On March 11 2020, the EPA finalized wood heater regulations, ruling that no "sell-through" period was warranted based on data supplied by industry.
EPA rulings can be long and technical so we excerpted the key points in the EPA's final ruling on changes to the New Source Performance Standards for wood heaters. While you may know that the EPA did not agree to a sell-through period for Step 1 heaters, you may not know that the EPA ruled that pellet manufacturers can use old pallets as fiber, or exactly why the EPA kept to its original timeline. After the initial summary, the first half is about changes in pellet composition and the second half is about why they are not changing the timeline for appliance sales. The other important document for those who are interested in more details is the EPA's Response to Comments from stakeholders and the public. The document shows the EPA's findings and analysis on scores of contested issues from all sides. (May 5, 2020 update: due to the Coronavirus pandemic, EPA is trying to reverse course and allow a limited sell-through on a tight timeline.)
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
3. inorganic fines: less than or equal to 1 percent;
4. chlorides: less than or equal to 300 parts per million by weight; 5. ash content: no more than 2 percent;
6. contains no demolition or construction waste; and
7. trace metals: less than 100 milligrams per kilogram.
2. lawn clippings or yard waste;
3. materials containing rubber, including tires;
4. materials containing plastic;
5. waste petroleum products, paints or paint thinners, or asphalt products;
6. materials containing asbestos;
7. construction or demolition debris;
8. paper products, cardboard, plywood, or particleboard.
9. railroad ties, pressure-treated wood or pallets (40 CFR 60.532(f)(9)) and railroad ties or pressure-treated lumber (40 CFR 60.5474(f)(9));
10. manure or animal remains;
11. salt water driftwood or other previously salt water saturated materials;
12. unseasoned wood;
13. any materials that are not included in the warranty and owner’s manual for the subject wood heater; or
14. any materials that were not included in the certification tests for the subject wood heater.
B. Decision Regarding Promulgating New Sell-Through Provisions
- whether retailers are currently declining to purchase Step 1-compliant wood heating devices and how widespread is this reduction in purchases;
- the cost or other impacts that retailers could have on manufacturers if they decline to purchase Step 1-compliant wood heating devices;
- the typical period of time between when a retailer purchases a wood heating device and when the device is sold to the consumer;
- what period of time would be sufficient for retailers to sell their inventory of Step 1- compliant heaters;
- the number of Step 1-compliant wood heating devices that are currently in production and the number that are being designed for Step 2 compliance that have not yet been EPA-certified;
- the number of Step 2 wood heating devices that are currently Step 2-certified; and
- how far in advance of the current May 2020 Step 2 compliance date manufacturers will need to submit their EPA certification applications to meet the standard as well as manufacture, market, and distribute their products without disruption to their business.