April 01, 2015

Hearth Industry Applauds Utah’s New Bill Supporting Responsible Burning

Bill Removes Threat of Seasonal Burn Ban and Encourages Adoption of Cleaner Technologies

Arlington, VA (April 1, 2015) – On Tuesday, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill, H.B. 396, preventing state regulators from imposing a season-long wood-burning ban. The new law was in response to a proposed rule to prohibit the use of all residential wood-burning appliances along the Wasatch Front from November 1st through March 15th each year.

“The hearth industry applauds Governor Herbert’s action and thanks the countless Utahns who advocated for this legislation, which both acknowledges the importance of air quality concerns and supports the responsible use of cleaner-burning appliances on all but the most severe winter inversion days,” said Jack Goldman, President & CEO of the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. “Our industry is a proponent of cleaner air and H.B. 396 helps to strike a balance that considers the needs of the citizens to affordably and responsibly heat their homes while providing the state alternative means by which to substantially reduce emissions from residential wood-burning.”

This new law prohibits a season-long burn ban in the future and requires that industry be consulted in any public education campaign next fall. The bill also mandates a study of the potential impact of a two-step no burn program, similar to control programs that have been used successfully in other areas for more than two decades.

“We are pleased that the Governor has listened to the overwhelming concern of Utahns about the potential impact of seasonal burn bans,” noted John Mortensen, who serves as one of the leaders of Utahns for Responsible Burning, a coalition of concerned citizens and commercial retailers. “By removing the threat of a seasonal burn ban, Utah is pursuing a common-sense solution that protects responsible burning and preserves basic freedoms. This new law is a step in the right direction to improve Utah’s air quality by encouraging and rewarding Utahns for investing in cleaner burning technologies, including wood stoves certified by the EPA.”

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