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Eugene Looks to Regulate Natural Gas

EUGENE, Ore. - Eugene city councilors are looking into NW Natural's franchise fees as a way to regulate the use and expansion of natural gas in the city. The effort is part of the city's sustainability program and climate recovery ordinance. This is new territory. For a city to use franchise fees in this way is unprecedented. This effort may fly under the radar for most citizens who would likely pay a lot more for gas service. READ MORE

Program Pays to Replace Dirty Woodstoves

PORTLAND, Ore. - Sustainable Life Magazine, Jan 3, 2017 - Washington County residents exchange older models for new or less-polluting alternatives. Giselle Northy likes the new ductless heat pump that just replaced the old woodstove she and her husband Andrew relied on at their home in Aloha. "It's nice being able to wake up in a house that isn't freezing," she says. "We went through a lot of wood in the old woodstove. If you didn't mess with it every two hours, it would start to go out. It was a constant chore."  READ MORE

City expands woodstove replacement program beyond city limits

PENDLETON, OR. - East Oregonian, Dec 7, 2016 - Pendleton facing high particulate levels in city air, started offering zero interest loans in 2000 to homeowners with inefficient woodstoves — those lacking certification by the Environmental Protection Agency or DEQ. During the first two years, 93 residents swapped their polluting stoves for cleaner burning gas, electric or pellet units. Only residents inside the urban growth boundary could take advantage of the interest-free loans, however. Recently, the city council recently expanded the area to include a three-mile swath of land outside city limits. READ MORE

Oregon State Fire Marshal Offers Tips on Safe Home Heating

SALEM, Ore. – As the cold weather continues, the Oregon State Fire Marshal offers Oregonians tips on how to heat homes and keep them safe in the process. 

“With the onset of cooler weather, I urge citizens to ensure all their heating appliances are in good working order," says State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. "Have your wood stoves, fireplaces, and chimneys, cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified specialist before using them. Portable space heaters also pose a high risk. Use these with extreme caution and follow our space heater safety tips." READ MORE

Washington County To Launch Wood Stove Changeout Program

Hillsboro Tribune, April 20, 2016 - Washington County, which is nearly out of compliance with federal air-quality requirements, will offer aid for up to 700 households to help replace their old, polluting wood stoves.

Starting this summer, the county will use grants and other aid to begin a five-year effort to get the most dangerous stoves out of commission, says Matt Davis, the county health agency official in charge of the program. READ MORE.

City Sets Crosshairs on Polluting Wood Stoves

East Oregonian, Jan 6, 2016 - Gradually, inefficient wood stoves are vanishing from Pendleton homes, but the pace has slowed. In 2000, the city started offering zero interest loans of up to $3,000 to homeowners with wood stoves that aren’t certified by the Environmental Protection Agency or Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. During the first two years, 93 residents replaced their stoves with cleaner burning gas, electric or certified wood units.

Though the city boosted the loan amount to $3,500 in 2004, use of the program has dwindled over the past few years. In fiscal year 2013-14, nobody applied. Last year, there were only two. Altogether, 172 stoves were replaced using city loans since the program’s inception.

City employee Steve Quinn applied to replace an uncertified fireplace insert about eight months ago when he moved into a new home on Jay Street. On Tuesday, the new Neptune gas unit glowed in his living room, flame visible through a glass door. His yellow lab puppy, Rudy, lay near the brick hearth as Quinn rubbed the dog’s ears. Quinn said he loves the new stove for a pair of reasons.

Number one — “I don’t have to chop wood,” he said. “It’s nice to push a button and be done with it.”

Secondly, his expenses dropped to $120 a month in the winter for electricity and $35 for gas.

Pendleton’s regulatory specialist Klaus Hoehna and Umatilla County Public Health Director Meghan DeBolt hope more people will use the loan program. The city seeks to reignite interest and finish the job of consigning all those inefficient stoves to the recycling center.

“There’s been a steady decline in use of the loan program,” said DeBolt, who is a member of the Pendleton Air Quality Commission.

The commission doesn’t know if most of the stoves have been replaced or if people are unaware of the program. An inventory back in the mid-’90s revealed that approximately 900 uncertified stoves existed within Pendleton’s urban growth boundary.

“We think there are at least 400 stoves left out there,” Klaus said. READ MORE

Oregon fire official offers fire safety tips for the holidays

The Register Guard, Dec 8, 2015 - Click HERE

House Directs DEQ to Find Ways to Help Residents with Older Wood Stoves

The Lund Report, April 25, 2015 - Rep. Mark Johnson sponsored a bill that could produce legislation in 2016 to help the state cut down on a key source of air pollution. Oregon’s poor air quality in some parts of the state put it at risk of sanctions from the federal government.  House Bill 3068 passed and heads to the Senate. OHPBA supported the bill, but had several comments related to the scope of the research. Read MORE

Governor Kate Brown Dedicates 1.5 Million to Klamath, Lake CO Woodstove Changeouts

OregonLive.com, April 15, 2015 - Salem,OR—Governor Kate Brown announced today a $1.5 million plan to replace wood stoves and fireplaces in an effort to encourage economic development and improve air quality in Lake and Klamath counties. The Regional Solutions program will be used to fund the installation of certified and non-wood burning devices, such as ductless heat pumps, and home weatherization.

