2013 Feb. 8: Maine, Portland: TV 6 program on wood smoke “Where there’s smoke” (comments)

2013 Feb. 8: Maine, Portland: TV 6 program on wood smoke “Where there’s smoke” (comments)
  • BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)  Look down any city street or country road in Maine this time of year and you can see wisps of smoke billowing from chimneys. Generations of Mainers have been using wood stoves to heat their homes, but it’s what is in that smoke that worries Ernie Grolimund.  Grolimund is a retired civil engineer who is tirelessly researching the impacts of wood smoke

    Ernest Grolimund · 59 years old

    There were many things that TV 6 did not air for whatever reason.
    1) In some places, pm from wood smoke is causing comm wide pm at an ave of 50 mcg/m3, 24 hr ave, but the DEP will not investigate suspected areas with a method that will pick up the pollution. I refer to the new mobile monitoring developed for wood smoke pollution. They put monitors in places where the pm will be lowest and not in good places to accomplish even the base directions of the EPA. Monitors on mountains, on the east side of lakes and bays with wide widths and westerly winds, on the west side of some cities like Augusta where pm is theoretically lower, by an airport and woods. They stay away from res areas with wood burning too.
    2) The ATSDR has published a court accepted new safe dose for wood smoke pm2.5 at 180 mcg/m3,hr not the ambiant pm std converted to a dose of 840 mcg/m3,hr. Legal technicalities are put forth as excuses to violate the constitutional rights to life and health and ethics codes and the intent of the clean air act and right to clean air in the constitution.
    30 There are toxic effects from 180 air toxics such as carbon monoxide to consider too.
    Reply · 2 · Unlike · Follow Post · 19 hours ago
  • Ernest Grolimund · 59 years old

    Ed Miller and the ALA are working now to try to get woodsmoke health nuisances stopped by developing language to define when wood smoke is a health nuisance with the legislature. He knows the legislators and the Governor are opposed to stopping all burning or banning burning. If a poor person is burning and not threatening health directly, the legislature desires that they be allowed to burn, because some are so poor they would get sick of exposure and oil energy assistance is not desired. But wood burning must be stopped whenever life and health are threatened in actual situations. That much we agree on. And that is good. I just desire prevention in accord with essential services policy and the constitution and modeling combined with setbacks. Modeling shows 95% of city burning is not safe in cities but not in the country. So shutting down upon complaint has been put forth as an idea given the modeling by Maine checked by Berkeley CA. It allows burning in the country and when there are no complaints. But gets the bad stuff. Dr Sanborn has mentioned this as an idea based on PE Clears modeling in Berkeley. The Governors office should be included in all discussions to avoid vetos.
    Reply · 3 · Like · Follow Post · 21 hours ago
  • Ernest Grolimund · 59 years old

    Moron? Fact: IQ in the genius range per Coast Guard. First job work in the Smithsonian. Recently did breakthrough computer modeling or estimating of stove pollution with the best engineers in ME DEP and EPA that proves with monitoring that 90% of the old stoves in cities are unsafe to neighbors.Move? EPA admin Jackson has said that pollution makes businesses move and locate out of Maine. Former DEP Air Chef agrees with Jackson. Depresses economy. Daughter did move to an out of state university. 4.0 cum, in H.S., 750 out of 800 SAT, 90% scholarship. Not the kind of person you want to run out of state. Besides, the pollution is everywhere. Witness Salt Lake City engulfed in air pollution as shown on the NBC nightly news, on the internet. 40% of most large cities winter pollutioni s from wood smoke. 70% of all cities pollution i…See More
  • Ernest Grolimund · 59 years old

    Moron? Fact: IQ in the genius range per Coast Guard. First job work in Smithsonian. Governors commendations for work on owb and changeout laws. Did breakthrough work with ME DEP and EPA modeling old stoves and fireplaces, like owb’s. EPA Inspector General agrees with me that the entire pm monitoring system is not working anymore like it used to to ensure the intent of the clean air act is being met. Move? Spoke to John Baldacci recently and he said this could have a bad economic impact on the state as many businesses could move to avoid the pollution and many more will not come to Maine to avoid the pollution. EPA Admin agrees on the record as does the former DEP Air Chief. $3,000/burner/year health costs add up to about $1billion/yr health costs to victims from 30% burning to some degree. I am not saying the gentleman who called me a moron is one. He is just mad and shooting off steam. I forgive him, but this problem is killing 300 people per year, and severely injuring thousands in Maine and exposing 300,000 or so to long term cancer threats and that causes great pain and suffering. The smell is everywhere and the Surgeon General says there is no safe level of tobacco smoke or any kind of smoke you can see or smell.
    • Sue Meditz

