The EPA is proposing stricter emissions standards for wood stoves. Manufacturers would have to build stoves that burn 80 percent cleaner than current models. And for the first time, pellet stoves would be held to the same standards. The EPA says pollution from these heaters is linked to asthma attacks, heart attacks, and stroke.
James Cusano manages The Stove Barn in Concord. He says the proposed changes make retailers “a little uneasy.”
“The big issue I suppose is really whether or not the technology is going to be inexpensive enough to be feasible on the market," Cusano says. " The last time they updated the standards, the price of stoves went up dramatically just to be able to meet those standards, and that kind of caught a lot of people off guard, and it made a big problem for a lot of hearth shops that had primarily clientele that were shopping for much more inexpensive appliances.”
The EPA says the proposed rules wouldn’t affect stoves currently on sale, or those already installed in homes. It estimates the new rules would save consumers about $2 billion a year in health care and energy costs.
The agency will hold a public hearing in Boston in late February.