Why towns need to ban outdoor wood furnaces
ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH, INC.'S STATEMENT ON WHY TOWNS NEED TO BAN OUTDOOR WOOD FURNACES – ALSO KNOWN AS OUTDOOR WOOD BOILERS.
It is the opinion of Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI), along with the other non-governmental organizations and the states that originally sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for wood smoke standards, that the new standards the EPA has set for outdoor wood furnaces are not stringent enough to protect human health.
Therefore EHHI is recommending that towns and cities ban outdoor wood furnaces in order to protect their citizens' health. Seven states and four non-governmental agencies sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2013 because the EPA had not revised the wood smoke standards of the Clean Air Act in twenty five years. A lawsuit was filed by seven states — Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (together referred to as "States").
The states sued EPA for failing to timely review and revise the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for residential wood heaters under the Clean Air Act. At that time, the EPA wood smoke standards did not even include outdoor wood furnaces.
At the same time, four public health and environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — the American Lung Association, Clean Air Council, Environmental Defense Fund, and Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI) - sued the EPA for failing to timely review and appropriately revise the NSPS for residential wood heaters, including outdoor wood furnaces.
Because of these lawsuits, on February 3, 2015, EPA established wood smoke emission standards for outdoor wood furnaces. These new standards do not affect existing outdoor wood furnaces that are currently in use.
The four NGOs and the seven states that sued EPA in 2013 considered re-suing them again because EPA's new wood smoke emission standards for outdoor wood furnaces failed to provide adequate protection for human health. However, even though there is agreement that the new standards were inadequate, the NGOs and the states lacked the legal authority to re-sue.
The harm that outdoor wood furnaces do to neighboring homeowners' health plus the inadequacy of the new wood smoke standards for outdoor wood furnaces are the reasons why EHHI is asking towns and cities to ban them. Outdoor wood furnaces are a flawed technology that not only harms the health of neighboring homeowners but also ruins the real estate value of their homes. Towns and cities owe it to their citizens to protect their citizens' health as well as their life savings which are often in the value of their homes.
EHHI's Woodsmoke Report
Wood smoke contains many of the same toxic compounds that are found in cigarette smoke. Just a few of them include benzene, formaldehyde, and 1,3-butadiene, all three of which are carcinogenic. Outdoor wood furnaces are a flawed technology that not only harms the health of neighboring homeowners but also ruins the real estate value of their homes. Towns and cities owe it to their citizens to protect their citizens' health as well as their life savings, which are often in the value of their homes.
For further information about outdoor wood furnaces, download EHHI's report and EHHI's brochure.