Oregon AG Rosenblum files suit against EPA over wood stove emissions

September 28, 2023 – Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum joined a lawsuit with nine other attorneys general against the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to regulate wood stove emissions, the attorney general announced Wednesday.

“This is a serious public health, environmental, and consumer protection issue all wrapped into one!” Rosenblum said in a statement. “The science is clear: wood heaters in Oregon are a major source of particulate-matter pollution, which is harmful to our health. The EPA needs to do what they said they would 8 years ago: review and, if need be, revise their standards.”

According to Rosenblum, wood stoves “are the main reason” why areas such as Oak Ridge and Klamath Falls are labeled “non-attainment” areas where they don’t meet National Ambient Air Quality standards.

The EPA developed the air quality standards in 2015, Rosenblum said – pointing out that the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to review, and if needed, revise the standards every eight years unless the agency determines a review isn’t required if they have efficacy information available. However, the attorney general says the EPA has not determined if a review on wood stove performance standards is required.

She added, “Not only is EPA delinquent in pursuing new standards; it is likely that many wood stoves have been sold that do not meet the 2015 standards, because EPA has allowed manufacturers to sell stoves without adequate testing to see if they comply.”

According to the complaint, the EPA’s Inspector General’s Office found the “EPA’s residential wood heater program does not provide reasonable assurance that wood heaters are properly tested and certified before reaching consumers.”

The complaint furthers, “although it has some intermediate goals, EPA has stated that it does not plan to finalize a new [standard] for residential wood heaters until November 30, 2027—more than 12 years after the 2015 NSPS. Moreover, EPA asserts that the November 30, 2027 date is only aspirational, as EPA “do[es] not have hard deadlines for reaching these milestones.”

By Michaela Bourgeois, KOIN 6
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