 "This program demonstrates that, by working together, we can achieve both economic and environmental goals," said Governor Brown. "We are ensuring working families can continue to heat their homes while creating less air pollution and ultimately allowing greater business expansion in the region. Collaborative solutions such as this are key to a healthy future for the entire state." Read MORE

Oregon DEQ report finds Portland region residents’ uncertified woodstove use adds to local air pollution

Feb 10, 2015, Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality - A third of Portland region residents burn wood in a woodstove or fireplace, and local residents’ use of uncertified wood stoves is adding to local air pollution. Those are two key findings in a recent Oregon Department of Environmental Quality wood burning survey report.


Download the DEQ's Summary of Recommendations, click HERE

EPA Releases NSPS Rules

Feb. 4, 2015, EPA - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Residential Wood Heaters Final Rule Feb 4, 2015. It is expected that the Final Rule will be published in the Federal Register in the next few weeks. Click HERE to read the rules.

High Washington County wood-smoke levels concern officials, could trigger enforcement

Oregon Live/The Oregonian, January 13, 2015 - Wood-smoke pollution at a single air-monitoring site in Hillsboro may be high enough to slap the entire metro region with a nonattainment status for federal air-quality regulations. That's a worst-case scenario to a smoky problem, the dimensions of which won't be fully understood until 2014 pollution levels are verified in several months. But it's alarming enough that Washington County politicians are scrambling to figure out how to avoid potentially draconian federal enforcement measures. Read MORE.

The Best Firewood to split and burn - Oak and Madrone says OSU Forester. Dec 1, 2014, Oregon Live - Fireplaces don't draft like a wood stove, so you need dry wood if you want an ... of firewood most commonly available in Oregon and how well they split and burn. ... If you touch wood that has come in contact with the resin from this ...More, Click HERE (pro tip. That's a GAS fireplace, but that cat looks quite toasty).

Fireplace Experts Warn of Hidden Dangers

November 5, 2014, By AUTUMN OWENS autumn.owens@empiretribune.com  With cool weather upon us, many people will begin firing up those fireplaces soon. But before you do, safety experts say it's a good idea to first have your chimney cleaned or inspected. Read MORE

Residential wood heat incentives trending

From Biomass Magazine, Aug 13, 2014

In New York and Massachusetts, residential wood heating incentives are on a roll, and the industry is beginning to see trends, according to John Ackerly, president of the Alliance for Green Heat.

Residential wood heat has risen dramatically in recent years, Ackerly said during an Aug. 6 Biomass Thermal Energy Council webinar, especially in Northeast and Great Lakes states. “In some cases, by 100 percent… incentive programs are guiding consumer purchasing and steering people to cleaner and more efficient appliances.” Read MORE

HPBA Responds to article in the Portland Tribune on wood smoke.

Portland Tribune, "Woodstoves may be as toxic as cigarettes" July 17, 2014, Written by Debra Taevs


HPBA Response: This article raises a number of interesting issues, but unfortunately ignores a number of facts (and fails to cite a lot of data referenced). EPA-certified stoves were actually created in Oregon, by the Oregon DEQ. In 2009, Oregon’s DEQ and the hearth industry worked together to pass a rule that requires any home being bought or sold in Oregon to not contain an old, preĀ­-certified stove (http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/burning/woodstoves/heatSmart.htm).

The hearth industry supports the removal and destruction of these old stoves, and their replacement, with anything that is cleaner, such as EPA-certified wood, pellet, or gas burning hearth products. The issue for the state of Oregon is that hundreds of thousands of homes not located in urban centers are heated by electricity and are often supplemented by wood heat. Most of these woodstoves are still the old, un-certified types and, as EPA says on their Burn Wise website, “changing out one old dirty, inefficient woodstove is equivalent to the particulate matter reduction of taking 5 old diesel trucks off the road” (http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/index.html).

The author, and anyone interested, need to read the legal action that Oregon was a part of (http://www.epa.gov/ogc/NOIdocuments/113cv1553_Complaint.pdf). The author implies that the lawsuit was related to the effectiveness of EPA-certified stoves, when in fact it concerned EPA’s failure to update the rule for these products every eight years, as required by the Clean Air Act of 1990.

The good news is that thousands of Oregonians, especially those who live outside the Portland area, have upgraded their old un-certified woodstoves to the EPA certified models, some with the help of Oregon’s DEQ or Lane Country Air incentive programs, and some with the help of Oregon’s Renewable Energy Tax Credit (http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/Pages/res/tax/HVAC-Biomass.aspx). These families continue to save money on home heating, while doing their part to reduce the levels of smoke in their neighborhoods.

Media Information

For media inquiries in Oregon on wood stoves, pellet stoves contact
Harvey Gail, Executive Director 503-585-8254

For national trends in woodstoves, pellet stoves, barbecues and outdoor living contact Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association

For questions about chimney safety, chimney cleaning or related issues contact Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)

For information about the grill business see the 2012 State of the Barbecue Industry Report from the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association

OHPBA, PO Box 135, Salem, OR 97308-0135, 503-585-8254, www.ohpba.org

Affiliated with Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, Arlington, VA  www.hpba.org

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