The biomass trade association encourages revised rules that reflect modern technology
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) issued a statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Residential Wood Heaters. The announcement of a public rulemaking marks the regulation's first major update since 1988.
"BTEC is ready to engage the EPA in putting forth recommendations that reflect and promote clean, high performing residential biomass heating technologies," said Joseph Seymour, BTEC Executive Director. "The biomass heating industry has seen advances and innovation in fuel, combustion, and emissions controls since the rule's creation over 20 years ago, and it is vital that EPA promulgate timely and reasonable standards that help move this industry forward."
According to estimates from 2012 U.S. Census data and the non-profit Alliance for Green Heat, approximately 2.5 million American households use wood as a primary heating fuel, making it the nation's dominant form of residential renewable energy. Also, the role of biomass in the residential sector has grown by 34 percent from 2000 to 2010. Pending legislation in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives (S. 1007 and H.R. 2715, respectively) would accelerate this growth by providing tax incentives for homeowners who purchase qualifying high efficiency biomass heating systems, on par with those incentives currently available for solar thermal and geothermal technologies.
Today's proposed rule would apply to new residential biomass heating systems such as wood and pellet stoves, indoor and outdoor boilers, forced air heaters, and masonry stoves, among other technologies. The rule, once published in the Federal Register, will undergo a 90 public comment period followed by an internal federal review, with final publication expected in 2015. Additionally, the EPA will hold a public hearing February 26, 2014 in Boston, MA. More information on the proposed rule may be found at www2.epa.gov/residential-wood-heaters.