King Reiterates Concern for EPA Wood Stove Rules

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) expressed his continued concern over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to update the New Source Performance Standard for Residential Wood Heaters. The proposed update, which has been finalized by the EPA and sent to the OMB for review, aims to curb emissions of particulate matter. However, as Senator King writes, the aggressive target reductions selected by the EPA will likely result in high compliance costs that will raise the price of new wood stoves and inadvertently dissuade consumers from upgrading away from older stoves.

 “In choosing these aggressive reduction targets, it seems the EPA is not fully considering the impact that the proposed rule would have on the market by raising prices for new stoves and thereby increasing the likelihood that consumers will hold on to their older, dirtier stoves,” Senator King wrote. “While the rule may create cleaner and more efficient woodstoves, it would also raise the price of individual units to a level that I fear would be prohibitively expensive for many homeowners. Cleaner stoves sitting on the showroom floor do nothing for cleaner air.”

 Senator King also expressed concern for the rule’s proposed changes to testing methods required to obtain certification from the EPA as well as the impracticable 60-day timeline for manufacturers to bring their products into compliance. As a result, Senator King urged Shaun Donovan, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to examine the larger context of the rule rather than only calculating manufacturing costs associated with compliance.

 Last March, Senator King, along with Senator Susan Collins, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy voicing concern over the proposed revisions.