By ROBERT S. MERRILL
The Department of Environmental Quality is sponsoring another wood stove change-out program on the Idaho side of Cache Valley.
This program is very similar to the past two change-outs in 2012 and 2011, where residents can qualify for a $500 rebate, according to Melissa Gibbs, regional airshed coordinator for the DEQ.
“The main difference with this change-out is that all Franklin County residents are eligible to participate. In the previous two years, you needed to reside within the PM2.5 Nonattainment area boundary,” she said.
“The program has been expanded due to the fact local ordinances allow all Franklin County residents to operate EPA-certified devices even when burn bans have been issued.”
The DEQ is offering financial incentives to put old wood stoves out of commission. The purpose of the wood stove change-out program is to encourage homeowners to install new, cleaner-burning wood stoves certified by the DEQ or natural gas units, said Gibbs.
“DEQ is sponsoring this program to help improve air quality in Franklin County. While the smell of wood smoke may make you feel warm and cozy, smoke from wood stoves is a significant source of air pollution. It contains gases and microscopic particles that can enter your lungs and trigger serious respiratory problems,” she said.
“Old wood stoves produce up to five times as much harmful smoke as newer, EPA-certified models. Switching to a new, cleaner-burning wood stove makes environmental and economic sense.”
Franklin County and all incorporated towns in Franklin County in 2012 adopted wood-burning ordinances as part of the State Implementation Plan (SIP). Key elements in the current ordinances include issuing a mandatory burn ban when PM2.5 is at, or is forecasted to reach, 75 on the AQI.
This story is sponsored by Willow Valley Clinic: Dr. Morrison.
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