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EPA, Industry Launch Agreement for Cleaner Outdoor Wood Heaters

Release Date: 01/29/2007
Contact Information: John Millett, (202) 564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C. - Jan. 29, 2007) Under a voluntary partnership agreement with EPA, key manufacturers have agreed to make cleaner outdoor wood-fired heaters available for purchase this year. Outdoor wood-burning units provide heat and hot water for homes and other buildings. The new heaters will be about 70 percent cleaner than models currently on the market.

"This partnership, along with efforts from Northeast states, will provide consumers with a choice to purchase cleaner outdoor wood heaters and communities with tools to take action now," said Bill Wehrum, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "Beginning this spring, consumers can look for the orange hang tag to identify new wood heaters that are both more efficient and less polluting."

Outdoor wood-fired heaters also are called outdoor wood boilers, outdoor wood furnaces, or outdoor wood-fired hydronic heaters. Use of the heaters has increased in recent years, prompting complaints about smoke and concern about the particle pollution the units produce.

Ten manufacturers -- which make 80 percent of the units sold in the United States -- have joined the partnership, agreeing to bring at least one unit meeting new performance specifications to market beginning in the spring of 2007. The cleaner models will be marked by an orange hang tag showing that a unit meets the requirements of the program.

EPA developed the voluntary program with input from heater manufacturers, states and the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association, an industry trade group.

In addition to leading development of the voluntary agreement, EPA provided technical and financial support to a coalition of Northeast states for the development of a model rule that state and local governments can use to address wood heater use in their areas. That coalition, Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), is making the model rule available today.

The manufacturers agreeing to make cleaner outdoor wood heaters are: Aqua-Therm, Black Bear/Clean Wood Heat, Burns Best, Central Boiler, Hardy Manufacturing Co., Heatmor, Mahoning Outdoor Furnace, Pro-Fab Industries, Woodmaster /Northwest Manufacturing, and Sequoyah Paradise.

Under the voluntary partnership agreement, the new models must emit no more than 0.6 pounds (particle pollution per million BTUs of heat input, i.e., wood burned). The models must be tested by an accredited third-party laboratory to verify that they meet these levels.

Information about outdoor wood heaters and the voluntary partnership: