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Woodstoves must meet EPA standards

September 23, 2016 2:03 P.M.

New standards for wood-burning stoves should mean a substantial reduction in emissions and the harmful particulate that goes with them.

The province announced the new requirements on Thursday, Sept. 22.

Wood burning appliances, such as wood and pellet stoves sold in B.C., will have to meet stricter emissions standards recently adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This should result in an immediate 40 percent reduction in maximum emissions for new wood stoves.

Under the existing regulation, several wood heating devices were exempt from meeting emission standards. The update will ensure all appliances are subject to the same standards.

For example, outdoor wood boilers, which emit large quantities of smoke, will not only have to meet the new standards, they will also have to be installed in a manner that minimizes risks to neighbours and the community.

New outdoor boilers will be subject to a specific setback from property lines which will limit installation of these high-polluting appliances to large lots in rural areas. Additionally, a sunset date has been established for high-emitting outdoor boilers that will see them banned in 10 years.

Other new provisions include:

  • Clarifying what fuels can and cannot be burned in an appliance.
  • Prohibiting the sale of appliances that are not certified to meet the emission standards.
  • Requiring vendors to keep records demonstrating the appliances they sell are certified.
  • Creating 15 new offences that can be penalized under the Environmental Management Act in the form of tickets, court-ordered penalties, and/or administrative penalties.

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