Woodstove changeout deadline approaching
Time is running out to remove or replace old woodstoves in Truckee, but extensions are available.
The deadline to either remove old, non-Environmental Protection Agency compliant stoves and fireplaces, or replace them with compliant models is coming up on May 31. Truckee homeowners who meet the deadline or file for an extension can get between $300 and $500 from the town to help defray the cost.
“We are getting a lot of time extension requests ” at least people recognize the need to change out their stoves,” said Town Planner Duane Hall. “We still have sufficient rebate funds.”
The town is allowing homeowners to apply for extensions because the rush for newer compliant woodstoves, gas stoves and pellet stoves has created a back order situation at local retailers, like Mountain Home Center.
“This is kind of what I predicted would happen eight years ago ” the vast majority of people wait until the 11th hour,” said Tom Just, an owner of Mountain Home Center in Truckee.
Just said Mountain Home Center has a four- to five-week wait for new stoves, compared to two or three weeks in past years.
“I think because construction is down, without the woodstove changeout program, we would be below last year’s,” Just said.
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.
Funding for the rebate comes from $300,000 the town received from the merger of Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads, and is replenished by fees from new development.
While the town doesn’t have figures on how many old stoves are out there, judging by applications for the rebates, Hall said over 1,200 have been replaced or removed already.
If homeowners with non-compliant stoves miss the May 31 deadline and don’t file for an extension, they will first lose eligibility for the rebate, Hall said.
Compliance checks will be done if the town is made aware of an old stove, or when a homeowner requests permits for an addition or remodel, Hall said.
Town inspectors would then notify the homeowner, and if the stove is still not removed, fines of $1,000, $2,500, and $5,000 can follow on first, second and third offenses respectively, Hall said.
“But we would take all other steps before getting to that point,” Hall said.
Truckee’s Air Quality Management Plan began in 1998, Hall said, and the woodstove changeout program was the first step.
“Looking at the air quality data from the last year, our air quality is still good and we’ve had no significant periods of bad air quality, so it seems to be working,” Hall said.
Once the woodstove changeout program is complete, Hall said it will be up to town council to pick the next project for improving local air quality.
“It could be targeting street sanding, offering rebates to remove EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) compliant stove, or looking at other sources of air pollution,” Hall said.
Go to http://www.truckee2025.org for more information about Truckee’s woodstove changeout program, to file for an extension, and learn about rebates.
Go to http://www.placer.ca.gov/departments/air.aspx for more information from Placer County’s Air Pollution Control District.
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