2011 July 20: AK & CT & NY: Opinion on “NY Supreme Court Halts Outdoor Wood Boiler Sales”

2011 July 20: NY Supreme Court Halts Outdoor Wood Boiler Sales

Two Wood-fired Hydronic Heaters near Chena Pump Road

NY Supreme Court Halts Wood Boiler Sales
July 20, 2011

The Daily Star in Oneonta, New York covered the halt on wood-fired hydronics in that state, State Supreme Court halts wood boiler sales 5/26/2011.

The article cites an opponent of the halt on wood-fired hydronics in New York who says, there have “actually been only a small number of complaints from the public about wood boilers.”

Is it an unpopularity contest? Or is it about protecting public health?

In our community, complaints are numerous and escalating rapidly, see previous post: Highly Polluting Appliances: Epidemic of Complaints Report. For more on the highly polluting appliances in Fairbanks and North Pole, review this report: Privileged Pollution: OWBs found on High Value Properties Report.

The following is an excerpt from the Daily Star article:
The state Supreme Court has ordered a temporary halt to the sale of outdoor wood boilers that don’t meet new state standards.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation adopted wood boiler regulations Dec. 29, and they became effective Jan. 28.

The DEC then adopted an emergency rule April 15 that would delay the adoption of the new emissions standards until July, to give retailers a chance to dispose of current inventories of non-complying boilers.
But the American Lung Association, Earthjustice and Environmental Advocates of New York asked the court for the new standards to be put into effect immediately.

The temporary injunction will be in place until the court decides June 20 on a permanent halt.
The boilers, which resemble small sheds, burn wood to heat buildings and hot water.

The original regulations require boilers to burn at least 90 percent cleaner and have smokestacks that reach at least 18 feet off the ground.

Wood boilers must also meet minimum distances from neighboring properties, called setbacks. The regulations also limit the type of materials that can be burned to “clean,” or untreated, woodŠ.
Non-complying wood boilers endanger public heath and can exacerbate asthma symptoms, according to a media release from the three groupsŠ.

Brad Vickers of the Chenango County Farm Bureau said not only are the original rules ill-conceived, but also an expedited implementation of the standards is a bad ideaŠ.

Vickers said there have actually been only a small number of complaints from the public about wood boilers.

Wood boilers are most often seen in rural areas, where operators may secure fuel from their own property.

The original regulations passed in December also require that existing boilers be removed or replaced within 10 years, and that boilers be equipped with 18-foot smokestacks in the interim.
Nancy Alderman, President
Environment and Human Health, Inc.
1191 Ridge Road
North Haven, CT 06473
(phone) 203-248-6582
(Fax) 203-288-7571
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