Smoke from residential wood heaters, which are used around the clock in some communities, can increase toxic air pollution, VOCs, carbon monoxide, and soot.

EPA to Cut Woodstoves' Emissions

The agency has proposed standards for new woodstoves, heaters, and fireplace inserts beginning in 2015.

EPA has issued proposed standards limiting emissions by new woodstoves and heaters starting in 2015, with the standards making them 80 percent cleaner than the heating elements manufactured today, according to EPA. Smoke from residential wood heaters can increase toxic air pollution, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and soot.

The proposal covers woodstoves, fireplace inserts, indoor and outdoor wood boilers (also called hydronic heaters), forced air furnaces, and masonry heaters. According to EPA, many residential wood heaters already meet the first set of proposed standards, which would be phased in over five years to allow manufacturers time to adapt their emission control technologies. It does not cover fireplaces, fire pits, pizza ovens, barbecues, or chimineas.

EPA is accepting comments for the next 90 days and will hold a public hearing Feb. 26, 2014, in Boston, with a final rule expected in 2015.

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