2010 April 14: CT Cheshire: weighs banning outdoor wood furnaces
Banning them would be a good thing. "
The PZC opened a public hearing on the proposed regulation at its meeting Monday night and continued the hearing until April 26, said Town Planner William Voelker.
“We just think this is a responsible thing to do,” said Voelker. “These things are environmentally problematic because they release a lot of particulate into the air and the (state Department of Environmental Protection) is taking a hard look at them.”
But a state Senate bill that would have banned the devices throughout Connecticut was killed by a 17-12 vote by the General Assembly’s Environment Committee last month.
The regulation that the PZC is considering would ban the construction of any further outdoor wood furnaces, but would not require any that are in operation to be taken down, Voelker said.
“We’re not looking to create a hardship for anybody,” he said. “We just want to keep a bunch of these from cropping up in neighborhoods with single-family homes.”
Nancy Alderman, president of a North Haven environmental group, Environment and Human Health Inc., was among those leading the fight for a statewide ban of outdoor wood furnaces. Alderman said news that Cheshire might enact such a ban is “very exciting and very important.”
“Cheshire has enough rural areas where you might see these put into use,” she said. If Cheshire enacts the ban, it would become the 10th town in Connecticut to do so.
Outdoor wood furnaces create more health problems than indoor wood stoves or fireplaces because of the way they operate, Alderman said. Indoor wood stoves and fireplaces burn wood at higher temperatures, she said, which causes the smoke plumes to travel into the air at higher levels and dissipate more quickly.
“Outdoor wood furnaces have a jacket of water surrounding the burn chamber, so the fire burns at a much lower temperature, and the smoke stays much closer to the ground and doesn’t dissipate,” Alderman said.
Contact Luther Turmelle at 203-789-5706.