A Response to James Houck’s Indictment of the NSPS

A stove being tested at
Omni lab, where Jim
Houck used to work.
In the May issue of Hearth & Home magazine, James Houck wrote a lengthy criticism of the 1988 and 2015 NSPS,  Straight Talk”, in which he took the “gloves off … to tell it like it is.” It is essential reading for anyone who wants to better understand the science and politics of regulating wood stoves.

But let’s take this a bit further and examine some of things that Jim Houck did not mention that also have implications for the future of wood heating in America. Houck states his premise is right up front:
“The 1988 NSPS was bad.  The 2015 NSPS is bad.  They are bad technically and they are bad for the hearth industry.  Certainly they have and will provide some environmental and health benefits, but they are poorly written, they have loopholes, they have cost the hearth industry dearly [and] they have allowed gamesmanship. […] The blame cannot be put on regulators alone: those in the hearth industry also share some of it.”
Jim goes on to explain why we are going down the wrong path.  The 2015 NSPS essentially adopts the same test method as the 1988 one: a method based on grams per unit of time, not grams per unit of fuel, or better yet, grams per unit of heat.  He also very clearly shows how both the EPA and industry have ignored basic science by, for example, claiming that certified stoves reduce pollution far more than the data shows.  The best data shows an average decline in PM of nearly 50%, yet the EPA often claims its 75% and industry 90%.
The key question is, can manufacturers make genuinely cleaner stoves regardless of the EPA regulations?  Put another way, do manufacturers have the expertise and innovation necessary to take stoves to the next level despite poor regulations, or does the NSPS retard innovation and require that stoves continue to be designed according to faulty parameters?  There are good arguments on both sides of this debate. 

The lead author of the 2015 NSPS
was Gil Wood, at right, who retired
the day the final rule was published.

Two of the greatest threats to stoves burning clean in homes are things that Houck never mentioned: tuning primary air for cribwood, not cordwood, and the EPA requirement that stoves burn at a low burn rate.  Together, those requirements almost guarantee that cordwood stoves in homes are likely to produce smoke at their lowest burn rate.
Jim Houck does not mention the upcoming switch to cordwood testing laid out in the newest NSPS.  Nor does he mention that the cordwood test method will include a cold start.  Granted, emissions will still be measured in grams per hour and the process of getting to cordwood testing is fraught with scientific, political and legal potholes.  But industry, the EPA and other key stakeholders at least see the need and value of getting there.
Houck’s article is about non-catalytic stoves.  The testing, repeatability and other issues can be very different with catalytic and pellet stoves.  Together, pellet and catalytic stoves make up one third or more of stove sales.  It should not be anathema to recognize that other technologies can achieve greater repeatability in the lab and greater consistency between the lab and the living room.  Otherwise, it makes it sound that all biomass heaters are far dirtier in the homes than in labs which is not true with pellet stoves and boilers. If consistency is the goal, we need to focus on technologies which can do that best, including automated stoves that use sensors to regulate primary and secondary air.  Homeowners can never keep track of changing combustion conditions like an oxygen sensor can.

Automated stoves that help
ensure the stove gets enough air
during key parts of the burn
cycle can greatly reduce PM in
in real world use.

It’s also worthwhile looking at regulatory frameworks in other countries to see if better stoves emerge where they test using grams per unit of heat and avoid other pitfalls of our NSPS.  Looking at non-cat wood stoves produced by various European countries, New Zealand and elsewhere, I think we can pretty safely say that our non-cat stoves measure up very well, if not better than stoves from those countries.  Part of the answer is because regulations in those countries allow for a different set of loopholes and types of gamesmanship. 
The bottom line is that it appears that despite all the failings of the NSPS, it still may be one of the best regulatory systems anywhere for conventional wood stoves.  Europeans have advanced wood and pellet boiler technology faster than the US because higher heating fuel prices and policies promoting renewable energy have led to a greater demand for efficient technology. 
Houck says that the 1988 NSPS was bad and notes that hundreds of companies went out of business because of it.  But it did result in a new generation of cleaner stoves that appear to be about 50% cleaner.  Houck recalled that we are now saddled with the legacy of the 1988 test method thanks to one stubborn regulator who strongly advocated it and subsequent bureaucratic inertia.  Making radical changes to the NSPS is difficult for the EPA, due in part to its lack of resources—a condition which is likely to get worse under the current administration.  In fact, the lack of resources at the EPA could hobble the stove industry even more than the new regulations.  As it is now, there is only one official who does enforcement, which includes approving lab certifications.  If that person’s time were to be cut back even more, it could pose serious economic consequences for manufacturers trying to get stoves to market for the heating season.
In 1988, the EPA almost adopted a test method using the Condar, a very small portable dilution tunnel that uses larger filters.  Some data from the Masonry Heater Association shows that by simply using a larger filter to catch PM, the repeatability of testing can be significantly improved (powerpoint).  But any radical change to test methods would likely have to come from a transparent process driven by an institution that has the funding and credibility to carry it out.  

Extensive round robin testing in Europe
 coordinated by BeReal should expand our
understanding of repeatability.

Universities or labs could develop of a better test method, but stoves do not have the same level of R&D support from Congress, DOE or other potential major funders that other renewables have. In Europe, there is more public funding and the BeReal project is doing far more extensive round robin testing than what Houck describes in the US.  Some agencies and groups prefer to see stove technology stagnate and have its market share wither, due to antipathy or ambivalence toward this complicated creature that can be affordable to homeowners but too often noxious to neighbors.

We will never know what would have happened if the regulators had written better test methods.  Perhaps todays’ stoves would reduce PM by 60 or 70%, instead of the 50% that Houck cites.  We also don’t know how much better stoves will be 10 years from now after the 2015 NSPS plays out.  It appears that few stove manufacturers will go out of business this time around, partially because many of them also rely on profits from their gas stove lines.  But will the stoves really be cleaner in the hands of average homeowners?
Ben Myren, owner of one of the EPA
approved test labs, is a leader in
developing cord wood testing.  Here
he starts a cord wood test at the 2013
Wood Stove Design Challenge.
The NSPS is supposed to be updated every 8 years, so theoretically there will be regular opportunities to improve the testing process.  If we can get to cordwood testing in the next 5 years, possibly the next NSPS could move to testing grams per unit of heat.  Litigation over this NSPS may bring some relief to some boiler and furnace manufacturers and others, but it may have the opposite impact on support for wood heating among civil society in general. 

Attitudes of the general public that shape policies at all levels of government, our media, the non-profit sector, etc., will have to change if wood heating is really going to be a growing renewable energy technology.  We have hosted the Wood Stove Design Challenge, with the next one scheduled for November 2018, to see if we can focus attention and resources on genuine technological advances that make stoves cleaner in homes.  Public opinion will only change when stove technology changes and stoves become cleaner not just in the lab, but also in our communities.  The 2015 NSPS alone will not get us there, for all the reasons Jim Houck outlined, but it is still possible to get there.

#    #    #

A response from Scott Nichols on boiler repeatability

Scott Nichols, owner of Tarm Biomass that distributes European made boilers sent in a response to this blog and we reproduced it below.  Scott is also on the Board of Advisors of the Alliance for Green Heat.

I agree with a great deal of what Dr. Houck wrote.  The single biggest problem with emissions from wood burning is that old stock remains in the market.  
Inherent test variability for appliances designed to burn firewood is also a problem without a doubt.

Scott Nichols has been a leader in
installing modern, automated boilers
in institutions and homes in New England.

