Placer stokes woodstove replacement program | SierraSun.com

Placer stokes woodstove replacement program

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Placer County is moving forward with an incentive plan to encourage residents to remove older wood-burning stoves in order to reduce air pollution.

A recently adopted policy will ban the installation of inefficient older stoves in all new construction in the county by 2009.

In a public hearing on Dec. 13, the directors of the Placer County Air Pollution Control District approved amendments to existing woodstove regulations. The district expanded a mandate for the use of Environmental Protection Agency-certified stoves to the entire county, and authorized financial incentives for residents willing to make the switch.

“Anyone who sells a wood-burning appliance or is installing one will be required to meet EPA phase 2 certification standards,” said Heather Kuklo, an air quality specialist with the district.

The new regulations will prohibit the installation of non-certified stoves in new construction starting on Jan. 1, 2009, and on existing developments on Jan. 1, 2012, according to a district news release.

Kuklo said that non-compliant stoves have to be permanently disabled in homes put on the market for sale by 2012.

But the county is working to make the switch easier for local homeowners, by offering an incentive to people making the change, she said.

“We are working on a four-year incentive project,” Kuklo said. “We should be offering a fairly substantial incentive.”

While the exact dollar figure hasn’t been worked out, Kuklo said she believes it should be substantial enough to help people who really need the financial help, not just those who can already afford a new stove or fireplace.

“I’d like to see the incentives up and running by the end of the wood-burning season, around March or April,” Kuklo said.

The source of the funding is also yet to be determined, but could come from a $13 million legal settlement with Sierra Pacific Industries over air-quality violations, she said.

“One thought right now is using the interest off of that settlement,” Kuklo said.

The Town of Truckee’s rebate program for removal and replacement of non-certified wood stoves also continues until replacement becomes mandatory on May 31 of next year, said Town Planner Duane Hall in a previous interview.

The town offers $300 for removal or replacement of a non-compliant stove with a new stove, and $500 for replacement with a pellet or gas stove, and has received applications for the rebates from about 200 households just this year, Hall said.

Funding started with $300,000 from the merger of Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads, and is replenished by fees from new development, he said.