Billings Gazette: Daines hot about EPA wood stove regs

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., is burning up about the latest EPA regulations for new wood stoves.

The regulations announced Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency don’t affect wood stoves already in homes, but do require wood stove manufactures to cut air emissions on new models by 2020. Most new wood and pellet stoves already meet the 2020 standard, according to industry sources.

Daines called the new regulations a direct threat to Montanans’ access to affordable energy.

“The EPA’s shortsighted regulatory overreach is once again hitting hard-working Montanans in the pocketbooks,” Daines said in a press release. “Thousands of Montanans rely on wood burning stoves for affordable, cost-effective energy. Yet once again the EPA is moving forward with new, costly regulations that could stand in the way of Montanans’ access to new residential wood heaters or burden Montana families with higher costs.”

The new wood smoke regulations are the first since 1988, when cleaner air standards prompted many wood stove companies to add catalytic converters to their products. The converters collect harmful ash and particles and exhaust, turning them into water vapor and carbon dioxide before sending them up the chimney. Heat created in the process also boosted the wood stove’s temperature output by as much as 50 percent. Just like the 2020 rules, the ones in 1988 didn’t require homeowners to modify stoves they already owned.