate, revise” NSPS standards, unless EPA “determines that such review is not appropriate in light of readily available information on the efficacy of such standard.”  42 U.S.C. § 7411(b)(1)(B).  Therefore, EPA may issue the current NSPS with the intention of conducting a mid-term review once it has gathered additional cord wood test data.
[23]See, e.g., EPA and NHTSA, 2017 and Later Model Year Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards, 77 Fed. Reg. 62,624, 62,633 (Oct. 15, 2012).
[24]EPA has proposed that owners and operators would be required to use the grade of pellet stove used in the certification test of the stove, or better. See 79 Fed. Reg. at 6332.  However, this requirement on the user will not implicate the representativeness of the test data on which EPA bases its proposed standards for pellet stoves.
[25]79 Fed. Reg. at 6341.
[26]We also recommend that the PFI program be expanded to require pellets used in new stoves to comply with the requirements of EN Plus.
[27]See Alliance for Green Heat, Overview and Results of Decathlon,
[28]See 79 Fed. Reg. at 6367.
[29]79 Fed. Reg. at 6374.
[30]See 42 U.S.C. § 7414(c).
[31]See 79 Fed. Reg. at 6376.
[33]79 Fed. Reg. at 6382.
[34]See 79 Fed. Reg. at 6367. EPA has appropriately clarified that it will retain authority to monitor and enforce the NSPS even in delegated states.
[35]42 U.S.C. § 7411(c).
[37]See 79 Fed. Reg. 6340-41.
[38]Nianfu Song, et al., Factors Affecting Wood Energy Consumption by U.S. Households, 34 Energy Economics 389 (2012).
[39] NYSERDA, Spatial Modeling and Monitoring of Residential Wood Smoke Across a Non-Urban Upstate New York Region xxii (Feb. 2010), available at
[40]EPA Region 1, Environmental Justice Program and Civil Rights, May 2, 2014).

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EPA to Publish Wooden Heater Laws by February three, 2015

In accordance to a tale filed right now by E&ampE’s Greenwire, the&nbspU.S. EPA has settled a lawsuit filed by seven states and environmental teams on wood-heater emissions with an agreement that the agency will release overdue laws up coming 12 months.

In a consent decree at the U.S. District Courtroom for the District of Columbia, EPA states it will publish the final rule by&nbspTuesday,&nbspFebruary 3, 2015, to update emission boundaries on household wooden heaters.
The 7 states — Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont — and environmental teams, such as the Environmental Protection Fund, had sued EPA very last October to compel the company to issue the rules.

The Alliance for Inexperienced Warmth welcomes this consent decree as it assures that the EPA will not hold off this rule any much more than it has currently. &nbspThis decree also provides companies certainty about when the rule will occur into pressure, which is important for their organizing.

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The Importance of “Notices of Intent to Sue” the EPA above the Wood Heater NSPS

Well prepared for the Alliance for Green Warmth by the law organization Van Ness Feldman, LLP

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp On August 1st, a coalition of states and a team of a number of environmental companies despatched individual notices to EPA notifying of their intent to file a lawsuit in excess of the hold off in issuing revised New Supply Performance Standards (NSPS) for household wood heaters.&nbsp Below the Cleanse Air Act, a “notice of intent” is required sixty days just before an individual or team sues EPA.&nbsp This discover is required in order to give the company time to respond to the problems lifted in the recognize, perhaps steering clear of litigation.&nbsp Get-togethers that file intent to sue notices are not essential to file suit and may choose that it is in the end not in their very best interest to do so.

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Usually, intent to sue notices are employed by teams and men and women to prod the EPA to transfer much more swiftly in rulemaking and to remind the agency that there are stakeholders worried about the result as well as the timing of a regulation.&nbsp In the scenario of the wooden heater NSPS, EPA is currently well underway to issuing a proposed rule.&nbsp The recent draft of the rule has been underneath overview at the Workplace of Management and Funds (OMB) because July twenty sixth.&nbsp However, that stated, EPA is seventeen a long time late in revising the rule. States and environmental groups involved about ongoing particulate issue (PM) pollution and high air pollution stages from unregulated boilers are worried that EPA will enable the timeline for the proposed rule slip further.&nbsp The intent to sue notices also highlights the truth that there have been a quantity of enhancements to the technological innovation for controlling emissions that are not captured in the existing regulations.

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp It is unclear regardless of whether the intent to sue notices will in fact direct to litigation.&nbsp The environmental groups’ petitions ended up far more definitive in stating that they would sue following the sixty-working day time frame elapses, or on October 1st.&nbsp Technically, OMB must be finished examining the rule by October 26th.&nbsp Nonetheless, it is challenging to forecast with any certainty how rapidly OMB’s overview will continue, and it could be concluded prior to October 1st. A lawsuit very likely would not be filed as soon as the rule is launched unless the state and environmental groups want to get a organization deadline for when the closing wood heater NSPS will be issued.&nbsp If this is the situation, lawsuits may possibly nonetheless be submitted even with a proposal coming out of OMB prior to Oct 1st.

Heated Up!