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EPA Denies Industry Request for Dealer

Monday, March 16, 2020

By Bill Sendelback

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied the request of the hearth products industry to allow dealers to sell their existing inventories of NSPS Step 1 wood-heating devices after the May 15, 2020 deadline, according to a March 11, 2020, statement from the EPA.

As a result, residential wood- and pellet-burning stoves, fireplace inserts, heater-rated fireplaces, hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces that are not tested and certified to the NSPS Step 2 standards cannot be manufactured or sold in the U.S. as of May 15, 2020. 

As per the EPA’s announcement of its finalized amendments to the NSPS, “retailers will have until May 15, 2020, to sell wood-heating devices that do not comply with the more stringent emissions standards.”

“HPBA and our 70 wood- and pellet-appliance manufacturing members and more than 2,000 retailer members are deeply disappointed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to not grant any sell-through for the products affected by the NSPS emissions regulations for new wood heaters,” says a March 12, 2020, statement by the HPBA. 

“In this decision, EPA chose to ignore the comments, data, and real-world impacts on small businesses that more than adequately demonstrated the need for a period of time after the May 15, 2020, effective date of Step 2 to sell currently EPA-certified Step 1 wood heaters. 

As an industry that is largely made up of small and family-owned businesses, this is especially difficult to absorb. Sell-through would have allowed our retailers to continue to sell the Step 1-certified wood-burning appliances for a set amount of time. Allowing the remaining Step 1 appliances to be sold would still lower emissions and would allow our retailers to recoup their investment in the product line. On May 15, 2020, perfectly good products in small businesses across the country will immediately become boat anchors.”

Also part of this EPA finalization of amendments to the NSPS, the EPA removed the “pellet fuel minimum requirements” from the NSPS. “Minimum requirements are already included in the standards used by the Pellet Fuels Institute and other EPA-approved third-parties for the grading of pellet fuels,” said the EPA in its statement.

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