EPA's NSPS

May 2018 Update

EPA has indicated in a recent court filing that it plans to take comment on aspects of the rule that we have raised in the context of litigation/negotiations and that this comment process may lead to rule revisions in the future. While EPA has not identified specific issues for reconsideration, this is the first time the agency has acknowledged that the rule could benefit from a thorough review. Given the uncertainty as to the substance and timing of what may be proposed and ultimately adopted, Congress needs to finish the job with the 3-year extension legislation. For now, manufacturers, retailers, and distributors must continue to assume that May 2020 is the effective date of Step 2.

Issue Overview

HPBA has supported reasonable standards for wood appliances to burn more cleanly and efficiently for more than 20 years, and worked closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to achieve these results. So many of today's low-emission hearth appliances produce significantly less smoke and particulate emissions than older products. Hearth manufacturer and retailer members have benefited from HPBA's efforts, and homeowners have enjoyed new technologies to conserve energy and burn cleaner.

The EPA updated its 1988 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) – the agency’s regulations for new residential wood and pellet stoves, hydronic heaters, and woodburning forced air furnaces – in February 2015. HPBA has led the hearth industry in attempts to negotiate a portion of the standards (Step 2) to take effect in May 2020. If the Step 2 standards in the regulation remain as they are, most forced air furnaces would no longer be available because it is not feasible for this product category to comply with NSPS technology requirements. Similarly, the market for hydronic heaters would shrink significantly as these products would no longer be affordable options.

Read HPBA's public comments submitted to EPA in 2014. 

View HPBA's position statement.

Industry Resources

Retailers and Distributors: Study up on EPA's revised NSPS. HPBA has distilled lengthy policy documents down to just what you need to know. Visit the following recommended links to stay up-to-date. Contact Rachel Feinstein if you have any questions. 

Retailers & Distributors Must-Knows

FAQs: EPA’s NSPS

Certified Wood and Pellet Stove Permanent Labeling and What it Means for Retailers

HPBA Advocacy

NSPS Extension Legislation

The NSPS issue continues to gain momentum in Congress! After over a year of hard work, the House legislation (H.R. 453) passed the House of Representatives on March 7, 2018 as an amendment to another bill, H.R. 1917. 

How Did We Pass the House?

Before the monumental moment of House passage, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment held a hearing on September 13, 2017 to review a set of bills including the "Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act”  (H.R. 453), which now has 21 cosponsors. Frank Moore, President and Owner of Hardy Manufacturing, testified on behalf of the bill. View written statements submitted for the hearing and watch Frank’s testimony.  On November 15, 2017, the House legislation was reviewed in a markup session of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on the Environment. On December 6, 2017, the bill was marked up by the full Energy and Commerce Committee.

Next Steps in the Senate

A nearly identical version of the House legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) with Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and two other Senators to build upon the House of Representatives bill. View Senator Capito’s press release on the legislation. The Senate bill was reviewed in a hearing on November 14, 2017 by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. Paul Williams, Vice President of Business Intelligence at U.S. Stove Company, testified on behalf of the bill. Watch Paul's opening statement (starting at 44:43 in the video) and read his written testimony on the committee's website.

What would the legislation do?

The legislation, which would extend the effective date for Step 2 of the NSPS by three years (from May 15, 2020 to May 15, 2023), does not establish product sell-through past the effective date. However, it would protect retailers from being faced with stranded products in stores, at great expense. Further, it would give all manufacturers equal access and opportunity to complete research and development, product testing, and allow completed test reports adequate review by EPA. Visit our Legislative Action Center

HPBA does not support a full repeal of the NSPS because the industry would then be faced with multiple standards and requirements across the country.

HPBA's Litigation

On the litigation, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a motion on April 16, 2018 requesting a 150-day extension of the briefing deadline for our legal challenge of the EPA's New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). The extension request was granted by the court, giving us a new filing deadline of September 20 2018. The EPA recognized in their motion that additional time from the court will allow EPA to reopen the rule for notice and comment and potentially resolve some of our litigation issues.