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New York Outdoor Wood Boiler regulations

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by altheating, Mar 20, 2008.

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  1. catskills

    catskills New Member

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    Guten Tag!! I sink I vill start making boots to send to Albany. I vill make zee jack boots!! I'm a little confused here. If I buy a gasifier -that's a no no with the thugs in Albany???

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Heck, if you are trying to be sensible you will drop the talk about indoor wood stoves, pellet stove or central heating burning houses down. A properly and safely installed wood burner, NOT an outdoor wood burner, is exactly what your "forefathers" had. So keep it nice and consistent.

    You are not going to make a point by attacking the millions of smart wood burners who have "indoor" stoves any more than attacking all those indoor toilets which are spreading filth into our living areas.

    As to "towel heads", neither Canadians nor Mexicans....or even Russians or MANY other of our oil partners and American oil companies wear towels on their heads. That is pure and simple racism and scapegoating and will once again IMHO hurt your cause. Why not simply stick to the facts? Certainly you are aware that most of our oil comes from these countries and our own? It is better to keep cool heads on all sides. After all, you would not want them classifying you as toothless illiterates living in double wides, would you?

    Keep it civil - that's my humble opinion. Recognize that there is a valid reason behind others motives. There is not a plot. There are simply people who want to make certain of clean air. Maybe the pendulum swings too far in one direction and then in the other, but remember that OWB users have been burning stumps, tires and trash as well as green wood for years. So what do you expect?

    Again, I have made my living in the stove and central heater industry for 30 years - so I am most definitely on the side of renewable and alternative fuels. However, I am also on the side of being reasonable and understanding that living together requires compromise.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    We've been saying for years on this board that OWBs have been sowing the seeds of their own demise. Why does everybody seem so shocked when one of the most regulated states in the country decides to regulate them? It's not like we were all blindsided.

    And my opinion, for what it's worth, is that you won't have cleaner-burning central heating appliances until they're required by law. It's a lot like what happed to woodstoves--just three decades late.

    As a practical matter, I'm guessing that nobody who currently owns an OWB in NYS is going to have a legal problem unless they're creating a smoke problem. And I think that most of us would agree that that's as it should be.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Once again, do you know that the main suppliers of oil to the USA are:

    1. The USA itself (Alaska)
    2. Canada (#1)
    3. Mexico

    After that you have the saudis, nigeria, venezuela and then the lesser players.....Last time I looked that means only one of the top 6 is even in the middle east, and that one is the one our president kisses and dances with.

    Best of luck to you also. But if you are just going to distort facts and yell at straw men, you will be unlikely to achieve your goal. In fact, you will find reasonable people opposing you.

    BTW, not sure if you are aware of this, but I did start and do run this site (surely you see my signature!) - and we do try to keep things civil here. If you are trying to rally the troops here, you have probably picked the wrong place. We like a reasoned and well thought out point of view - and are certainly biased IN FAVOR OF wood burning. At the same time, we try to take as "green" of a point of view as possible. If you intend to bad mouth indoor stoves in an effort to promote your product, you are definitely talking to the wrong crowd.

    Again, said with all due respect, but we are simply not gonna bite at your attack on "indoor stoves"....
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Can anyone hazard a guess as to what percentage of OWB's in the field have catalytics or pass EPA new regs? My guess is that it is not 1/10 of 1% - and that is probably figuring high. So the law cannot address something that does not exist! The legislators have to be educated as to the new voluntary standards and also to the corn and pellet appliances. I feel confident that such an effort would result in the exclusion of clean burning products from any future regs.

    It is typical for technical committees consisting of industry members, lab techs and R&D;folks to take part in the final draft(s) of such regulations.....at least in the case of the EPA this is what is done. These committees look at BAT (Best Available Technology) and use that as goal which to attain over a period of time. Most of these regs will take into account those units already in the field and in production and distribution - they know they cannot change things on a moments notice.

    So I hope cool heads can prevail and that real people with real facts can sit down and hash out the best possible solution for everyone involved.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, being as I have been in the industry for 30 years and also sold central heating systems nationwide - and i don't know about cat converters in OWB....I think it might be safe to assume that the folks in Albany are not too educated in them either.

    We certainly have a LOT of points of view that vary from mine. I agree that an outdoor toaster or electric clock or an outdoor oven or TV or anything that is located outside the house is less likely to burn your house down. But, again, that is a straw man. The same logic would say we should live outside because if we do that, our house will be in less danger.

    I am merely suggesting that you get a less reactionary and intelligent defense together and rally people around that. Straight talk is fine, although towel head stuff starts to go over the edge. Name calling is not going to get us anywhere. You can make the case for reducing dependence on foreign oil without resorting to extremes.

    I think if you take my opinion as a suggestion on how you might gather more people to your side, it could be of benefit. But, then again, I cannot force you to do so and would not want to. However, keep in mind that "experts" like myself and other here can swing a lot of weight when we get behind a cause. Folks like Eric, the moderator in this room, live in NY State and also are publishers and editors with tens of thousand of readers. So although you may look at it as a compromise, you will greatly benefit by building a coalition of partners in your cause - and dumping on indoor stoves is likely to lose you 80% of partners before you start. Calling your opposition nazis will lose you even more.

