2010 March 7: PA Londonderry Township: Ban on installing wood boilers effective until rules are enacted
ALebanon County township is the lat est place where wood boilers are the hot topic.
In the past, residents in Mount Holly Springs and Cornwall have complained about the smoke and pollution, and municipal officials regulated the devices that provide heat and hot water.
Now, Londonderry Twp. is heating up over wood boilers.
With elimination of electric rate caps, more residents might be looking at outdoor wood boilers to help save costs, Londonderry Twp. manager Steve Letavic said.
Londonderry Twp. supervisors agreed to temporarily ban new boilers from being installed until the fall, so they can develop an ordinance.
"We all want to be sensitive to rate caps, and people may need another source of heat, but we need to ensure everyone can enjoy their own property," Letavic said.
Outdoor wood boilers burn wood at low temperatures in a shed-like structure, heating water that is piped into a home for heating and hot water. Letavic said there is concern over the amount of minute debris and smoke they produce.
The state Department of Environmental Protection is considering regulations for the devices, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency has worked with the industry to develop voluntary guidelines for newer, less polluting wood boilers.
"We shouldn’t wait until someone puts one in and a neighbor complains," supervisor Daryl LeHew said, urging the board to develop regulations. While favoring the temporary ban, supervisor Anna Dale believes units that meet EPA guidelines should be allowed.
DEP has proposed regulations that would require only EPA-approved units to be used and sold, would regulate height of smokestacks on old and new units, and would stipulate building setbacks and type of fuel.