2010 Feb. 3: IN LaPorte: Letter (Web version): Oppose pollution-emitting wood-fired boilers

Published: February 3, 2010 3:00 a.m.

2010 Feb. 3: IN LaPorte: Letter (Web version): Oppose pollution-emitting wood-fired boilers

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is asking for a second round of comments for rulemaking to regulate outdoor wood-fired boilers or hydronic heaters. This does not apply to indoor wood-burning appliances that are certified by the EPA not to exceed 7.5 grams of particulate emissions per hour. One boiler produces as much fine particulates as 1,000 gas furnaces, or four diesel trucks idling in your yard.
IDEM wants to set boilers back from a neighbor’s property by 150 feet. IDEM wants a five-foot stack height over neighbors’ buildings; IDEM wants no operation of boilers from May to September (what about April and October?). IDEM wants visible smoke plumes not to exceed 20 percent opacity, but this can’t be measured at night when most folks load up their boilers. You measure opacity on a clear sunlit day.

New boilers made for 2010 still produce two to four times more particulate matter than current EPA- certified wood stoves. What about the existing 8,000-plus boilers in Indiana that the EPA states are a health concern because of the excessive smoke? What about them? What rules will apply to them and the health risk they pose to all of us?

Finally, can our property values take another hit? As boilers become more widely known as neighborhood health hazards, resale values are sure to be affected throughout the state. There are far better and healthier methods to save on heating bills.

Contact Susan Bem of IDEM at 800-451-6027 and ask her how to make your comments know to IDEM. You have till Feb. 22. See www.idem.IN.gove/6507.htm or Indiana Register LSA 05-332 for comment information.



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