Save the Date: OHPBA Spring Conference, May 16, 2016
Oregon will hold its annual Membership Meeting May 16, 2016 at Holiday Inn, Wilsonville. We are in the planning stages for speakers and programs. If you would like to be involved, contact Harvey Gail, OHPBA at 503-585-8254.
To align our meeting with NWHPBA we will end out meeting in the afternoon so reps, distributors and HPBA staff can travel up to the Seattle area for NWHPBA's meeting that will be held Tuesday, May 17.
OHPBA to Conduct Strategic Planning Session in 2016
OHPBA’s board of directors will conduct a periodic strategic planning session in 2016. A wide variety of changes are hitting the industry all at the same time. NSPS Rules, Oregon legislative action and air quality initiatives in the Portland Metro Area highlight the need to conduct strategic planning. The last time the board held strategic planning was in 2007.
At the last OHPBA board meeting, the board discussed ways to engage our members in the process. Under the recommendation of Harvey Gail, OHPBA’s Executive Director, the board will hold a membership breakfast meeting in January with the goal of inviting members to provide input on the state of the industry in general and how OHPBA can be more responsive to the needs of its members.
In the spring, the board will hold a one day strategic planning session. Board members, industry veterans and “Young Guns” will be invited. Prior to the meeting, participants will take part in a short survey and the results will help guide the process when the group meets in person.
At the Spring Conference scheduled for May 16, 2016 the results of the strategic planning effort will be shared with the members during the lunch. It is hoped that this three prong approach to strategic planning will provide the board, HPBA, and other affiliates with insight and new ideas that will take OHPBA into the next decade.
If you have any comments or would ike to participate in the planning meeting, contact Harvey Gail, OHPBA Executive Director at 503-585-8254.
Washington County, Hillsboro Adopt Wood Stove Rules
In October the Washington County Commissioners and Hillsboro City Council approved rules that will minimize wood smoke in the region during times of air inversions. The alert system is patterned after similar notification rules in other parts of Oregon. The “Green, Yellow, Red” notification is familiar to our industry, but is new to residents in the Portland area.
To stay informed, Washington County residents are being asked to download the app, PUBLIC ALERTS as the primary way to be notified if Oregon DEQ determines the area is in a yellow or red alert. Sign up at: http://www.publicalerts.org/ . Actually, this is a nice service. It notifies of traffic issues, weather problems, and police or fire activity as well, and only for where you live.
On October 6th the Washington County Board of Commissioners adopted Ordinance 807 on Air Quality and Wood Smoke. The policy prohibits backyard burning of yard debris in unincorporated Washington County and allows the Department of Health and Human Services to issue “red day alerts”, restricting the use of fireplaces wood stoves and wood stove inserts when PM2.5 levels exceed federal standards. A Red alert will be triggered if the DEQ’s air quality gauges in Washington County register above 35 microns /cm3.
The Hillsboro City Council adopted a similar ordinance. Their policy prohibits backyard burning of yard debris throughout the City and allows the City’s Code Enforcement Program to enforce the County’s “red day alerts” within city limits.
OHPBA and area retailers have advised Washington County and Hillsboro officials of issues related to wood and pellet stoves. Harvey Gail and Tim Reed testified before the Washington County Commissioners. Ed Loper provided comments to the Hillsboro City Council.
By addressing the issues early Washington County has taken steps to avoid a “nonattainment” status from the EPA. In meetings of the Wood Smoke Advisory Committee, of which Tim Reed and Harvey Gail with OHPBA have been involved from the beginning, DEQ officials have been impressed with how quickly the city of Hillsboro and Washington County were able to act on this air quality issue.
On RED days, exemptions apply:
To households that rely on wood burning as their only source of heat.
To households that qualify as low-income (see Q&A document below).
When there is an interruption in utility service (electricity or natural gas).
When a household's primary heating system is temporarily not working (no more than 120 days).
The ordinance does not restrict the use of pellet stoves even during Red days. Also, the ordinance only covers the fall and winter months and is not in effect between March 2 and October 31. During Yellow days, there are no special allowances for EPA certified stoves; all wood stoves are allowed, but citizens in Hillsboro and unincorporated Washington County are asked to curtail their use voluntarily. Click THIS LINK for more information on the rules.
Officials have asked OHPBA to assist with community outreach activities. Look for an email inviting you as a retailer to participate in a survey of how woodstove users get their cord wood. Also, we will be gathering information from metro area retailers on how they have assisted consumers with understanding these rules.
OHPBA Participates in TV Segment on Wood and Pellet Stoves
Tim Reed of Fireside Home Solutions has been particularly helpful in participating in the advisory group in Washington County. Acting on our suggestion to see certified stoves in action, Reed was interviewed in a cable community Television show called Community Matters. The show aired in October. The segment features Reed and Matt Davis, Environmental Health Program Manager for Washington County. To view the video on YouTube, Click This LINK.
OHPBA Seeks Representative from Oregon to Attend 2016 Government Affairs Academy
Registration is open for HPBA’s Tom Pugh Government Affairs Academy in July, 2016. OHPBA is seeking one person from Oregon to attend. Your airfare, hotel and direct travel expenses will be paid for by OHPBA.
To register, Click this link: https://form.jotform.com/53155628727159
Please have your attendees register as soon as possible. We would like to work with them to book travel far ahead of the program date. Three Affiliates and the Pellet Fuels Institute have already reserved 7 spaces.
If you have any questions about the program, contact Crystal Gitchell, HPBA Government Affairs Coordinator, 703-522-0086, ext. 133; or Harvey Gail, OHPBA Executive Director, 503-585-8254.