Wood Burning Regulations List:
Many states have put in place regulations regarding the emissions of wood burning appliances over the past few years. Initially much of this was prompted due to the exhaust from outdoor wood boilers bothering neighbors. This caused local towns to take action and now some states have followed up with state level regulations. This list is likely never going to cover every regulation in every country/state/town etc., so it is up to individuals to check with their own governing bodies to make sure they are in compliance before installing a wood burning appliance.
Regulation: During the 2005 session of the General Assembly Public Act 05-227, concerning the siting of Outdoor Wood Burning Furnaces (OWFs), was signed into law. The Public Act 05-227 requires that any OWF installed after July 11th, 2005: Must operate only on wood that has not been chemically treated.
Must be located not less than 200 feet from the nearest residence not being served by the unit.
Must have a chimney that is more than the height of the roof peaks of residences located within 500 feet of the OWF, provided the chimney height is not more than 55 feet. (This is to the actual roof peak, not the mid-line of the slope).
Regulation: In every way "a hot topic," outdoor hydronic heaters (also referred to as outdoor wood boilers or outdoor wood furnaces) are front and center in a current effort to protect the air you breathe. Indiana is proceeding with rulemaking that will regulate the purchase and use of outdoor hydronic heaters, joining other states that have already adopted similar rules.
Emissions from an outdoor hydronic heater can cause air pollution problems when not sited, installed or operated properly. U.S. EPA has not developed national legislation at this time, but is relying upon voluntary measures and state and local regulation to control emissions from outdoor hydronic heaters.
This Web site offers information on hydronic heaters in an effort to inform you of the issues surrounding them and on Indiana’s rulemaking efforts on the subject.
Regulation: Emissions from outdoor wood boilers can sometimes cause air pollution problems when not sited, installed or operated properly. New state regulations have addressed these concerns by implementing strategies to reduce emissions along with siting requirements for new OWBs and operational practices for both existing and new outdoor wood boilers. The rule addresses the need for cleaner burning units, establishing emission limits that new outdoor wood boilers must meet beginning in April 2008.
Click on link above for specific documentation.
Regulation: Under MassDEP regulations issued in December 2008:
Only those outdoor hydronic heaters that are EPA Phase 2 "white tag" qualified and whose manufacturers have filed compliance certifications with MassDEP may be sold for installation in Massachusetts. See a list of currently certified units.
New units must be located minimum distances away from property lines and neighbors' dwellings (determined by their heat output ratings and specific uses), meet minimum smokestack height requirements, burn only clean seasoned wood, and cause no nuisances or conditions of air pollution.
Existing units (those in operation before December 26, 2008) are not required to be EPA Phase 2 "white tag" qualified, but like new units are subject to minimum smokestack height requirements, must burn only clean seasoned wood, and may not cause nuisances or conditions of air pollution.
New Hampshire, USA
Regulation: As of August 10, 2008, only clean wood and wood pellets made from clean wood may be burned in these devices. In addition, outdoor wood boilers that are purchased and installed after August 10 and before January 1, 2009, and do not meet certain particulate emission standards as certified by the U.S. EPA, must meet two conditions. First, they must be installed no closer than 200 feet from an abutting residence. Second, they must have a permanent attached stack that is at least 2 feet higher than the peak of the roof of a residence or place of business (not served by the unit) located within 300 feet of the outdoor wood boiler. Also effective August 10, all distributors and/or sellers of outdoor wood boilers are required to provide prospective buyers with a copy of the new law.
Effective immediately, owners of existing outdoor wood boilers that are deemed a nuisance or injurious to public health by either the municipality or the Department of Health and Human Services will be required to abate the nuisance. DES will provide technical assistance to the
municipality and the Department of Health and Human Services if this situation arises.
In addition to the requirements listed above, after January 1, 2009, the only outdoor wood boiler models that can be sold in New Hampshire must be certified by the U.S. EPA as meeting a Phase I particulate matter emission limit of 0.6 pounds per million British Thermal Units input or a stricter Phase II particulate emission limit of 0.32 lb/MMBTU output. Effective April 1, 2010, all units must meet the Phase II standard in order to be sold in the State. Units that meet the Phase I or Phase II EPA standards will be labeled accordingly.
