Groups Cry Foul over Delay for New Rules on Dirty Outdoor Wood Boilers

"Emergency" Extension Will Result in Emergency Room Visits for New Yorkers

(April 15, 2011)

While the Department of Conservation calls their extension of the sell-through date for non-certified outdoor wood boilers an "emergency rule," the American Lung Association in New York and Environmental Advocates of New York say that the rule will likely result in sending more New Yorkers to the emergency room.

We were shocked when the agency announced without warning today that they planned to delay the implementation of new regulations for outdoor wood boilers. We advocated for tougher standards for all outdoor wood boilers because of the harmful effects these devices continue to have on air quality and human health. Our organizations continue to receive numerous complaints from New Yorkers who live in proximity to wood boilers and are forced to breathe in the toxic air they emit.

More than half of New York's 60 counties are home to air that fails to meet minimum air quality standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. This delay in cleaning up the state's air will likely result in more New Yorkers suffering asthma attacks and other cardiovascular episodes.

The Department of Environmental Conservation should not only act quickly to implement the regulation adopted in December 2010, but take further action to better protect all New Yorkers from outdoor wood boilers. When DEC promulgated this rule, industry was put on notice and given ample time to ensure that the boilers they were selling met the new emissions standards. It's wrong to knowingly allow the sale of boilers that do not meet the standards when the technology is out there and readily available.

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