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Smoke from an poorly controlled outdoor wood furnace. Photo: NYS DEC
Smoke from an poorly controlled outdoor wood furnace. Photo: NYS DEC

NY sues EPA over wood boiler regulations

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says it was necessary to sue the Environmental Protection Agency to try to get better national rules governing wood boiler furnaces.

Schneiderman spoke yesterday on the program Capital Pressroom.

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"It seems very very clear to us that we had to force the EPA to take action. They enacted legislation in 1988 that only covered wood stoves. It did not cover wood boilers, which are actually a much bigger problem."

A total of seven states joined the suit, including Vermont.  New York moved to regulate some outdoor wood boilers two years ago.  But Schneiderman says there's still a need for tighter national regulations.

"The standards for how much pollution should be coming out of a wood boiler now should be a lot tougher because there is a lot of new technology that burns a lot cleaner."

A spokeswoman for the EPA told the Associated Press that they're still reviewing the suit.

Schneiderman says unregulated old-technology wood boilers produce a significant amount of pollution across the US. 

The suit also argues that national standards would make cleaner stoves more affordable and more widely available in states like New York.

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