Plattsburgh Press Republican: DEC proposes stiffer outdoor-boiler regs

PlattsburghpressrebulicanlogoApril 28, 2010

Press-Republican

RAY BROOK — The Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed new regulations aimed at cutting pollution from outdoor wood boilers.

The plan includes emission limits on new boilers sold in New York and the setting of a minimum distance that new boilers can be located from neighboring properties.

It would also include certain fuel restrictions, stack height requirements and a nuisance provision for both new and existing outdoor wood boilers.

The proposal calls for a ban on the use of existing boilers in the summer when neighbors are likely to be enjoying the outdoors and have their windows open, unless units meet the new requirements.

The rule will eventually phase out the use of existing units that do not comply with the new standards.

"This proposal will ensure that new outdoor wood boilers are cleaner and that existing boilers be used in the most environmentally sound way possible," DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said in a news release.

"The DEC is continually working to improve air quality, so that all New Yorkers can breathe air that is clean and healthy," he said, adding that the state's proposal "is another important step towards that goal."

Scott T. Santarella, president of American Lung Association in New York, said his agency "applauds the state DEC for proposing strict new statewide regulations that would significantly improve air quality and better protect the lung health of all New Yorkers.

"For far too long, New Yorkers have suffered because of exposure to the toxic smoke and unhealthy levels of particulate matter that outdoor wood boilers emit."

DEC will conduct 11 public hearings about the changes, including one in Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake from 6 to 8 p.m. June 23. An informal information session will be held at 5 p.m., prior to the hearing.

That is the only hearing scheduled in the tri-county area.

The public-comment period will run until July 2, when residents can submit their opinions in writing to NYSDEC Division of Air Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3251 or via e-mail at
247owb@gw.dec.state.ny.us.