Wood stove changeout heats up
Placer County may expand its wood stove replacement program county-wide in an effort to curb air pollution.The voluntary portion of the proposed campaign will be funded by a $13 million settlement with Sierra Pacific Industries over air quality violations.While the county has had voluntary incentive programs in the Martis Valley and Colfax, the Placer County Air Pollution Control District is looking to expand those financial incentives, and make the replacement of non-Environmental Protection Agency-certified stoves mandatory in another four years.If approved by the board, next year we will offer wood stove replacement incentives for the next four years, said Heather Kuklo, an air quality specialist for the district.Air Pollution Control staff is fashioning a package of incentives that range from $700 to $1,000 to remove or replace a non-certified stove with a low-pollution wood, pellet or gas stove, Kuklo said.The size of the incentive may vary according to the financial situations of the resident, Kuklo said. If adopted by the district board, Kuklo said those incentives would continue for four years, at which point replacement of the old stoves would become mandatory.The proprietor of a North Shore store that sells stoves welcomed the possible award program.I think they really need to do that; there needs to be something in place with incentives, said Cindy Deas, who owns Lake Tahoe Specialty Stove and Fireplace in Kings Beach. And it needs to be all of the county, not just parts.
Certified and non-certified stoves are hard to tell apart, but certified stoves usually have a label, and stoves produced since the early 90s should meet the new standards, Deas said. The newer stoves burn more of the particulate matter generated by a wood fire.The incentives would come from interest on a $13 million lawsuit settlement from Sierra Pacific Industries, a timber operations company and the states largest private landowner, Kuklo said.The Associated Press reported in August that the companys sawmills violated state air pollution control regulations, according to a joint investigation by the California Air Resources Board, the California attorney general, and Placer Countys Air Pollution Control District.The district board will consider the expanded wood stove program at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13, in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at 175 Fulweiler Ave. in Auburn.
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