State adopts clean air plan and rules for wood stoves

The Department of Ecology adopted changes to the statewide rule and plan for solid-fuel burning devices like wood stoves, fireplaces, pellet stoves, and masonry heaters.

The updates reflect recent changes to state law, meet federal requirements from the Environmental Protection Agency and will help improve air quality.

Washington’s clean air rules govern how air pollution is managed. Ecology incorporates many of these rules into a federally required statewide plan for meeting clean air standards.

Specifically, the new rule lowers the threshold for issuing burn bans in areas with poor air quality that are at risk for “nonattainment” and contains changes that improve rule consistency and clarity.

Air pollution managers will use the updates to help reduce levels of fine-particle pollution in all areas of the state. Particularly, for areas affected by wood stove pollution. The updates also will support efforts to help the city of Tacoma and a portion of Pierce County continue to meet national clean air standards.

Prior to updating the rule, Ecology and Washington clean air agencies were already initiating burn bans in a manner that was consistent with legislative changes.

Ecology asked for public comments and hosted public hearings last November while working to update the rule and plan.

The rule is subject to a 60-day appeal period.

The revised rule has been submitted to EPA for approval and incorporation into the state’s clean air plan. EPA holds an additional public comment period for the updated plan.

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