Revising Standards for New Residential Wood Heaters

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Revising Standards for New Residential Wood Heaters

Postby Wilberforce » Wed May 05, 2010 8:58 pm

Regulatory Flexibility Act / Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (RFA/SBREFA)

Small Business Panel on Revising Standards for New Residential Wood Heaters & Other Devices
What is the implication of the Proposed Revisions on Small Entities?

Section 111 of the Clean Air Act, "Standards of Performance of New Stationary Sources," requires EPA to establish federal emission standards for source categories which cause or contribute to air pollution. These standards are intended to promote use of the best air pollution control technologies, taking into account the cost of such technology and any other non-air quality, health, and environmental impact and energy requirements. A facility is considered a “major source” if it emits 10 or more tons a year of a single air toxic, or 25 or more tons of a combination of toxics.

EPA issued New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new residential wood heaters, including wood stoves, in 1998. The law requires that EPA periodically review these standards. EPA completed a draft review in 2009, noting that improvements in technology allow emissions to be better controlled than what the existing NSPS requires. In light of this review, EPA anticipates proposing revisions to the standards in 2011. Those revisions could include improved regulation of wood heaters, along with new regulation of other residential devices that use solid biomass fuels.

Devices that potentially would be covered by these actions include the following:

* wood stoves
* pellet stoves
* other solid biomass stoves (e.g., stoves that burn shelled corn, switchgrass, cherry pits)
* masonry heaters
* masonry fireplaces constructed on site
* factory-built fireplaces
* outdoor stoves and fireplaces
* indoor hydronic heaters
* outdoor hydronic heaters
* forced-air furnaces
* coal-only heaters

What is a Small Business Advocacy Panel?

EPA expects to conduct a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel for the development of a proposed rulemaking that will create new and revised limits for fine particle emissions from new residential wood heaters and other solid biomass-burning devices, such as wood stoves and hydronic heaters.

The Regulatory Flexibility Act as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (RFA/SBREFA) requires EPA to convene a SBAR Panel for a proposed rule unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Panel process offers an opportunity for small entities that are directly affected by a proposed rule to provide input into the rulemaking process in order to ensure that small entity concerns are carefully considered by the agency. Small entities that participate in the Panel process are referred to as Small Entity Representatives.
How Can I Get Involved?

If you are a small manufacturer of wood heaters and other residential solids that use biomass fuels, such as wood stoves and hydronic heaters, that may potentially be affected by this rulemaking, you may be eligible to serve as a Small Entity Representative (SER). You may wish to review EPA’s fact sheet, What Potential Small Entities Should Know About the Small Business Advocacy Review Panel Process (2009) (PDF) (4 pp, 19 K). Information about "small" size standards is available at the Small Business Administration’s web site.

Generally, SERs will be asked to review background information, listen to informational briefings, and provide oral and written comments to the Panel, consisting of EPA, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.
Additional information about the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act is available in the following fact sheet: What Small Entities Should Know About EPA and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (2009) (PDF) (4 pp, 20K).
Who Should I Contact?

If you are or represent a small manufacturer that may be affected by this rulemaking and would like to find out more about potentially serving as a Small Entity Representative, please send a message to or call (202) 566-2372 by no later than May 14, 2010. Please provide your name, the name and size of your company, address, and your contact information in the inquiry.

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