      Ernest, I admire and thank you for your activism in this fight against wood smoke. I know this is of little comfort, but we are fighting this same battle here in NJ. I am, right now, considering filing a lawsuit against my wood burning neighbor whose burning has caused my husband and daughter to be diagnosed w/ respiratory illnesses. Will keep you posted on our progress…
      Reply · 3 · Like · 22 hours ago
  • Fran Velarde

    I am not opposed to wood burning…nope…just funnel the smoke back into your own house and see how it feels to inhale that stench everyday in the winter…and for women…smoke while pregnant…start your kids off early with cigarettes…why not…lets see what else…there are cleaner and more efficient ways to heat a home and if there is a financial incentive to heating a home then maybe we should not own a home…it’s not a necessity, it’s not for everyone…why try to keep up with the Jones’… I have some of the dumbest neighbors near me that are totally clueless on how wood stoves work let alone operate one…the thick, gray smoke spews out of their chimneys and their kids are always sick…then they wonder why… it’s about being educated and making educated decisions and having consideration for the neighbors…some of my neighbors really thought they could do and burn whatever they wanted and they were so so wrong…yeah I shut one family down and I will continue to do so if that smoke and stench is intrusive to my family…anyway who has the time to chop wood, carry it, store it etc after working all day? Unless they are part lumberjack? I have a friend who actually sat down and figured out that burning wood wasn’t worth the time or energy. Everyone has a right to do what they want but no one has the right to make anyone elses life miserable with those smelly stoves. https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/92046.pdf
    • Sue Meditz

      VERY well said…
      Reply · 5 · Like · Friday at 3:40pm
    • Airquality Australia

      For most of those thousands of years women died in childbirth and people suffered terrible infectious diseases. The average life expectancy was about 28 years because so many people got sick and died.
      Burning wood has now been identified as a major cause of pollution, just like dirty water and unsanitary conditions. If you live in the back of beyond, the smoke can disperse before it does too much harm, but it’s very unhealthy practice in urban areas.
      The American Lung Association “strongly recommends using cleaner, less toxic sources of heat. Converting a wood-burning fireplace or stove to use either natural gas or propane will eliminate exposure to the dangerous toxins wood burning generates including dioxin, arsenic and formaldehyde” see http://www.lungusa.org/press-room/press-releases/cleaner-alternatives-for-winter-heat.htmlAre you calling ALA “uneducated wimps’?
      Reply · 5 · Like · 16 hours ago
  • Bill Lewin · Parksville, British Columbia

    Try living beside A EPA approved wood stove.The smoke will kill you what a bunch of bull these people are saying. Just stop burning for gods sake
    • Sue Meditz

      I live next to one and the smoke and FUMES are worse than ANY fireplace I have ever encountered.
      Reply · 4 · Like · Friday at 5:20pm
    • Bill Lewin · Parksville, British Columbia

      I agree with that statement its a horrid smell burns your throat and eyes terribly. when people walk by their house they will start coughing, although most have learned not to take their walks down my street anymore. Just another casualty of EPA junk stoves
      Reply · 4 · Like · Friday at 7:10pm
  • Clean Air for Everyone

    Ernest, I agree with you 100%! I live in NJ and have been fighting the exact same battle for years. Wood smoke KILLS! It is not necessary in this modern age to heat your home w/ wood. Am. Lung Assoc. needs to revise it;s tone and stand with all of us who suffer needlessly and have Asthma attacks and respiratory illnesses because neighbors want to burn wood. Pollution is pollution and there is NO EXCUSE. No safe level of wood smoke to breath.
    • Sue Meditz

      Please watch this video. American Lung Assoc. is MISLEADING the public into thinking that wood stoves can be “improved” and they have a “useful purpose” so therefore, we should allow them and not eliminate them. Outrageous!
      Reply · 4 · Like · Friday at 1:53pm
    • Fran Velarde

      Not eating meat, veggies having feelings doesn’t impact OUR health…it’s when wood burners are impacting others…I won’t fill your oil tank but I can funnel the wood smoke back into your home? When would you like me to come by?
      Reply · 4 · Like · Friday at 2:40pm
  • Mary Power Giacoletti