Of course, my world is now the boiler world and the some of the testing used for boilers solves several of the problems inherent with wood stove testing.  I’ll mention some of the differences, as It may spur some ideas as you think about testing for woodstoves.  
For instance:
1)      The partial thermal storage test method is a cold to cold test, which is more indicative of both worst case and standard conditions.
2)      Boiler PM is reported in lbs/MM Btu, which eliminates the appliance size conundrum that Dr. Houck mentions at length. 
1)      Boilers very often include lambda technology, which enables the boiler to react to real time stack conditions by adjusting combustion air to optimize combustion.  Lambda technology improves cleanliness by helping the appliance to accommodate various wood moistures, volatility of the fuel, size and shape of the fuel, draft, and other factors in real time.
2)      Some regulators are already thinking about how to encourage lambda technology because they know that outside of the lab, such technology can more closely provide results as tested in laboratories.
3)      Boilers are built much more robustly than stoves and usually do not use catalysts that deteriorate over time.  They therefore tend to produce as tested results for a longer period of time. 
4)      Thermal storage allows for what is effectively single burn rate operation.  In a laboratory that can result in 4 test runs in which the boiler operates identically from run to run at full output.  This enables more comparable data for each test even though each run is weighted differently.  
5)      Round robin lab testing of one of our boilers has been underway for months.  That testing has been funded by NYSERDA.  We don’t know the final results yet, but it is important to note that people are thinking about repeatability and are putting money behind learning more.  Initial results, before we were removed from the viewing process, indicated that repeatability was a problem. 
Problems with wood boiler testing that wood stoves don’t have:
1)      Boilers are tested in room temperature laboratories.  Outdoor boilers are therefore provided an efficiency advantage because jacket heat losses in the laboratory do not reflect the real world. 
2)      Wood fuel used in outdoor boilers is always the temperature of the outdoors in the real world, not room temperature.  If you put 150 pounds of wood in a boiler and it is 10 F outside, combustion will be substantially different than if that wood is 60 F warmer in a laboratory. 

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EPA supplies short summary of NSPS feedback

At a&nbspwood smoke conference at the College of Montana last thirty day period, the EPA did a presentation of

the position of the NSPS that incorporated a single slide that summarized stakeholder feedback on the NSPS.&nbsp This summary is the first one particular, to our information, that presents some insight into how the EPA views responses from stakeholders and which topics it regards as some of the most important.

The conference was a key gathering of wood smoke experts, air air pollution companies and a couple of associates of wood stove companies.

The frequent reference to states infers that their views are actively playing a significant role, together with industry.&nbsp The numerous references to “some manufacturers” point out that they are paying focus to problems exactly where market is not united.&nbsp &nbspThe reference to “electronic reporting” is about the move from paper to digital submissions of check and compliance knowledge from the EPA authorized take a look at labs to the EPA.&nbsp&nbsp
Larry Brockman, who represents the EPA’s voluntary wood heat programs, was at the Montana meeting and gave the presentation:
*Environmental/well being corporations, nearly all states, most of the community and some makers are quite supportive.
* States oppose permitting the full five years for recent certifications at 1988 NSPS levels.
* Industry would like grandfathering in addition promote-through of inventory.
* States want requirements for noticeable emissions, proper-sizing (strength audits), hangtags and appropriate installation and operation.
* Business and states want digital reporting.
* Stakeholders agree that compliance check techniques should use true globe situations, e.g., wire wood but some producers concern the adequacy of the existing databases.”
The total EPA presentation and the other presentations at the conference can be located on the EPA website.&nbspFor our summary of stakeholder feedback to the NSPS, click on below.

The convention sponsors included the&nbspUniversity of Montana College student Chapter of Air &amp Waste Administration Association, Montana Department of Environmental High quality, American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific, Missoula Town-County Health Division, and the Heart for Environmental Health Sciences. For much more about the conference.

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EPA bolsters legal situation for NSPS with new data

Alliance for Eco-friendly Warmth, July 15, 2014 – On July 1st, the EPA unveiled a NODA – a Notice of Info Availability – consisting of knowledge from three stoves tested with cordwood and 106 stoves examined with crib wood.&nbsp
Vermont Castings combustion engineer
Doug Fongeallaz uses cord wooden to check
a&nbspstove alternatively of &nbspDoug&nbspfir cribwood,
in accordance to the Valley News.
The NODA is a automobile for allowing individuals know the EPA is relying on this proof to make their closing rule, so events won’t be ready to say that the agency shocked them, in violation of treatment for issuing new principles, if the EPA cites it.&nbsp The NODA also supplies stakeholders a possibility to dispute the extra evidence since it was not obtainable at the time the rule was proposed.&nbsp The fact that EPA has revealed this information and the NODA in the federal register now enables EPA to depend on this info for the last rule.&nbsp It is probably that HPBA will publicly reply and a variety of makers and companies are also planning on responding.
This NODA lays a far better lawful foundation to withstand a possible lawsuit from the fireplace sector and also provides far more insight into what ultimate emission common the EPA is ready to established.&nbsp A lot of in market claim that the EPA does not have ample knowledge to established an emission normal based mostly on cordwood.&nbsp And some companies have data but are not sharing it with the EPA in an try to prevent the EPA from developing a cordwood emission common.

This new cordwood information demonstrates that some catalytic stoves can previously meet up with a one.three grams per hour normal with cordwood.&nbsp However, the non-catalytic stove performed considerably even worse with cordwood than it did with crib wood, with grams per hour of four.two on the Class IV melt away, eleven.seven on Classification III and a whopping 39.9 on Category II.&nbsp The stove was not capable to burn off at Category I, the cheapest air placing, possibly with cordwood or in the crib wood certification take a look at.&nbsp Among the 63 non-cat stove assessments launched by the EPA in the NODA, only eight of them could be analyzed at Classification 1, the reduced melt away rate. &nbspIt is is unclear how several of these 63 stoves can be operated by the consumer at a decrease burn price than they were examined at in the lab.
The info partly confirms what business has been arguing – that it really is nonetheless also early to set a cordwood regular for non-cats.&nbsp Firstly, there is way too minor publicly obtainable information, and, even if the common remained at 4.5 grams for each hour (but with cordwood), companies might not be capable to make non-cat stoves that qualify. The exceptionally large emissions from this non-cat stove could be a factor in foremost the EPA to postpone a cordwood certification common.&nbsp Presumably the EPA would need cordwood screening above the next eight many years and potentially make cordwood certification optional, although continuing to rely on crib certification.
The data also partially confirms what several air agencies have been expressing: that some stoves can conveniently satisfy a one.3 grams per hour normal, which is all that is legally essential by the EPA to meet up with the very best available engineering examination.
At the core of this situation may be the decision by EPA, not contested by HPBA, to set a one normal for cat, non-cat and pellet stoves.&nbsp There is data to display that pellet and cat stoves can meet up with a 1.three standard now, but without separating them, the non-cat stoves may delay reaping the low-emission positive aspects of individuals systems. Some producers, this sort of as Jotul, originally argued that cat and non-cat requirements must be delinked, but other people had been against delinking, which includes the Catalytic Fireside Coalition.&nbsp The Alliance for Environmentally friendly Heat and a couple of other individuals argued for a separate category for pellet stoves.&nbsp The inner politics and general public rift inside HPBA more than this concern contributed to the market association remaining silent on the situation of solitary or independent expectations for cat and non-cat stoves.&nbsp Only time will explain to if this is a successful lawful method.

An legal professional who specializes in NSPS legislation and is common with this situation says that “the&nbspEPA could, in principle, established a legally defensible emission limit for both cat and non-cat stoves that relies on emission costs that are achievable by catalytic stoves but that may not be achievable by non-cats. EPA cannot call for a specific engineering beneath section 111, but it has the discretion to set the emission regular at a level that has only been attained by 1 kind of technologies. &nbspI suspect EPA would possibly win on this position if challenged, nonetheless at this early phase, this sort of predictions are still extremely speculative. &nbspIdeally, there will be much more info details than just 2 stoves, but I do not feel that is likely to be lethal to EPA, particularly if industry is not willing or capable to generate cordwood examination info contradicting EPA’s knowledge.”