Phase I units must be installed no closer than 100 feet from the nearest property line and have a permanent attached stack of 2 feet higher than the peak of the roof of a residence or place of business (not served by the unit) located within 300 feet of the unit. Phase II units must be installed no closer than 50 feet from the nearest property line.
DES recommends that individuals who currently own and operate an outdoor wood boiler follow best management practices for operation. People considering purchasing an outdoor wood boiler are urged to purchase the newest and cleanest burning units available. A complete list of certified
makes and models can be found at the EPA website at http://www.epa.gov/woodheaters/models.htm
New York, USA
Why are OWBs bad for our air?
Burning green or wet wood, or trash increases smoldering and smoke
Basic design causes smoldering
They can emit thick, black, smoke
Short chimneys emit smoke close to the ground One OWB emits the same pollution as 1,000 oil furnaces Smoke can trigger asthma attacks and other health problems
Are OWBs regulated by NYS?
NYS is currently drafting Part 247
OWBs may currently be regulated by your local government
Regulation: PA is currently in the process of considering adding regulations for outdoor wood boilers. See the following:
E. Summary of Regulatory Revisions
The proposed amendments add definitions under § 121.1 for the following four new terms—''Btu,'' ''clean wood,'' ''outdoor wood-fired boiler'' and ''Phase 2 outdoor wood-fired boiler.''
Section 123.14 (relating to outdoor wood-fired boilers) is proposed to be added. In general, under subsection (a) regarding to applicability, beginning on the effective date of the regulation, the requirements of this proposal apply to a person, manufacturer, supplier or distributor who sells, offers for sale, leases or distributes an OWB for use in this Commonwealth; a person who installs an OWB in this Commonwealth; and a person who purchases, receives, leases, owns, uses or operates an OWB in this Commonwealth.
Rhode Island, USA
Proposed APC Regulation No. 48 would prohibit the sale or installation of any outdoor wood boiler on or after 31 March 2010 unless it has been certified or qualified by EPA to meet the Phase 2 emissions level for particulate matter (0.32 pounds per million British Thermal Units output).
Regulation: On September 15, 2009, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) filed a final adopted rule with the Secretary of State that includes a Phase II particulate matter emission limit for residential and small commercial sized outdoor wood-fired boilers (OWBs). The rule went into effect on October 1, 2009.
The Phase II rule revises and reformats the previous rules for outdoor wood-fired boilers that were set forth at sections 5-204 and 5-205 of the Vermont Air Pollution Control Regulations. The rule establishes a Phase II particulate matter emission limit of 0.32 pounds per million BTUs of heat output for any OWB sold, distributed or purchased on or after March 31, 2010 for use in Vermont. The rule also sets forth the requirements for OWB owners and operators (e.g., siting and stack height requirements), OWB sellers (e.g., notice to buyer requirements), and OWB manufacturers (e.g., testing and certification requirements).
In April 2007, the DEC adopted a "Phase I" particulate matter emission limit for OWBs of 0.44 pounds per million BTUs of heat input with a compliance date of March 31, 2008. Under the new Phase II rule, OWBs meeting the Phase I limit may continue to be sold or purchased for use in Vermont until March 31, 2010.
Regulation: Human health hazards can result from the use of outdoor wood boilers. Local health departments, which have the authority to address health hazards, may be asked to respond to complaints from the public regarding problems with water stove use. In addition, several communities in Wisconsin have taken the step of creating ordinances that ban or regulate the use of OWBs. The adoption of local ordinances regulating outdoor wood stoves is currently the best way to address the issue proactively. Although the US EPA has regulations for reducing pollution from residential stoves and fireplace inserts, there are currently no Federal or State standards regulating the use of outdoor wood boilers. The US EPA does maintain a website (exit DHS) with links to state and local air agencies working to reduce emissions from OWBs, as well as current regulations governing OWB use.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has developed a guidance document and model ordinance (exit DHS) for local communities interested in regulating outdoor burning, burning of refuse, and the installation and use of OWBs.