News & Updates
Advocacy News & Updates
The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA) Government Affairs Department publishes updates and information about the most important issues that affect our members and their businesses.
December 16, 2014
On December 16, the full Senate passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771) by a vote of 74-16, which earlier passed the House by a vote of 378-46. The bill reauthorizes, among other credits, the Sec. 25C tax credit for non-business energy property. Included in this section is the $300 credit for residential biomass heating equipment. The bill simply moves the expiration date for this credit from December 31, 2013 to December 31, 2014, allowing the credit to be applied to purchases made in 2014. Consumers who made residential biomass heating purchases will need to have a manufacturer’s certificate that the unit qualifies for Sec. 25C and a receipt (proof of purchase) to submit with their tax return.
Click HERE to view the legislation. The 25C tax credit is extended on page 27.
November 20, 2014
Members of Congress Write to EPA Administrator McCarthy on Wood Warm Air Furnaces
On November 19, 2014, 37 Members of Congress signed a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy advocating for wood warm air furnace manufacturers. The letter, which was signed by 23 Senators (12 Republicans, 11 Democrats) and 14 Representatives (12 Republicans, 2 Democrats), strongly encourages the EPA to allow an extension of the compliance deadline by one year and also allow one year of product sell-through for retailers.
Click HERE to view the letter.
September 17, 2014
HPBA President Meets with Senior EPA Administrator
HPBA president and CEO Jack Goldman joined the executives of two regional groups of state air agencies, Dan Johnson of WESTAR and Arthur Marin of NESCAUM, in an early August meeting with EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, Janet McCabe, to discuss the agency’s proposed revisions to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for woodburning heaters. The three executives presented McCabe with their points of agreement on critical short-term issues, which focused on the proposal’s Step 1 implementation. HPBA and the state air agencies have been meeting since May to resolve differences in their approach to parts of the proposal. Two key areas of agreement center on the certification of existing stoves and on acceptance of hydronic heaters qualified in the EPA proposal and recognized by the state of New York. The three executives also found common ground on issues such as compliance and sell-through deadlines. The groups remain further apart, however, on Step 2 issues.
In a separate meeting, HPBA president Goldman met with Ms. McCabe regarding some of the industry’s key concerns that were not discussed during the “three party” meeting, including, among other core issues, woodstove test method variability. John Voorhees of U.S. Stove Company, and the Chair of the HPBA Government Affairs Committee, joined HPBA’s Ryan Carroll, John Crouch, and Goldman in this meeting. This September, HPBA staff and Rick Curkeet of Intertek Testing Services, who will represent the ASTM process, will meet with the staff of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) regarding concerns with the proposed NSPS and the dramatic changes it will bring to the certification process. EPA is court-ordered to sign the final rule in February 2015 which will then be effective 60 days later, in May 2015. For questions concerning the NSPS, please contact John Crouch at email@example.com.
July 29, 2014
The Department of Energy (DOE) Publishes a Final Rule Technical Amendment in Response to U.S. Court of Appeals Decisions on HPBA v. DOE and APGA v. DOE
On July 29, 2014, the DOE published in the Federal Register a Technical Amendment, which can be viewed by clicking HERE, that corrects regulations issued by DOE pertaining to gas furnaces and vented hearth heaters. This Final Rule corrects the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) on hearth products to address the decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit. The February 2013 court decision deemed DOE’s definition of vented hearth heaters and the standards imposed on them by DOE were inappropriate under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). Although these definitions and standards were struck down by this court in February 2013, DOE had never officially removed them from the CFR, until now.
July 1, 2014
On July 1, 2014, the EPA published in the Federal Register a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) regarding the NSPS for Residential Wood Heaters. Through this NODA, the EPA is making available to the public, and soliciting comment on, additional information on residential wood heater testing and certification that has been added to the docket for the proposed rule. HPBA submitted comments to the EPA, which can be viewed by clicking HERE, as well as an attachment, which can be viewed HERE. John Crouch is the staff contact for this issue.
In the comments, HPBA addresses the flaws with the new set of technical requirements. The Agency has set a very low emissions limit that is difficult to meet; made changes to the analytical methodology, which increases the difficulty in determining whether or not an appliance even complies with the new standard; and changed the test fuel, where there is no agreed-upon method in use – or data. These changes collectively make the new limits exceedingly difficult to achieve – even in a highly controlled laboratory environment. The comments also address concerns regarding outdoor hydronic heaters, warm-air furnaces, pellet stoves, woodstoves, and masonry wood heaters.
April 4, 2014
A bill introduced by Congressman Luetkemeyer (R-MO), cosponsored by Congressman Harper (R-MS), would enforce aspects of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 that require the EPA to promulgate responsible, cost-effective regulations.
After years of waiting, the EPA's proposed NSPS is now available.
December 31, 2013
DOE's Proposed Determination would classify essentially every gas-fueled hearth product with a visible flame as a hearth product subject to efficiency standards.
North America and North American dealers cut wood stove emissions by 87% and donate $14,500 to the American Lung Association with a national changeout program.
October 10, 2013
Read how the federal shutdown affects our advocacy efforts.
February 8, 2013
HPBA wins its legal battle with the U.S. Department of Energy over their improper regulation of gas hearth products.
October 24, 2012
September 11, 2012
HPBA and industry have their day in court.