(The Alliance for Green Heat does not help a cordwood common such as 1.three grams for every hour that some cat stoves appear to be ready to meet up with, but frequently consults legal professionals to see what EPA can do. &nbspThe threat may be that no matter of the suggestions from the EPA’s stove experts primarily based in North Carolina, much more senior EPA officials in Washington could consider a significantly tougher line.)

Summary of Woodstock Soapstone stove
Tom Morrissey, back again row, 2nd from
proper and the team that constructed the
Excellent Metal Hybrid that emits considerably less
than one.3 grams an hour with
cordwood and cribs.

Woodstock Soapstone voluntarily offered full twine and crib wood test outcomes to the EPA, something&nbspthat maybe no other stove manufacturer did in the course of the NSPS method.&nbsp Woodstock Soapstone is a single of the few stove manufacturers that is not a member of HPBA and hence does not adhere to their advice and assistance on sharing information with the EPA and what positions to take on contentious NSPS concerns.

Woodstock Soapstone’s stove confirmed a quite noteworthy consistency in emissions of grams per hour amongst wire and crib wood.&nbsp Certification checks making use of crib wood created amongst .3 and 1.3 grams for every hour for the four burn prices.&nbsp R&ampD tests in the manufacturer’s lab with crib wood produced .four and .five grams per hour and amongst .5 and .eight grams making use of cordwood.&nbsp
Similarly, the stove confirmed large stages of consistency in effectiveness between twine and crib wooden and the certification lab and the manufacturer’s lab. Crib tests ended up amongst seventy four and 84.five% performance HHV, and among 74.2 and eighty two.3% for cordwood for all the burn rates.
Summary of catalytic stove #two
A next, unidentified producer voluntarily presented take a look at results for 2 catalytic stoves.&nbsp A summary be aware from Gil Wood mentioned, “the check info present that these two EPA-qualified catalytic wood stoves when tested employing cordwood – and making no layout changes to alter for crib wooden compared to cordwood in the tests – have similar emissions as when they have been analyzed for the official EPA certification assessments making use of crib wood. That is, the examination knowledge present particulate emission charges (g/hr) making use of wire wood that are equal to or less than the corresponding take a look at info employing crib wood for Group 1 (minimum burn up rate) and Group four (optimum burn rate).”
The stove made amongst .3 and .8 grams for every hour for wire wooden for Classification I and IV.&nbsp A 2nd Group IV test arrived in at .eight as well.
Summary of non-cat stove
A common non-cat stove was obtained for testing at Brookhaven Countrywide Lab that was beneath deal with EPA to take a look at cordwood in non-cats.&nbsp In accordance to the Brookhaven check report, “the examination wire wooden was guided by draft cord wood specifications and methods under energetic improvement by ASTM.&nbsp Testing was effectively completed in Strategy 28 Categories IV, III, and II.&nbsp It was not identified attainable to achieve the Cat. I melt away fee with this fuel when the air control damper was fully shut. In this case Method 28 provides a technique for deciding regular emissions dependent on weighting the final results of the other three groups in which the stove was tested. It should be mentioned that in the earlier certification testing with crib wood, Class I procedure was also not accomplished.”
One noteworthy outcome is that this common non-cat experienced three really reproducible emission costs above a 3-day period of time.&nbsp On Cat IV, the stove produced four.two grams for each hour on Could 19th, 4.1 on May possibly 20th and 4.three on May possibly 21th for an regular of 4.two.&nbsp Reproducibility fell apart on Classification III, with burns in excess of five days creating a assortment from six.4 to 17.4 grams an hour, for an regular of eleven.7.&nbsp Group II had slightly better reproducibility when the stove was smoldering at very substantial rates of particulate matter.&nbsp It created 36-forty eight grams per hour in excess of 4 days for an average of 39 grams for each hour.&nbsp The large emission charges might partly be the end result of gas exactly where the core humidity content material was at times previously mentioned 30%, although an typical of core and shell was constantly under twenty five%.
The stove was also tested with quite higher humidity content gasoline of forty eight.4% moisture articles on a wet basis. Brookhaven identified that particulate emissions had been incredibly higher: 50.six g/hr over the operate, and eleven.8 occasions increased than the common emission fee with the drier take a look at fuel in Category IV.
The Brookhaven report concluded: “For ideal overall performance of this stove on wire wooden, some rebalancing of the major air / secondary air ratio might be needed. It is feasible as nicely that the specifics of the air damper location and the procedure for loading and the timing of the startup functions contributed to variances among twine wood and noted crib information.”
Summary of 106 stoves qualified by EPA given that 2009
The data on the 106 stoves launched in this NODA consisted of EPA accepted lab certification test reviewsconducted since 2009.&nbsp None of them contained any data about cord wooden, but this knowledge set could be extremely important if the EPA decides to keep on making use of cribwood to certify wood stoves in the 2015 NSPS.&nbsp Examination of this information set could form the basis of Phase two emission regular that is noticeably below four.5 grams for each hour.&nbsp Some specialists assume that the EPA may ultimately designate a common between two.-2.5 grams for every hour that would very likely take influence in 2020.&nbsp
This knowledge established also contained effectiveness quantities that experienced not been reported anywhere prior to.&nbsp A great majority of these stoves are presumably nonetheless on the industry.&nbsp The common HHV efficiency for non-cats and pellet stoves ended up exactly the identical: 71%. Cat stoves had an typical effectiveness of seventy nine%, but the sample size of 3 stoves was extremely little.&nbsp This info set verified previous knowledge sets, that the performance selection of pellet stoves is considerably broader than wooden stoves.&nbsp These qualified pellet stoves ranged from sixty two to 80% effective with a regular deviation of 8.5, double the standard deviation of non-cats and 4 occasions the deviation of cat stoves.&nbsp Some pellet stoves on the industry have efficiencies as low as 40% and are very likely to be uncertified versions. The Alliance for Inexperienced Heat will be releasing a individual examination of these 106 stoves that also exhibits the correlation between efficiency and emissions.
The EPA is soliciting remarks on this NODA prior to July 31. To remark, click on here.

Simply click listed here for a associated tale summarizing comments to the EPA about the proposed regulations.

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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, http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/fireplaces.html.
[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 http://www.epa.gov/Compliance/resources/publications/monitoring/caa/woodstoves/certifiedwood.pdf. 
[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), http://www.epa.gov/Compliance/resources/publications/monitoring/caa/woodstoves/certifiedwood.pdf. (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, http://www.forgreenheat.org/stovedesign/media.html.
[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 http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/-/media/Files/EIBD/Economic-Development/spatial-modeling-monitoring-residential-woodsmoke.pdf.
[40]EPA Region 1, Environmental Justice Program and Civil Rights, http://www.epa.gov/region1/ej/(retrieved May 2, 2014).

Heated Up!

Summary of NSPS Remarks from the Alliance for Environmentally friendly Warmth

The Alliance for Inexperienced Warmth is sharing its draft summary responses with all stakeholders to advertise transparency and dialogue and to solicit input on how we can enhance our feedback. &nbspWe also urge stakeholders to consider incorporating the points that you concur with, into your feedback. &nbspPlease truly feel cost-free to leave input or suggestions for the Alliance on this site or if you want them to continue to be personal, ship to john@forgreenheat.org. &nbspComments have to be despatched to the EPA by Monday, Might five.

