May 15, 2020

Statement from HPBA about New EPA NSPS Actions

Arlington, VA – May 15, 2020 – HPBA is very pleased that the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to allow an additional period for retailers to sell solid fuel heating products that meet the EPA’s Step 1 standards. The dramatic impact of COVID-19 on retail activity has severely limited retailers’ ability to meet the May 15, 2020 deadline in the original rule.

As the impacts of COVID-19 spread across the country, retailers were forced to change all planned sales and promotions to sell their remaining Step 1 appliances due to forced closures, stay-at-home orders, and significantly reduced store traffic. This sell-through will provide critical support to these small businesses without costing U.S. taxpayers any money. We urge EPA to finalize it as soon as possible to provide this much-needed relief.

Step 1 wood heaters were a considerable upgrade in 2015 compared to the models certified to the prior 1988 standards. Any consumer who replaces an older wood heater with a Step 1 certified wood heater will contribute to improving their community’s air quality. Today’s EPA-certified stoves cut emissions by more than 70 percent when compared to stoves of the past. These perfectly good products, all of which were certified less than five years ago, will be unsellable after May 15 without this additional selling time; this is an unnecessary waste of quality products and imposes a crippling cost on small businesses. As soon as EPA finalizes this proposal, retailers will have the ability to sell these Step 1 products, enabling them to purchase newer Step 2 models that manufacturers have been working hard to develop over the past five years.

Hearth product retailers are largely small, family-owned businesses, struggling to survive like every other small business. Sell-through is a lifeline that could mean the difference between staying open and closing the doors permanently. During this time of economic upheaval, this action from the EPA will help these small businesses survive, keep their employees working, and will have virtually no impact on the environment.

 

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About the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based in Arlington, Va., is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms and allied associates for all types of barbecue, patio and hearth appliances, fuels and accessories. The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising and consumer education.

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Media Contact: Emily McGee, 703-522-0086, ext. 116, mcgee@hpba.or

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