    Very intelligent comments from Fran, Sue, Matthew, etc. Keep up the good work. We have the same problem in California, with the additional, pervasive use of fire pits and wood barbecues. During the summer, the coast of California is one of the unhealthiest places to be. The use of fireplaces here is gratuitous pollution at its worst. Nothing is being done.
    Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 14 hours ago
    • Matthew Thredgold ·  Top Commenter

      Better still, why don’t people all the selfish people not pollute Maine?
      Reply · 3 · Like · 18 hours ago
    • Ernest Grolimund · 59 years old

      Already recognized as a visionary. EDF and all the env groups support me and the 100 million victims complaining. A warming issue too per env groups and a mercury issue because the mercury is destroying some fish as a food source. U.N. supports the victims as well. George Mitchel supported clean air. Muskie, King, Baldacci, even LePage supports it in general. LePage told me he would support the DEP continuing the modeling work on stoves to fix some easy to fix mistakes by the DEP and investigate and research the truth as required by DHHS policy. The DEP and EPA work led to advanced mobile monitoring in NY and NH that is showing 50 mcg/m3 pm2.5, 24 hr ave over Keene, NH and Ticonderoga NY with the std at 35. That has the EPA very concerned. Technically it is not a violation of the NAAQS but only technically. States need not fear losing transportaion money by showing the pollution since the EPA has already said the monitoring is at fault.
      Reply · Like · 22 hours ago
    • Matthew Thredgold ·  Top Commenter

      I don’t support the taxing of woodstoves. I do however support legislation banning their sale, installation and use. My neighbor made me move from exposing me to chronic and acute woodsmoke pollution. They are the worst of worst technologies for heating a home. As for harassment, I considered the constant invasion int my home of the woodsmoke from my neighbor to be harassment in the extreme. I lost my house to the dirty, polluting thing. And it was certified “clean” one. My health suffered because of the smoke and my house was unlivable. Wood smoke is poisonous and toxic too.So now that you know they cause nuisance and annoyance, are you still going to use yours? That to me is the definition of selfishness. It’s like punching someone in the face over and over again, knowing they don’t like it. There is no moral difference.
      Reply · 5 · Like · 18 hours ago
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One Response to 2013 Feb. 8: Maine, Portland: TV 6 program on wood smoke “Where there’s smoke” (comments)

  1. Thanks TV6 and NBC for airing this story ! Thanks also for removing the insulting remarks about me being a moron and all that. I had good relations with the ME DEP and Gov Baldaccis office. We communicated politely and had very good discussions that led to some progress when most said even a change out law was unlikely and too radical. We had disagreements to be sure but the Baldacci administraton was a very open administration that welcomed all points of view. Republican Les Otten was the same way when he headed the Wood to Energy Task Force. Ditto for the Am Lung Assn and most of the legislators I have talked to. Things change slowly in legislatures with common people filling the seats. But change is happening and discussions are on going.

    LD 1215 on wood smoke health nuisances failed and rightly so because of some science problems and legal problems but the intent was good and appreciated. But the photograph of typical wood smoke engulfing a city is said to be very compelling by Rep Dion, a good atty. Since LePage’s veto of LD 547 was upheld, perhaps little known house rule 513 can be invoked to get the opinion of the Supreme Court in Maine on all the new and old law about wood smoke health nuisances. This could help settle the controversies about conflicting law in the owb law, and old grandfather rules that seemngly allow all kinds of equipment and burning.

    What I keep foremost in my mind is the Golden Rule of God in the constitution to love or care for your neighbours and love or care for the garden earth. With the U.N. climate change experts recommending a rapid phaseout of all cordwood burning, even certified stoves, and many good heating alternatives available from free passive solar energy to heat pumps powered by truly clean energy we can continue the good work of the enigineers and public health experts in ushering in a new golden age of clean air and climate nuetral energy. Gov LePages hydropower and Gov Baldaccis offshore windpower can both be used and even combined theoretically in the future for lowest cost energy, below todays prices.

    For those people being smoked out: Buy an expensive air cleaner like the IQ AIr Health Pro Plus that these wonderful people made seemingly for me when I asked them too. It may have saved lives in my family.

    I also thank everyone for their comments, from California to Australia. Australia ! This internet is amazing.

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