-draft –

Alliance for Environmentally friendly Warmth

Responses on
EPA’s Proposed Requirements of Overall performance for New Household Wood Heaters, New Household Hydronic Heaters and Pressured-Air Furnaces, and New Residential Masonry Heaters
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734
April 30, 2014&nbsp


The Alliance for Inexperienced Heat (Alliance), appreciates the possibility to remark on EPA’s proposed New Source Efficiency Standards (NSPS) for wooden heating devices.[1] &nbspThe Alliance is an unbiased non-income business that operates with environmental and forestry corporations, air quality experts, the wood and pellet stove market, and other individuals in the wood burning community to market substantial-efficiency wood combustion as a low-carbon, sustainable, nearby and cost-effective heating resolution.&nbsp The Clear Air Act demands EPA to overview and revise, if suitable, the NSPS at least every 8 several years.&nbsp The Alliance strongly supports EPA’s decision to update the standards for wooden stoves and to require a number of formerly unregulated wood heating devices to reduce their emissions.&nbsp We also imagine that the new requirements, which replicate important advancements in wood heating technological innovation, are the two acceptable and extended-overdue.&nbsp

We have numerous suggestions for bettering the proposed NSPS, which we outline below.
In our responses on the NSPS, we make the pursuing points:
&nbsp &nbsp &nbspVery first, it is important to understand that wood heating is renewable heating and should be acknowledged as this kind of by EPA.

·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp 2nd, the Alliance strongly supports EPA’s decision to problem revised overall performance requirements for wooden stoves and other wood and pellet heating appliances.
o&nbsp&nbsp The Alliance supports EPA’s determination to shut existing loopholes and to include all main types of wooden-fired heating gadgets in the new performance expectations. &nbspBeforehand exempted gadgets and units earlier mentioned Action One particular emission restrictions should not be “grandfathered.”&nbsp&nbsp
o&nbsp&nbsp The Alliance supports a nine-month promote by way of for qualified stoves that emit greater than Step 1 emission expectations and a two-calendar year market by means of for boilers or furnaces that are EN303-5 accredited or EPA competent.
o&nbsp&nbsp In the following NSPS, the Alliance urges the EPA to control uncertified, pre-1988 stoves as new resources if they are installed in a new spot.&nbsp Performing so will help to hasten the removal of the oldest, most polluting stoves from our airsheds.
o&nbsp&nbsp In the up coming NSPS, the Alliance also urges EPA to control fireplaces.

·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp 3rd, the Alliance thinks that the proposed emission limitations, however affordable, could be more stringent for specific gadgets:
o&nbsp&nbsp Data from at the moment licensed stoves look to justify a a lot more technologies-forcing, lower Action 1 performance normal for wooden stoves.
o&nbsp&nbsp Pellet stoves are plainly able of conference a lower restrict for Stage One particular.&nbsp The bulk of pellet stoves accredited by EPA are currently emitting much less than 2.five grams for each hour (g/hr).
o&nbsp&nbsp Forced air furnaces could attain a Step 1 emission restrict of .forty eight pounds per million BTUs (lbs/MMBTU), as an alternative of the proposed .93 lbs/MMBTU. A .forty eight common corresponds to the lbs ./MMBTU of a typical Washington accredited wooden stove.
o&nbsp&nbsp In addition, despite the fact that we feel a .06 lbs/MMBTU Step Two standard for pellet boilers is justifiable, this limit may not be appropriate for wire wooden boilers, based on the take a look at technique.&nbsp &nbsp

·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Fourth, the Alliance strongly supports a shorter, 5-12 months implementation period of time for the NSPS. &nbspThis deadline is the two achievable and reasonable given the state of wooden heating technology these days.

·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Fifth, the Alliance believes that credible testing and enforcement are important parts of any New Resource Functionality Standard below the Clean Air Act (CAA).
o&nbsp&nbsp The Alliance supports the proposed changeover to wire wooden screening, and phone calls on EPA to increase its cord wood tests software to get further information on the overall performance of present wooden stove versions making use of cord wooden prior to promulgation of the ultimate rule.&nbsp Alternatively, we urge the EPA to dedicate to re-analyzing the achievability of the Phase Two standards for stoves that have to be accredited on wire wood just before people requirements turn into successful.
o&nbsp&nbsp The Alliance urges EPA to create a clearer route to certification for sophisticated systems like automatic stoves.&nbsp The Alliance is also inspired by ClearStak’s responses and urges EPA to consider some of the ahead-contemplating ideas put forth in those comments.
o&nbsp&nbsp The Alliance supports EPA’s proposal to delegate some oversight and enforcement authority to the states, and urges EPA to increase the capacity of the Business office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) to aid make sure that point out enforcement packages are successful and that companies and merchants comply with the NSPS.

·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Sixth and last but not least, the Alliance believes that mandatory effectiveness expectations are needed. Better performance is specifically import to minimal-income wooden stove customers since it can decrease their heating expenses by demanding less fuel to warmth their houses.&nbsp Even so, the Alliance supports EPA’s decision to get much more data on wood stove effectiveness, with the knowing that future NSPS would set obligatory effectiveness standards.
o&nbsp&nbsp The Alliance strongly supports a necessity to put up B415.one HHV effectiveness quantities on all wooden heating appliances on the marketplace inside of six months of the rule’s promulgation.&nbsp Versions that are EN 303-5 certified or certified by an EPA voluntary plan must be permitted to use HHV quantities till they turn into EPA accredited.
o&nbsp&nbsp The Alliance opposes the elimination of the hangtag prerequisite and urges EPA to take into account extra consumer details resources this sort of as a Inexperienced Label and state incentives for shifting out old stoves and putting in the most effective new stoves.
o&nbsp&nbsp The Alliance agrees that the two particulate subject (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions information, as properly as efficiency information, need to not be considered Confidential Business Info (CBI), and urges EPA to make emissions and effectiveness data about all four burn rates community on its site.
o&nbsp&nbsp The Alliance urges EPA to right away start requiring producers and labs to scan and electronically post all paper info submissions, even as the company works to build a much more streamlined Electronic Reporting Tool (ERT).&nbsp
o&nbsp&nbsp Lastly, to stay away from deceptive shoppers further, EPA need to also remove the “default” emission element column from its posted listing of certified wooden stoves, and demand producers and merchants to stop employing these default factors in their promoting materials.

We appreciate your interest to our responses and appear ahead to operating with EPA to efficiently employ this crucial rule.&nbsp The full text of our comments is under.

[1]Standards of Efficiency for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Compelled-Air Furnaces, and New Residential Masonry Heaters, seventy nine Fed. Reg. 6,329 (Feb. 3, 2014) [hereinafter “Proposed Rule”].

Heated Up!

Masonry Heaters and the NSPS

By Norbert Senf,
Chair of Masonry Heater Affiliation Specialized Committee,
and member of the Board of Advisors of the Alliance for Inexperienced Heat
EPA has unveiled the prolonged awaited new model of their “New Resource Overall performance Standard”, which now contains masonry heaters in the segment “RRRR”.&nbsp In the very last version of this Standard, introduced in 1988, masonry heaters were exempted as “inherently clear burning”.

Norbert Senf lives in Quebec
and has developed masonry heaters
for far more than 30 years.

The Masonry Heater Affiliation (MHA) technological committee has worked very difficult to generate written remarks and recommendations to the Proposed Common (P.S.).
The draft NSPS proposes an emissions limit of .32 lb/MMBtu for particulates for masonry heaters. HPBA is opposed to a lb/MMBtu restrict, and is advocating for g/kg. In g/kg terms,&nbspthat would be about 1.eight g/kg, assuming 70% performance. HPBA cites the fact that lb/MMBtu requires an efficiency variety, and that there is no EPA recognized performance take a look at strategy for masonry heaters.

The MHA tech committee feels that lb/MMBtu will at some point be a greater way to evaluate heating appliances, since it requires effectiveness into account and avoids getting to make the distinction among g/kg for warmth storing appliances and g/hr for steady burn up stoves. To that end, MHA is conducting tests to see if the CSA B-415 efficiency strategy can be adapted to masonry heaters. However at this point we will assist the HPBA position.

