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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coudersport Hearing Tonight On Outside Boiler Regulations

Local Public Hearing Wednesday On Outdoor Stoves

The State Environmental Quality Board has scheduled a public hearing on proposed regulations covering outdoor wood-burning stoves for 6 pm on Wednesday (Jan. 13) at the Coudersport High School auditorium.

Citizens may also comment by traditional mail or email until Feb. 12. Written comments should be mailed to EQB, PO Box 8477, Harrisburg PA 17105-8477. Comments by email are being accepted at

Under the proposed regulations:

  • A person may not purchase, sell, offer for sale, distribute or install a boiler unless it meets standards for efficiency.
This means there is no trade-in value to the $8,000 wood boiler you bought last year. You can't sell it, offer it for sale, or trade it in because nobody can use it anywhere in Pennsylvania.
  • New boilers must be installed at least a minimum of 150 feet from the nearest property line.
My lot is only 85 feet wide, but 100 yards long. I would not be allowed to install a new boiler under any circumstances.
  • New boilers must have a permanently attached stack that must be at least 10 feet above ground and extend at least two feet above the highest peak of the highest residence located within 150 feet of the boiler.
Residences here run 2 1/2 stories. A chimney would have to be 30 feet high or more. It would have to be set with heavy equipment, and guyed or cemented in the ground to keep it in the air. Also would be a hazard to keep clean at that height. Unlike a residential chimney, there is nothing to support this chimney that high in the air.
  • Existing boilers must also have a permanently attached stack that is at least 10 feet above ground and extend at least two feet above the highest peak of the highest residence located within 500 feet of the boiler.
500 feet is nearly 2 football fields away from my wood boiler. The highest house is located upwind from my boiler, and has a boiler of their own with a 4 foot chimney. I am downwind from theirs and have never had a problem.
  • Only clean wood, wood pellets made from clean wood and certain home heating oil, natural gas or propane fuels can be used in the boilers.
I always let the rain wash my wood before I burn it in my boiler. But heaven help us if there was a little mud on a piece of firewood. Many boilers are designed to burn coal mined in Pennsylvania, but coal is not even mentioned as an allowable fuel.

Regulation of Outside Wood Boilers is not a one size fits all situations. It should not be regulated by the Commonwealth. Local regulations, if necessary, are adequate to address any issues.

Outside wood boilers are the safest way to heat a home. There is no fire in the house. Every year, thousands of homes burn from all types of heaters in the home. Many are killed in house fires or from carbon monoxide gas.

The outside wood boilers allow a person to do some work to gather the wood for winter to feed them or purchase from local loggers, sawmills, or farmers. You can't barter with the gas or electric companies for you winter's heat.

Putting the fire outside keeps the dirt, smoke, and bugs out of the house. Going back to an inside wood stove would be unhealthy, dirty and unsafe compared to the outside wood boiler.

Grass fires, forest fires and intentional burn offs in the state forest lands contributes more smoke than all the outside wood burners in Pennsylvania could ever hope to produce. After initial combustion of fresh wood, many hours of very low amounts of smoke ensue.

Outside wood boilers are necessary for rural residents to be able to afford to heat our homes as the oil, natural gas, propane, and electric become unaffordable to the average rural citizen of Pennsylvania.

Wood and coal are Pennsylvania products. Wood is renewable and use of this bio-mass material (wood) is being projected for a community heating project in nearby Smethport with heavy applause for the innovation. Kane School heats with a wood boiler. St. Mary's Hospital heats with a wood boiler. Elliott Lumber Company in Roulette heats their facility with a wood boiler.

To limit these boilers as this regulation intends, may cause many people involved in the sale and installation of these boilers to lose their livelihood, and the users to become lawbreakers in order to keep their homes warm.

This is regulation better left to the individual jurisdictions who can pattern legislation to the needs of the local area.


Anonymous said...

"The outside wood boilers allow a person to do some work to gather the wood for winter to feed them or purchase from local loggers, sawmills, or farmers. You can't barter with the gas or electric companies for you winter's heat."

Well you didn't think the only reasons for them passing these regulations was for cleaner air and comfortable neighbors did you? lol

Vote them all out. Every election vote out every incumbent.

Eventually, we may start seeing some legislators passing laws FOR THE PEOPLE.

Anonymous said...

Here is your oppurtunity to tell the state to (use your imagination)
They have no business in OUR BUSINESS..I will personally be there & I hope to see standing room ONLY !!!! If only a handfull of people show up it will indicate the ignorance & apathy that has put us where we are today...This is not about wood boilers. it is about YOUR FREEDOMS & LIBERTIES quickly being whittled away..STAND UP , BE COUNTED & BE MAD !!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

On the news this morning. Washington is looking to re-write the Constitution.

Heaven help us if they do

Anonymous said...

Also hoping for standing room only. We need to make it clear that we don't need more laws, regulations and state mandates! We have HAD ENOUGH!!!

Anonymous said...

I will not be able to attend this meeting, wish I could but since I'm in Iraq it makes it a little hard. I did send a e-mail message in with my disapproval of this BS proposal. The Government has been trying to take away the things that made the United States of America a free Country...Gun, Alcohol and Cigarettes and now the list goes on. First outside wood boiler, next will be your inside wood stove/fire places anything the EPA can get their hands on to get more Money out of us... It has to stop, we need to stand up and take this country back NOW... GOD BLESS AMERICA..


Mr Realistic said...

They really don't need to rewrite the constitution when we have so many lawyers out there to re-interpret what the current constitution stands for.

Anonymous said...

CAN ANYONE SAY COMMUNISM??? That is definitely where we are headed. Let's keep allowing dipshits in Harrisburg to write laws that don't affect them, that they know nothing about AND helps pad their pockets!