Rules on wood stoves, fireplaces to be considered |

Rules on wood stoves, fireplaces to be considered

Nevada County supervisors will consider an ordinance today to regulate wood stoves and fireplaces.

Supervisors first looked at fireplace regulations in September 2001, when the California Air Resources Board was promoting regulation of outdoor burning and fireplaces, according to a county briefing.

The Sierra Air Quality Management District didn’t sponsor the county regulations now under consideration, but does support the ordinance, said Joe Fish, an air pollution control specialist with the district.

“We think this is a step in the right direction because pollution from wood stoves will only increase as the population increases,” said Fish.

He doesn’t consider the proposal an “aggressive” wood stove ordinance, saying it codifies the status quo with a few changes because stoves that don’t meet Environmental Protection Agency regulations haven’t been on the market for years.

The district supports the ordinance because it will prohibit trash burning in wood stoves.

Fish said trash burning in fireplaces can release toxic chemicals into the air, including dioxins, which can affect neighbors. Smoke from wood stoves can drift into hollows and basins, concentrating the effects on people living there.

“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure every new home that goes in sticks in a couple of fireplaces, especially these big, fancy homes, and it creates a lot of smoke,” said Fish.

County Counsel Charles McKee couldn’t be reached for comment on the ordinance.

Some provisions of the proposed ordinance on wood-burning stoves and fire places are as follows:

– No burning of trash or any fuels other than dried and untreated wood, uncolored paper, manufactured logs and pellets, cardboard or undyed organic cloth.

– New or replacement appliances have to be Environmental Protection Agency certified.

– No more than one wood-burning appliance per each new dwelling.

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