Two tech committee customers are at the moment conducting tests on the Austrian Eco- firebox air layout, which was introduced at the MHA yearly conference in 2013. We are measuring repeatable particulate (PM) numbers substantially below 1 g/kg, around a fifty% reduction from current types. Much more information on the screening can be discovered here.

The fueling strategy proposed is ASTM E2817, which defaults to “manufacturer’s guidelines”, the method utilised in Europe. There are annexes for option crib and cordwood fueling techniques. In-home testing at MHA is displaying good repeatability with “manufacturer’s instructions” and cribs. Crib emissions seem to be approximately fifty% larger than “manufacturer’s instructions” with cordwood.
Maybe the greatest problems introduced by the functional aspects of the proposed requirements lie with the simple fact that EPA doesn’t comprehend the special running qualities of the masonry heater business. For lack of adequate funding in addressing this tiny portion of the wood burning business, regulators finished up copying significantly of the language from “AAA”, the wood stove part of the P.S.&nbsp
For example, the P.S. refers to masonry heater Licensed Model Traces, and involves aLicensing Restriction and a Storage Prerequisite.&nbsp The “model line” issue would need each and every heater built to be examined for emissions at an EPA qualified lab.&nbsp The “licensing” restriction helps prevent MHA from certifying a heater and promoting the ideas for it.&nbsp The storage necessity would demand a heater builder to hold a copy of every single distinct heater built in a sealed container.&nbsp MHA is protesting all of these concerns as unacceptable, given that masonry heaters are typically really weighty, website constructed 1-of appliances – similar to a masonry hearth, except with spectacular functionality enhancements. A lot of heater masons have fulfilled the considerable needs of the MHA Heater Mason Certification Program, and discussions need to have to consider spot with EPA on a lot more feasible regulation compliance mechanisms for masonry heaters.
On a a lot more hopeful note, as an substitute to certification screening, RRRR would permit a “validated personal computer product simulation program”. &nbsp&nbspA constrained edition of this is presently utilised in Europe. It could offer a excellent way to certify a “family of units” outlined as units with the same firebox proportions and also obtain acceptance of “substantially similar” heaters.&nbsp The complex committee has a undertaking beneath way to style and validate a calculator to fulfill compliance below this clause.&nbsp This could be a important way to keep on to supply customized designs to clientele.
&nbspAnyone developing fewer than fifteen masonry heaters for each year would be granted a five-year extension for compliance with the emissions restrict.&nbsp It is a delay of specifications that will be imposed for greater companies when NSPS becomes legislation, most likely in 2015.

(The views expressed below do not always reflect the views of the Alliance for Green Heat. We have asked Norbert Senf and other individuals to support the Alliance in establishing our feedback to the EPA on masonry heaters.)

Heated Up!

An Evaluation of Stove Emissions and the Proposed NSPS

Alliance for Eco-friendly Heat
April 1, 2014
Standard knowledge claims that cat stoves melt away cleanest on a low air placing and non-cats burn off cleanest on a large air placing.&nbsp Conventional knowledge also states that pellet stoves are cleaner than wood stoves.&nbsp Even so, the databases utilized by business and the EPA to assess stoves shows that the reality is significantly a lot more challenging than conventional knowledge indicates.&nbsp And, the implications for planning and testing cleaner stoves that strike a one.three normal, or no matter what variety the EPA arrives at, may possibly be considerable.&nbsp
This evaluation shows that stoves in all groups-cat, non-cat and pellet – usually melt away dirtiest on their substantial air setting, which below a weighted common in the current NSPS, is mainly discounted.&nbsp Underneath the proposed NSPS that large burn off fee gets to be all-important, and will be the concentrate of most cat, non-cat and pellet stove tests.&nbsp This might direct to makers making an attempt to minimize the substantial air settings to get their stoves to go.&nbsp This in change could boost start-up emissions and make it more difficult to get stoves up to temperature quickly.
This also raises the issue about whether it can make sense to check stoves at their highest air environment, when home owners normally use them at the least expensive air environment.&nbsp With forty% of non-cat stoves emitting the maximum emissions in Class 4, need to the new NSPS genuinely test them based on Group 4 emissions and totally ignore Class one emissions?&nbsp We feel that weighting of emissions can nevertheless make sense below the new NSPS, although the weighting of wood stoves could be different from the weighting of pellet stove emissions, dependent on info of in which home owners normally use their respective sort of stoves. Weighting need to at least be regarded as to contain all the test burns necessary by the NSPS. If 4 check burns are required, one particular large and one minimal and two a lot more at the dirtiest burn off rate, they could all be weighted similarly.&nbsp
This investigation is based mostly on a databases of 147 stoves, compiled by the Fireside Patio and Barbecue Affiliation (HPBA) in 2010.&nbsp It turned general public in January of this yr when the EPA introduced it amid the scores of documents they utilized to determine what emission ranges to set for wood and pellet stoves in the new NSPS.&nbsp
Summary notes:
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp *&nbspWhen the 5G correction element is eliminated, as it will be beneath the new NSPS, a lot more stoves will very likely be able to go stricter restrictions than what is frequently currently being noted.&nbsp A lot of who cite figures about how several stoves can move the new NSPS limits appear to be unaware of this.
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp* &nbsp5 stoves – 2 catalytic, two non-catalytic and one pellet–appear to be ready to go a one.three gram for each hour (g/hr) standard with the 5G correction making use of crib wood. Much more will likely pass without it.&nbsp

·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp *&nbspIf the EPA settled on a 2 g/hr regular, 16 stoves would look to move: eight pellet, four catalytic and 4 non-catalytic.
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp* &nbspOn regular, non-cat stoves are inclined to burn off cleanest on Class 3, the medium high melt away fee and dirtiest on Category four, the large burn off fee.
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp* &nbspCat stoves burn regularly cleanest on Class one, the low melt away fee and dirtiest on Group four.
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp* &nbspPellet stoves melt away practically similarly cleanly on Groups 1, 2 and three, but are substantially dirtier on Category four.
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp *&nbspTo go long term specifications, a lot of producers might look to decreasing the air in Class 4, which could have an affect on efficiency and may possibly have effect of decreasing optimum BTU output.
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp* &nbspBy screening at its dirtiest melt away rate, numerous wooden stove would be examined at burn up charges which the customer does not frequently use.&nbsp This could make screening much less attribute of true entire world use, instead than much more.
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp *&nbspThere is a very slight damaging correlation among firebox measurement and emissions with non-cat stoves displaying somewhat reduce average emissions from larger fireboxes.&nbsp Larger non-cat stoves are acknowledged to be more challenging to tune and get to move.
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp *&nbspThere is a very slight optimistic correlation between firebox dimension and emissions with catalytic stoves exhibiting marginally greater common emissions from more substantial fireboxes.
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp *&nbspOn the EPA checklist of certified stoves, there is a higher focus of stoves that examined just significantly less than 4.five g/hr, and comparatively handful of that analyzed previously mentioned 4.five.&nbsp This could show that stove businesses are able to fantastic-tune their stoves to strike stricter emission targets.

