Utah invoice HB 396: A Hastily Crafted Invoice that Misses the Mark

Winter inversions, caused mainly by cars
and trucks, often obscure the Utah legislature
in a cloud of pollution that can last days.

A bill was just introduced in the Utah House of Representatives that would mandate certain types of change out programs, set air quality levels that can be used to call no burn days and otherwise undermine the ability of the state to help move toward cleaner burning and cleaner air.

The key to reducing wood smoke in Utah’s populated and often polluted valley surrounding Salt Lake City is a genuine partnership between the states air quality division, industry and other non-profits and stakeholders.  Ultimately, solutions are going to require funding, especially if a change out program is involved, which can be expensive.  For any significant amount of money to be used for change outs, the Utah governor and air quality division should support the change out, not have HB 396 thrust upon them, which will tie their hands.

Utah Governor Herbert’s proposed seasonal ban was ill conceived and drawn up without sufficient consultation.  HB 396 was similarly drawn up without sufficient consultation and will not lead to genuine solutions that can get solid funding.

Like most others, the Alliance did not support the seasonal ban proposed by the Governor, but HB 396 is not the solution.  HB 396 was drafted by key stove industry members and reflects the interests of some stove retailers and manufacturers, but does not embrace many solutions which can benefit homeowners who heat with wood and pellets.

There are a variety of proven ways to reduce wood smoke while protecting the rights of families who heat with wood and pellets.  HB 396 only refers to several strategies and it ties the hands of the Division of Air Quality, without even providing funding for solutions.  Wood stove change out programs are one of the effective strategies, but HB 396 does not include many options and best practices that other jurisdictions use in change outs to support high efficiency wood and pellet heating while reducing emissions at the same time.
This hastily crafted bill needs to emphasize the interests of all Utahans, more than the just retailers and stove manufacturers who drafted the bill.  Lines 28 and 29 which require consultation with representatives of the solid fuel burning industry while not mentioning representatives of other concerned groups is unfortunate.  The solid fuel burning industry does not represent the consumers who use their products any more than any other industry group represents consumers of their products.  For instance, one of the most important reasons people heat with wood and pellets is to save money, particularly lower income families.  However, the solid fuel burning industry refuses to release the efficiencies of the stoves they sell.  Some pellet stoves are between 40 – 50% efficient and some are between 70 – 80% efficient, but industry has long stonewalled consumer interests to know which stoves are more efficient than others. 
Industry has also actively opposed change out and incentive programs which require the disclosure of efficiency or only make the cleanest stoves eligible for replacing older, uncertified stoves.  Such options and programs, however, benefit consumers and should be considered in any change out program.
Ultimately the solution in Utah, like in any jurisdiction, requires the active engagement of all stakeholders and the consideration of all solutions – and funding.   If industry, DAQ, and other stakeholders can agree on the parameters of a change out program, it will be far easier to secure funding each year and for that funding to have the most impact.  HB 396 will not achieve that and pits the solid fuel industry against the interests of many other key stakeholders.
For these reasons, we urge the Legislature to vote against HB 396.
Over the last 4 years, the Alliance for Green Heat has also advocated on behalf of families who heat with wood and pellets with members of the Utah legislature, the Utah Division of Air Quality and the Utah Air Quality Board.  We provide expert background on wood heating technology, wood smoke emissions, and analysis.
On the current debate in Utah, we issued three short papers to help policymakers and the public better understand the importance of wood and pellet heating and options to improve air quality:
On February 24, we provided an informal briefing at the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) on options for reducing wood smoke that other jurisdictions are pursuing, none of which include a ban on stove use.  That powerpoint can be downloaded here: http://www.forgreenheat.org/upload/upload/AGH Utah presentation.pptx

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Residence Invoice Seeks to Avert Rigid EPA Wood Stove Regulation

Rep. Luetkemeyer (R-MO)
&nbspAGH EvaluationHome Resolution 4407, the Wood Stove Regulatory Reduction Act of 2014, would

avert the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from setting up rigid emission limitations for wood and pellet stoves and boilers.&nbsp The bill does not totally look for to keep the standing quo, as it would nonetheless let out of doors boilers and indoor furnaces to be regulated, which they aren’t in most states.&nbsp It would avert the EPA from placing emission boundaries tighter than four.5 grams an hour for wood and pellet stoves, which has been the de facto nationwide normal because 1995.

