Residents of one American state would have a legal right to use wood to heat their homes if a group of state legislators get their way.
The Missouri measure, H.B. 1302, is being proposed in light of an Environmental Protection Agency proposal that would ban the manufacture of about 80 percent of wood stoves currently in use.
“All Missourians have a right to heat their homes and businesses using wood-burning furnaces, stoves, fireplaces and heaters,” the proposed legislation states.
The legislation, which has 36 co-sponsors, would prevent state environmental officials from taking any action on stoves and fireplaces without approval from the Missouri legislature.
Rural Residents Voice Displeasure
In January the EPA released proposed air quality regulations that would require new wood stoves to be cleaner.
“There’s not a stove in the United States that can pass the test right now — this is the death knoll of any wood burning,” Reg Kelly said of the EPA’s particle pollution restrictions. Kelly, who owns Earth Outdoor Furnaces in Mountain Grove, Missouri, testified to legislators, the Associated Press reported.
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The proposed EPA restrictions only apply to wood and pellet burning stoves, furnaces, boilers and stoves manufactured after 2015.
“What they’re doing is unnecessary, and it comes against our American values and our traditions,” State Rep. Tim Remole told AP.
Said farmer Darwin Woods, “It’s just another way for them to control my life and lifestyle and basically force me to pay more for just survival.” Woods uses a wood-burning boiler to heat his home near Clark, Missouri.
Wood stoves are not the only heat sources that have been targeted. Off the Grid News reported that there have been efforts to ban fireplaces in Utah, California and Montreal. Montreal, a city known for its frigid winters, wants to eliminate all wood-burning stoves and fireplaces by 2020 in an effort to ensure air quality.
Critics say it is government overreach.
“It seems that even wood isn’t green or renewable enough anymore,” Larry Bell wrote on Forbes.com. “… [It’s the] oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents. The agency’s stringent one-size-fits-all rules apply equally to heavily air-polluted cities and far cleaner plus typically colder off-grid wilderness areas such as large regions of Alaska and the American West.
What You Can Do?
If you’re thinking of purchasing a new wood stove, you can beat the EPA regulations by buying one now, before the regulations go into effect. The regulations could raise wood stove prices by 25 percent or more, The Portland Press Herald newspaper in Maine reported. Another way to get around the restrictions would be to use a fireplace for heat.
Concerned citizens can comment on the regulations by clicking here. The EPA is accepting comments through May 5.
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