The Database
The primary database used by sector and the EPA has in depth details about 147 stoves, displaying emission prices at the 4 burn ranges.&nbsp It was compiled by Bob Ferguson, a consultant for HPBA who gathered data from makers who agreed to share it. The EPA independently also has this knowledge and far more.&nbsp Legally, emissions info is not guarded by the private enterprise info (CBI) label, but all companies post it as CBI, which then calls for the EPA to go through a prolonged approach to eliminate the label. The info was compiled in 2010, so it is a little bit out of date and not an exhaustive listing, but it nonetheless provides useful and important knowledge to comprehend how a 1.three g/hr common might effect the stove sector in five or eight years, when and if that regular gets legislation.&nbsp There are up to one hundred stoves not on this listing, like numerous that grew to become licensed soon after 2010, which are currently being analyzed by the EPA.&nbsp
5G, 5H and the Correction Aspect
One particular of the biggest hidden characteristics of the NSPS is that stoves at three.seven or four.four g/hr below the existing NSPS could occur out a gram or even two grams less below the new NSPS.&nbsp This is because the EPA is acquiring rid of an adjustment or correction issue that has been used for stoves tested beneath certain check approaches.&nbsp Most of the industry does not understand this and it makes the figures proposed by the EPA appear stricter than they truly are.&nbsp In this examination listed here, we are just making use of the figures in the existing NSPS and we have not re-altered them. If we experienced, it would make several of them demonstrate a lot reduced emission quantities. (For a lot more details on this, see the emission testing strategy dialogue below.)&nbspSeventy-two of the 147 stoves on this list utilized some edition of 5G (5G1, 5G2 or 5G3). 20-9 did not specify whether or not they utilised 5G or 5H.
Stoves that can meet 1.3 grams for every hour
This investigation is entirely about conference 1.3, or whatsoever standard the EPA arrives at, making use of crib wood testing.&nbsp Crib wooden tests will continue to be utilized for 5 many years prior to transitioning to cord wood.&nbsp After makers begin creating for cordwood tests, stoves may run in people’s residences much more like they were tested in the lab, and become cleaner.
Of the 147 stoves on the checklist, 5 of them tested underneath one.3 g/hr on reduced and high rates and are likely to go the proposed new EPA requirements employing crib wood – but not necessarily cordwood. &nbspThe Alliance commented on how the EPA can established a normal for cordwood. &nbspTwo of them are cat stoves, 2 are non-cat and a single is a pellet stove.
Total Average Emission Rankings
The all round regular weighted emission fee of all the stoves on the record is two.01 for pellet stoves, 2.05 for cat stoves and three.fifty one for non-cat stoves.&nbsp On typical, all three classes of stoves were dirtiest on Class 4, which is the maximum air placing and the most BTU output.&nbsp Cat stoves had been the only sort that was uniformly cleaner at Classification one and uniformly dirtier at Classification four.&nbsp For non-cats, the cleanest regular burn was Class three, but there was only about a 1 g/hr big difference among all four-burn up charges.&nbsp Conversely, cat stoves ended up persistently and drastically cleaner at one particular burn up price in contrast to others, with far more than a 2.5 g/hr range.&nbsp Pellet stoves had been a bit cleaner on Class two, but Groups 1, two and 3 ended up extremely equivalent.&nbsp There was about a 1.5-g/hr variety among cleanest and dirtiest burns.
It is crucial to know that EPA emissions quantities do not equally typical the 4 melt away costs to occur up with a final quantity.&nbsp They are a “weighted average,” so that the high melt away charge counts for quite little and the reduced burn off rate counts a whole lot. &nbsp&nbspSince the Classification 4 substantial burn up doesn’t impact the weighted typical much, most makers do not pay out that a lot interest to it.&nbsp&nbsp This is one cause why the typical Group 4 burns had been the dirtiest for all stove types. On the other hand, the lower burns are intensely weighted, so stoves are developed to perform well at these ranges.&nbsp Substantial burns that beforehand counted for one-10% of a weighted regular will now count intensely. &nbspThe great information for stove manufacturers is that large burn up emissions are usually simpler and less expensive to decrease than minimal melt away emissions.&nbsp But the affect in the area is very likely to be improved emissions throughout start-up.
Its also relevant that the median figures for every single burn up price for each and every stove kind are decrease than the regular, displaying that there are more stoves on the cleaner conclude of the spectrum.&nbsp
Cat Stove Emission Traits
Cat stoves ended up the only stove kind to have an typical beneath 1.three on any burn off classification.&nbsp Cat stoves experienced an typical of one.1 g/hr on Group 1, the low burn up.&nbsp But below the new EPA proposal, stoves have to meet up with 1.three on their dirtiest placing, which will be Class 4 for cat stoves.&nbsp In this stove sample, the regular on Classification 4 was three.six.
Beneath the proposed new technique of tests at the dirtiest burn off level, stoves that consistently have the biggest assortment amongst Categories 1 and four could be penalized, and stoves that have the minimum range might reward.&nbsp Although cat stoves have the cleanest burn up at their “sweet spot” which aided them pass with flying colours above the earlier 2 many years, they will lose some of that edge underneath the new rule which does not average in the cleanse burns, considerably much less give them greater bodyweight.
Of the 15 cat stoves:
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp * &nbspthirteen burned cleanest on Classification 1, the low burn off price
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp *&nbsp12 burned dirtiest on Group four, the high melt away rate
·&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp *&nbspThe optimum emitter was nine.seven g/hr on Category 4
Non-cat Emission Qualities
Non-cats had the dirtiest average weighted burn up rate of 3.5 and had the dirtiest regular on any one burn up group.&nbsp They experienced an regular of 4.04 on substantial burn, and the cleanest average was 2.nine on medium substantial.&nbsp This contradicts the much-repeated traditional knowledge that non-cats are cleanest on their highest air location and dirtiest on the least expensive air location.&nbsp Beneath the new NSPS, these stoves will typically have to be analyzed at the maximum air setting, which is their dirtiest and have the furthest to occur down toward one.3. This might end result in non-cats (and cats) being analyzed at burn off prices that homeowners really don’t frequently use.&nbsp In contrast to cat stoves, that are persistently cleanest on Group one and constantly dirtiest on Group four, the following desk shows that cat stoves do not demonstrate any equivalent regularity:

We issue no matter whether this data supports the EPA’s proposal to take a look at on a stove’s dirtiest burn price.&nbsp An additional option would be to keep the weighted common for wooden stoves (not pellet stoves) but set a cap on emissions on any test run as the EPA proposes to do with out of doors boilers.&nbsp Therefore, even if the EPA finalized on one.three or 2. g/hr, the stove could not emit more than three or four g/hr on any melt away price.
Out of the 110 non-cats on the checklist:
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp 8 ended up cleanest on Class one
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp 28 ended up cleanest on Classification four
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp fifty four were dirtiest on Class four, the greatest burn off rate, and
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp 33 have been dirtiest on Category one, the low burn up fee
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The highest emitter was 17.4 g/hr on Category 4
Pellet stove Emission Traits
As famous previously mentioned, the cleanest weighted common incorporated one particular pellet stoves that emitted under 1.three g/hr on higher and reduced melt away costs. Even even though almost a third of pellet stoves had a weighted common under one.three, with the weighting removed and testing targeted on the dirtiest emission charge, a lot of pellet stoves would have to redesign to get their higher burn fee emissions down. This is why numerous companies are currently obtaining the pellet stove qualified so they have a 5-yr certification and won’t have to retest below the new tests protocol for five more a long time.&nbsp
Emissions had been nearly flat on Classes 1, two and three (amongst one.sixty five and one.eight) and about the very same amount of stoves experienced their cleanest operate on Class 1, 2 and 3. &nbspPellet stoves ended up constantly dirtiest in Class four, in which emissions jumped to an regular of two.nine. 1 pellet stove place out eleven.nine g/hr on Class four. &nbspNonetheless, a lot of authorities feel that pellet stoves have a great deal of area for advancement and have been deliberately “de-tuned” to meet up with the 35 to one air to gas ratio.&nbsp
Of the 22 pellet stoves:
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp 10 burned cleanest on Class one, the reduced burn off fee
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp 12 burned dirtiest on Category 4, the higher burn price
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp five burned dirtiest on Classification one
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The dirtiest emitter was eleven.9 on Class 4
There is greater certainty close to pellet stoves, as they are not going through this kind of a drastic swap in screening strategies from crib wood to cordwood.&nbsp Their examination gasoline is not remaining the very same nonetheless, as the EPA will commence to demand the use of PFI certified pellets, which could carry out marginally various than the pellets employed ahead of.
If the EPA have been in the long run to set a two g/hr normal after five years, this databases demonstrates that pellet stoves would be the category that shines in between one.three and two g/hr, with about a 3rd of them emitting considerably less than two g/hr on all 4 burn charges.&nbsp If the EPA were to set a two. limit, there are rarely any much more cat or non-cat stoves that would be much less than 2 g/hr 4 burn up operates on this checklist (more would probably go right after having absent the 5H correction).
Implications for Effectiveness

Below the proposed NSPS, there will be no minimum effectiveness standard, but companies will have to take a look at and report efficiencies employing the CSA 415.1 stack loss efficiency test.&nbsp This is a approach that steps how very hot the flue gasses are coming out of the stack, in contrast to the heat that was transferred from the stove to the room.&nbsp All other issues becoming equivalent, the hotter the gas coming out the chimney, the considerably less productive the stove.