The bill was released on April four, 2014 by Missouri Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer and now has 10 co-sponsors, nine of which are Republican and 1 Democrat. GovTrack’s investigation tags Luetkemeyer as a much-right Republican consultant. This identical preeminent bill tracking service, gov.monitor.us, provides this monthly bill an eight% chance of getting earlier committee and a mere two% chance of passing.&nbsp This is the destiny of the majority of expenses introduced every single yr in the Home but it does not mean that they do not provide helpful functions for the users who introduce them or the events who drafted it for the lawmakers.
The bill demonstrates what a lot of stove and boiler manufactures needed to see from the EPA rulemaking approach in the New Source Functionality Expectations (NSPS).&nbsp While Congressional payments can reflect just a specifically industry may possibly want, the EPA’s NSPS is meant to determine the Very best Method of Emission Reduction (BSER) that has been adequately demonstrated.&nbsp BSER can be set up with only a handful of stoves and then be applied to the total market, forcing all manufacturers to undertake the techniques that can make the cleanest burning stove.&nbsp An NSPS can be a “technology forcing” regulation and the primary issue appears to be what percentage of stove versions will be forced to modify and by when.
This invoice would quit the process of necessitating BSER by stopping the EPA from applying the second stage of item emission specifications integrated in the NSPS. The second section is in 2020 or 2023 when the stricter emissions standards would be essential.&nbsp In addition, the monthly bill softens time limitations for makers and retailers offering hydronic heaters and warm air furnaces, enabling them more time to offer present inventory. The bill also helps prevent the EPA from producing any alterations in the auditing and certification strategy for a bare minimum of 3 several years into the new NSPS, in purchase to prevent a backup at testing labs. The bill also compels the EPA to allow merchandise that are currently EPA accredited to be grandfathered into the new regulations.
The bill, drafted by users and workers of the Hearth, Patio &amp Barbecue Association (HPBA), arose when it turned clear that the EPA was determined to suggest rigid emission standards for stoves and boilers.&nbsp According to HPBA, the EPA abandoned a “collaborative approach” to the rule generating and “began to propose radically new concepts dependent on assumptions which went much beyond their available info.”&nbsp Owing to deficiency of funding, the EPA has not been ready to create numerous of its own data sets and frequently has to depend on business for emission info.&nbsp Industry has shared some info but is also strategically withholding some information that they hope will stop the EPA from environment stricter specifications.&nbsp In reaction, for components of this NSPS, the EPA has been turning to data sets from other international locations, relying on data from a couple of makers who share it, performing their possess screening among other strategies.&nbsp

Most of the sponsors of H.R. 4407 are delegates whose constituents have a increased dependency for wooden heat as their major heating resource. &nbspThe national common is about two.one%. A fact sheet supporting HR 4407 put out by Rep. Leutkemeyer’s office erroneously explained that, “12 p.c of all residences burn up wood as their main heating gas.” The table underneath highlights the scores of the co-sponsors in accordance to the The League of Conservation Voters, who rank Condition representative’s “pro-environment” voting heritage on crucial legislation involving environmental, community wellness, and power concerns. &nbspThe lone democrat, Rep. Collin Peterson signifies the district that Central Boiler is in.

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Invoice to overturn out of doors wood boiler rules fails to pass Utah Legislature

Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah – The Republican dominated Utah Senate upheld laws on outside wood boilers by not voting on a invoice that experienced very easily handed the Utah Residence. &nbsp The monthly bill, HB 394, would have overturned restrictions on outside boilers that was handed nearly unanimously by a Property committee and then by the full House on Tuesday by a vote of 59 to twelve. The bill most likely would have handed the Senate experienced it not been for the initiatives of advocacy groups these kinds of as the Alliance for Green Heat, the Wasatch Clear Air Coalition and other people anxious about the damaging impact out of doors wood boilers can have on regional air high quality.

Proponents of the invoice had been distributing a flyer with inaccurate and deceptive information to legislators. The flyer mentioned that OWBs are cleaner and far more productive than EPA certified wood stoves and that forty nine states permitted what the new Utah restrictions would not. In reality, the Utah restrictions authorized the set up of certified outside wooden boilers in most of the point out but did not allow their installation in the more populated locations that had been in air good quality non-attainment.

The Alliance for Green Heat contacted the Senate sponsor of the invoice who turned extremely concerned about the accuracy of flyer as nicely as a key proponent of the monthly bill who experienced represented himself as a concerned citizen but who was in fact becoming paid by Central Boiler to guide the campaign. The Alliance collected forty five signatures in under 24 hours for an open sign-on letter to the Utah legislature urging them not to vote for this invoice that would overturn affordable restrictions the state set on outside boilers this February. The signatories represented leaders in the biomass sector, nonprofits, professors and clean air advocates and citizens who experienced been personally influenced by OWB smoke and more.

A important concern, related to a lot of towns and valleys in the West, like locations like Libby Montana, is regardless of whether EPA competent outside wooden boilers need to be permitted in populated valleys that encounter inversions and are in non-attainment. Central Boiler and HPBA sent remarks to Utah officials that had been really crucial of the restrictions that only permitted out of doors wooden boilers to be mounted in rural, attainment locations.

For far more history and data on the position of the Alliance, click below.

Click on here to see the letter to the Utah legislator signed by fifteen leaders of the wooden stove and boiler sector and other professionals and here to see the letter signed by forty six men and women.

Thanks to everybody who lent their voice to this marketing campaign. With your support, we ended up ready to assist the Utah legislature comprehend the disinformation campaign that the invoice was dependent on.
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