The Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal Friday to tighten and expand air-pollution standards for residential woodstoves and heaters.
The revised standards, once implemented, will result in an 80 percent reduction in emissions of particulate matter released from wood-burners, the agency said in a press release announcing the proposal. EPA also estimates the controls will yield a savings of between $118 to $267 in public-health benefits for each dollar paid out to comply with the regulation.
The agency has the authority to regulate toxic pollutants from woodstoves and heaters manufactured for residential use under the Clean Air Act. Friday’s proposed update marks the first time the agency has moved to strengthen emissions limits since they were first issued in 1988.
In addition to tightening pollution controls, the agency’s proposal casts a wider net than the 1988 standards. The new standard would regulate air pollutants from a number of wood-burning devices not previously covered, including outdoor wood boilers.
The rule does not apply to fireplaces and would only impact woodstoves and heaters made in 2015 or later. Once the proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register it will be subject to a 90-day comment period. A final rule is not due out until 2015.
While the news will likely draw criticism from conservative groups wary of federal attempts to regulate air quality, it met with praise from at least one environmental advocacy organization.
“We are delighted that, at long last, the U.S. EPA is moving forward with a proposal to reduce dangerous emissions from residential wood heating devices such as outdoor wood boilers,” Frank O’Donnell, a spokesman for Clean Air Watch, wrote in a blog post on Friday. “Smoke gets in your eyes, as the old song goes,” he continued. “But it also gets in your lungs, where it can cause real damage.”
What We're Following See More »
"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a sweeping constitutional challenge to Seattle’s minimum wage law, in what could have been a test case for future legal attacks on similar measures across the country. In a one-line order, the justices declined to hear a case by the International Franchise Association and a group of Seattle franchisees, which had said in court papers that the city’s gradual wage increase to $15 discriminates against them in a way that violates the Constitution’s commerce clause."
Hillary Clinton may have the Democratic nomination sewn up, but Bernie Sanders apparently isn't buying it. Buoyed by a poll showing them in a "virtual tie," Sanders is "holding three rallies on the final day before the state primary and hoping to pull off a win after a tough week of election losses and campaign layoffs."
"The New Columbia Statehood Commission—composed of five District leaders including Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, and D.C.'s congressional delegation—voted today to publicly release a draft of a new constitution for an eventual state next Friday, at the Lincoln Cottage." It's the first step in a statehood push this year that will include a constitutional convention in June and a referendum in November.
Amid outcry by President Reagan's children, actor Will Ferrell has pulled out of a movie that makes light of Reagan's Alzheimer's disease. A spokesperson for Ferrell said, “The ‘Reagan’ script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means an ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project."