Stoves have a tendency to burn up more efficiently at reduced burn off charges and significantly less efficiently at increased burn up rates.&nbsp To design a stove that fulfills 1.3, or what ever variety the EPA comes at, on higher melt away, a lot of producers may concentrate R&ampD on decreasing their greatest burn fee.&nbsp Below this situation, a stove’s efficiency could increase.
Even so, if efficiency calculations below B415.1 are completed using a weighted typical of all 4 melt away costs, that info will not even be obtainable and efficiency will only be calculated utilizing large and low burn up fee info.
A single adverse implication of reducing air in Classification 4 is that stove begin up may be much more challenging and could outcome in higher emissions as Classification four is most consistently employed throughout the begin up time period. This difficulty could be reduced if the operator leaves the door somewhat ajar, which is presently a extremely typical follow and advised as an option in some owner’s manuals.&nbsp Even so, this can’t be done throughout certification testing.
Pellet stoves are probably to see the most rapid increase in efficiencies due to the fact many of them are at the moment exempt because of the 35 to 1 air to fuel ratio exemption.&nbsp By making use of this exemption from certification, producers have penalized the efficiency of numerous pellet stoves.&nbsp By taking away that exemption to certification in the proposed NSPS, those stoves will have to reduce airflow through the combustion chamber, which can significantly raise efficiency.&nbsp A five – 20% increase in effectiveness, or a lot more, is achievable for several exempt stoves.&nbsp This will result in important fuel personal savings for hundreds of shoppers.
Tuning a pellet stove for highest efficiency could cause difficulties in stoves that are vented by means of the wall as an alternative of by means of the ceiling.&nbsp Pellet stoves are examined with a vertical stack set-up and a side vented device will not have the advantage of that increased draft.&nbsp The decrease effectiveness and increased airflow of some existing pellet stoves can assist them in the discipline when they are facet vented.
Cat Stove Emission Correlation
We found that there is a small optimistic correlation amongst the usable firebox volume and EPA weighted emissions. This indicates that as the volume of the firebox will increase, so does the emission of the stove in g/hr. The worth of R (correlation) is .3356. Although technically a optimistic correlation, the romantic relationship amongst the two variables is weak (the nearer the value is to zero, the weaker the connection) making use of an alpha of .05, the correlation is not deemed to be statistically considerable. The scatter plot underneath depicts the slight good slope.

Non-cat Stove Emission Correlation
&nbspThe very same correlation amongst firebox quantity and EPA weighted emissions evaluated for non-cat stoves demonstrates a small unfavorable correlation. The sample measurement is considerably bigger at a hundred and ten stoves, and the correlation among volume and emissions has an R-value of -.2566. This unfavorable correlation indicates that as the firebox size goes up, the weighted emissions of the stove go down, for a cleaner burn. Though technically a negative correlation, the romantic relationship between these two variables is also statistically weak with an alpha amount of .05. The graph over exhibits the downward sloping connection. Firebox dimensions are not as relevant with pellet stoves and really handful of of 22 pellet stoves on the checklist even provided their firebox size, so we did not perform a correlation examination for them.

Distribution of Tested Emissions in Non-Cat Stoves
&nbspUsing the checklist of EPA licensed stoves that was up to date in December 2013, we see a quite large focus of stoves that were examined proper below 4.5 g/hr.&nbsp Conversely, there are extremely few stoves examined correct previously mentioned 4.five g/hr.&nbsp This may possibly reveal an potential of stove makers to fantastic tune their stoves to just scarcely fulfill stricter EPA standards.&nbsp The EPA stove record does not contain the lab where they ended up tested, so it is not identified at which EPA approved labs the tests was completed.&nbsp Equivalent emission charts for catalytic stoves and pellet stoves did not demonstrate any similar concentration around 2.five or four.five g/rh.&nbsp Cat stoves are held to a 2.five g/hr regular in Washington and Oregon and in some adjust-out packages.

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The EPA Publishes Trove of Paperwork that Affected the NSPS

Along with proposed regulations, the EPA printed 367 files that are now offered for public review and scrutiny.&nbsp Many are obtainable to the public for the initial time.&nbsp Several of the paperwork are long, substantive scientific studies, check info and formal displays to the EPA by various stakeholders.&nbsp But other files are e mail threads that the EPA deemed considerable.&nbsp
The trove of paperwork can be located here at Rules.gov.&nbsp &nbsp&nbspRegulations.gov serves as EPA’s digital public docket and on-line comment system.
The files variety span two many years of analysis, studies and reports about wooden warmth emissions, health impacts, screening problems and regulatory troubles.&nbsp&nbsp Incorporated are all substantive correspondence in between states, air good quality agencies, industry and other individuals.&nbsp Attorneys will be sifting through the documents to see whether or not the EPA has a “reasonable basis” to suggest the emission limits and other needs that it selected.&nbsp
The files also provide to gentle key controversies in the fireside local community regarding the NSPS.&nbsp Aside from the problems surrounding examination approaches for out of doors boilers, documents present that non-catalytic stove companies engaged in a concerted effort to discredit catalytic stoves. A team of companies compensated for a agency to conduct a review that showed catalytic stoves work nicely in the laboratory, but not in the arms of consumers who really don’t operate them accurately.&nbsp They concluded that catalytic stoves need to be held to a 2.5 g/hr regular and non-cat stoves held only to a 4.5 g/hr.
This internecine fight, and possibly other folks, could undermine the ability of the HPBA to existing a unified voice to EPA and is most likely to be raised throughout the February 26 community hearing in Boston.

This is also the web site exactly where the public can see the feedback produced considering that the rules ended up posted on the Federal Sign up on Monday, February five.&nbsp As of Tuesday, February 27, 153 remarks have been posted, numerous of which are anonymous, limited, impassioned statements telling the EPA that the rules are unneeded or counterproductive.&nbsp Some are from makers and other folks that tackle the specifics and implications of numerous elements of the proposed rule.

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

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&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.

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Explanation of the OMB Evaluation of the NSPS

Clarification of the Business office of Administration and Price range Procedure for the Wooden Heater New Resource Functionality Common

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&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp On July 26, 2013 the U.S. Business office of Management and Funds (OMB) acquired for review the Requirements of Performance for New Household Wooden Heaters, New Household Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces, and New Household Masonry Heaters (hereinafter referred to as the “Wood Heater NSPS”). &nbspThe adhering to dialogue describes the function of OMB in the rulemaking procedure and notes some particular info about the Wooden Heater NSPS webpage on OMB’s internet site, which can be identified right here: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201304&ampRIN=2060-AP93.

