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Left Now Coming for Your Environmentally 'Damaging' Wood-Burning Stoves

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Some blue states are red hot over the blue haze of smoke from a wood-burning stove.

Alaska, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, joined by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, have announced they plan to sue the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Fox Business.

The states claim that the EPA’s standards are so lax that wood-burning stoves are being sold that could possibly exacerbate pollution and are “damaging to the environment.”

Further, the states argue that programs that pay Americans to trade in their old wood-burning stoves for newer models on the grounds that this will improve air quality “haven’t necessarily improved air quality,” according to the Associated Press.

The states claim the EPA’s standards for wood stoves are not up to what the blue states want, and even if they were, the way EPA goes about testing and certifying wood stoves is so ineffective it fails to ensure products meet standards.

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The states have given EPA 60 days to review the standards they want. If the EPA capitulates, the state indicated they would drop the suit, according to Quartz.

In 2020, about 11 million American households used wood for their energy needs. That’s about 8.9 percent of all U.S. households. A smaller number — about 2.2 million households — used wood as their main fuel, according to the federal Energy Information Agency.

“If newer wood heaters do not meet cleaner standards, then programs to change out old wood heaters may provide little health benefits at significant public cost,” the states said in a letter to the EPA , according to Fox Business.

Should wood-burning stoves be banned for environmental reasons?

The states alleged that the EPA’s current standards are insufficient to ensure the safety of the environment, and, even if they were, the agency’s testing and certification program is outdated and ineffective in ensuring those standards.

The EPA’s Office of Inspector General criticized the EPA’s 2015 standards and its methods of certifying which products met them, saying it “approved methods that lack clarity and allow too much flexibility.”

“As a result, certification tests may not be accurate, do not reflect real-world conditions, and may result in some wood heaters being certified for sale that emit too much particulate-matter pollution,” the report said.

Between 2015 and 2021, the EPA spent $82 million in grants to replace older wood heaters with newer ones.

“However, if the replacement models do not meet emission standards because of the reasons described above, millions of federal, state and local dollars could be wasted,” the report said.

In response to the report, the EPA said that it would address its concerns.

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The internal EPA report also cited the Fairbanks North Star Borough of Alaska, where 39 percent of homes use wood for fuel in the winter, according to the Associated Press.

The report noted that due to inversions in the area, air can be trapped near the surface for days, leading to pollution.

To address that, a government-funded replacement program switched out more than 3,000 wood heaters a 2010 and 2021, according to the report, which noted that residents “do not know whether wood heaters in their homes meet standards” and air quality remains poor.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
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Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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