If the recommendations of the Governor's Clean Air Commission are followed, Utah will eventually set up incentive programs to encourage the replacement of older wood-burning stoves with new, cleaner models.
Vermont Castings, which has been selling wood-burners in Utah for the past decade or longer, called a press conference Tuesday to show off its own incentive program. Anyone buying a certified clean-burning stove will get a $200 rebate for turning in an old dirty model.According to a company spokesman, Vermont Castings is the nation's largest manufacturer of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces certified by the Environmental Protection Agency.
However, it's not the only manufacturer, by any means. "There are right now 50 or 60" competitors, said Mike Duval, environmental coordinator for Vermont Castings, which is based in Randolph, Vt.
"We're speaking not only on behalf of Vermont Castings but on behalf of the wood-burning industry in general," Duval said. Company officers want to "get the word out about the new technology in wood-burning stoves that has been developed over the past six or eight years."
If stoves burn cleaner, the atmosphere is protected from hazardous pollution, less fuel is used, and creosote doesn't build up as rapidly on chimneys.
New federal standards for stoves with catalytic combustors require that no more than 4.1 grams of smoke be released per hour; with catalytic devices, the limit is 7.5 grams hourly.
"In areas where wood smoke has been a contributor to poor air quality, these newer certified stoves have been part of the solution," Duval said. For example, he said, in Crested Butte, Colo., air pollution dropped 65 percent when 363 uncertified stoves were replaced with certified models, and 191 certified stoves were added to the total.
"It really made a significant impact" to air quality at the ski resort, he said.