Qualifications on the OMB Approach
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The certain area of OMB that testimonials considerable draft regulations is known as the Place of work of Details and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). &nbspOIRA testimonials rulemakings to determine whether EPA has deemed various alternatives as properly as to make certain coordination amongst federal businesses to avoid inconsistent, incompatible, or duplicative procedures. &nbspOIRA testimonials around five hundred-seven-hundred principles a calendar year.&nbsp OIRA can “return” a rule to the drafting agency for even more overview if it finds that the proposal is deficient. &nbspOften these kinds of a approach takes place when an agency has not sufficiently examined options in the proposed rule. &nbspOIRA also can advise that changes be manufactured to a rule before it is unveiled in final form.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The method of regulatory overview is made to support boost the rulemaking procedure and produce coherent insurance policies throughout all the businesses of federal government.&nbsp The OMB website notes, “Regulatory evaluation is a device regulatory agencies use to foresee and assess the likely effects of principles. &nbspIt gives a official way of organizing the evidence on the important effects – excellent and bad – of the various options that must be regarded as in developing restrictions. &nbspThe enthusiasm is to:&nbsp (1) understand if the positive aspects of an action are likely to justify the costs, or (two) find out which of different feasible options would be the most cost-successful.” &nbsphttp://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/OIRA_QsandAs/.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp OMB is necessary to evaluation a rule inside of ninety days, but there is no minimal period for overview. &nbspThe head of the rulemaking agency could prolong the assessment time period.&nbsp In addition, the Director of OMB also has the capacity to prolong the evaluation, but not by more than 30 days. &nbsphttp://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/OIRA_QsandAs/.&nbsp In practice, however, OMB occasionally normally takes considerably longer than ninety days to evaluation a rule, and in uncommon situations policies can stay at OMB for a long time.&nbsp If the Executive Branch does not want to finalize a rule, it can instead leave it marooned at OMB.&nbsp Hence, it is ideal to think of 90 times as a common rule of thumb from which OMB often deviates, though legally they are required to act in the 90 day review time period unless an extension is obtained.
Information on Wood Heater NSPS Procedure
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp As observed before, the Wood Heater NSPS was obtained by OMB for overview on July twenty sixth.&nbsp In addition to the standard procedure discussed earlier mentioned, there is some certain details about the Wood Heater NSPS that is helpful to realize when consulting the website page on the OMB site which tracks principles.&nbsp
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp 1st, note that “NPRM” stands for “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.” &nbspThe day for the NPRM detailed on the OMB webpage is September 2013.&nbsp This is the aspirational day for EPA to launch the proposed rule following OMB review.&nbsp There is no settlement agreement pursuant to which EPA is necessary to release the Wood Heater NSPS by a specific date. &nbspGiven that the rule went to OMB in late July, it is achievable that the deadline will slip and the rule will not be introduced until finally late October or November if OMB will take the total 90 working day time period to review the rule. &nbsp
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp EPA’s site lists the publication day for the Discover of Proposed Rulemaking in November, not September. &nbsphttp://yosemite.epa.gov/opei/rulegate.nsf/byRIN/2060-AP93. &nbspIt is very likely that it will get several months soon after the launch of the pre-publication version of the rule before it can be revealed in the Federal Sign-up. &nbspTherefore, if the pre-publication version is launched in late September, in might not be released in the Federal Sign-up right up until November 2013.&nbsp Publication will established the time frame for public remark.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The day outlined for the closing rule, November 2014, is likewise a statement of when EPA would like to release the closing rule, which contains time for responding to comments acquired on the proposed rule.&nbsp Once more, since there is no litigation in excess of EPA’s delayed timing for this rulemaking, this day also is aspirational. &nbspWhile EPA’s shown date means that the Agency has every intention of hitting this marker, it does not often come about. &nbspIt is not feasible to say specifically how simple it is to drive again the date, other than to be aware that there are no litigants or a presiding court with which to negotiate, and hence there is much about the timing that is inside of the Agency’s discretion. &nbspIt is essential to position out that the Agency could often be sued for delay in issuing its revised NSPS, and if the litigants prevail, a much more truncated plan for the rulemaking might be set by a settlement arrangement.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp In addition to the dates for the proposed and closing rules, some of the phrases listed on the OMB webpage are beneficial to recognize. &nbspFirst, it states that “the statutory last rule deadline is not driving the routine for this action” and lists “2/26/1996” as the date for the statutory deadline.&nbsp This is due to the fact under the Clean Air Act, EPA is necessary to update the NSPS each 8 years. &nbspThe last time the Wooden Heater NSPS was amended was 1988. &nbspThus, technically, the specifications were essential to be reviewed in 1996, which implies the Agency has fallen woefully guiding its routine for updating the rule.&nbsp For that reason, the webpage accurately notes that the statutory deadline is not “driving the schedule” for this motion.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp The webpage also has a notation that states “small entities influenced: firms.”&nbsp The listing in this doc is not a summary, but just a essential statement.&nbsp As the EPA’s website explains, “EPA notifies the general public when a rulemaking is very likely to one) have any adverse financial affect on modest entities even although a Regulatory Versatility Analysis may not be required and/or two) have substantial adverse financial impacts on a significant amount of small entities. &nbsphttp://yosemite.epa.gov/opei/rulegate.nsf/byRIN/2060-AP93#2.&nbsp As a result, this listing puts the pubic on observe that tiny organizations may be impacted by this rulemaking proceeding and that the acceptable tiny enterprise analyses will be performed.
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Even more, the web page consists of the notations “priority: economically significant” and “unfunded mandates: no.” &nbspLike the tiny entities notation, these are equally needed to be disclosed to the general public. A rule is economically significant if it has possible economic impact of $ 100 million or a lot more for every 12 months, or could “adversely impact in a substance way the economic climate, a sector of the financial system, efficiency, opposition, work, the surroundings, public wellness or protection, or State, regional, or tribal governments or communities.” http://www.reginfo.gov/community/jsp/Utilities/faq.jsp.&nbsp Economically substantial policies demand a much more extensive evaluation of the costs and positive aspects.&nbsp The notation that there are no unfunded mandates denotes that the rule does not impose huge burdens on condition, local, or tribal entities with out providing the assets to carry out people obligations.

Substantive Description of the Wood Heater NSPS
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp In addition to the products over, the OMB website page contains a description of what is to be incorporated in the rulemaking.&nbsp Initial, it should be observed that this description holds no legal excess weight and is just an try to summarize what will be in the rule. &nbspSpecific phrases incorporate:
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp That the rule will “reflect significant breakthroughs in wooden heater systems and design”
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp “This rule is expected to call for producers to redesign wooden heaters to be cleaner and decrease emitting” and
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp “[S]treamline the procedure for screening new model traces by permitting the use of Intercontinental Expectations Firm (ISO)-accredited laboratories and certifying bodies, which will grow the variety of facilities that can be used for screening and certification of new design strains.”
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Each of these terms clarifies what is envisioned to be in the rule nevertheless, this summary is purely descriptive and is not binding on the Company.&nbsp The description just represents what EPA was ready to place forth as a summary of the rule’s contents. &nbspThe textual content shown on the OMB internet site is the identical as the abstract discovered on EPA’s site relating to the proposed rulemaking.&nbsp &nbsphttp://yosemite.epa.gov/opei/rulegate.nsf/byRIN/2060-AP93#2.&nbsp The description is intended to tell the general public about the achievable modifications in the present NSPS, but EPA’s internet site includes a disclaimer which notes, “The info on this web site is not intended to and does not commit EPA to specific conclusions or actions. &nbspFor case in point, soon after more examination, EPA may possibly choose the consequences of a rule would be various or it might decide to terminate a rulemaking.” http://yosemite.epa.gov/opei/rulegate.nsf/byRIN/2060-AP93#two.
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