    Again, not meant personal....my intent is to help you and the industry. That's what this board and site are all about. But you have to want the help.
  7. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    I could jump in here and .............................. NAAAAA !! Nevermind, there's not enough time in my day !!!!!!!!!!! Politicians born and raised in NYC have NO interest in how their legislation affects the Southern Tier or Upstate New York. Areas that are historic for low pay jobs or none at all and high taxes . A country boy will survive !
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Ok, short and sweet- what are you asking these legislators for? The so-called Elevator Pitch (10 seconds to make the case).

    Also, is the lady from Broome county still the one sponsoring this? She is not exactly NYC. I just wrote her a note on her web site offering my services or advice (for free). I warned her not to thrown the baby out with the bath water.

    I just did a little snooping around and read some comments from the people who are complaining about these things...it does break my heart. Yes, some are in more crowded areas, but the OWB are fully legal there. One lady has exhausted all her options and prays to the lord every day since her life is miserable. Another guy, a disabled vet, has the smoke detectors in his house going off because of his neighbors OWB.

    As I said before, the pendulum swings both ways. If these were sold only to people with 10 acres or more and those folks burned responsibly, we probably would not even be talking about this issue now. But neither of those things happened, and people complained. BTW, I'm sure you know that people in your own industry (central heat wood) have intensely lobbied the state(s) and federal governments to ban OWB. Yes, I had one manufacturer of wood furnaces send me all kinds of PDFs and ask me to go to bat for him.....that was years ago.

    Point is, this is not just some city dude from NYC. This is a coalition of a LOT of people, many of whom are "right" and have a leg to stand on. Best to know what you are up against, and come up with solutions that they can't deny.
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I must admit that I don't have much experience with pols...and don't intend to.

    Yes, I do know that power ONLY respects power. Still, there are actual people just like you lobbying the other side of the issue and they have power also. Sometimes it can work to take the wind out of their sails.

    But I suspect you know as much about hardball as I know about stoves, and that is quite a lot. My wife was in politics and I advised her the best course of action "when your opponent is down, that is the best time to keep stomping on them, because they may just eventually get up"

    hardball
    :coolgrin:
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The PM button sends a private message and you can also email people once you go to their profile - both are under the avatar.

    I think the concept of not lumping them together is a good one. In my note to the Senator I made reference to the new NEWP (pellet) plant outside of Albany, which they know is adding to the economy......and made sure that they knew that OWB using pellets or corn are different. I also informed them about EPA voluntary OWB and about other clean burning.

    As an outsider, I suspect they don't want to get involved with opacity and stuff like that. Working with each individual unit is just too much to ask for the local or state governments. I would rather see them:
    1. Exempt all pellet and corn OWB
    2. Exempt all EPA voluntary OWB
    3. Exempt all approved indoor boilers when used as OWB (as in a shed, etc.)
    4. Exempt units with fireboxes UNDER a certain size
    5. Allow petition for approval or exemption of certain units when evidence from a certified test lab (independent) can be proven. Although they may default back to the voluntary EPA standard, which should not be hard for a properly sized cat unit, etc. to pass.

    After that, I concur with most of your other points. Come up with setbacks for existing. Allow a 8+ year phase out for those which exist and do not pass, with the exception of those where complaints are lodged.

    I don't see it as a partisan issue at all. I know back to the landers who run anywhere from radical leftist hippie to attilla the hun "free men".

    At the end of the day, you live in a state with 20 million people in it. Vast areas are state parks, meaning the population is mostly in relatively dense areas...even the rural population.

    As I said before, if your suggestions and others (education, natural wood, no summer burning) were voluntarily promoted since the start, we probably would not have the hammer coming down as hard.

    No problem with your passion. That's what it takes to git 'er done.
  11. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Atilla the hun "free men" !!!!????? hmmmmmmmmmmmm . Nope ,not gonna go there.
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    YOu know, lees - it's like a saying "to the right of Attlia the Hun".......descriptive, isn't it? No one ever asked my to clarify a statement like that, so it must work. Although I have to embellish the hippie one to match.

    How about "granola-eating, wife beating, smelly dirty leftist radical hippie". I do know some, although that description would take a few together to match.
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Heck, I'd vote for Elliot NOW and I don't even live in NY. It always depends upon the other choice, but I like a tough guy. As you so well mention, that is what is needed in politics. So we can't have it both ways.

    I hope the regs end up with more consideration of where things actually are - and where they are going. As far as indoor boilers, we had the Tarm tested many years ago (I was the US Importer) and it ended up being at about 2 grams per hour using EPA methods, which is well under what the new EPA voluntary outdoor standards are. These same Tarm, EKO and other boilers pass very strict tests in Sweden, Germany and other areas with tough (and well thought out) clean air regs. If anything, this has resulted in an INCREASE in sales, because the end user likes to be environmental and efficient.

    After all is said and done and things get sorted out, the result will be cleaner air, less complaints and more efficiency for the end user.......hopefully. But sometimes things can get ugly on the way there.
  14. catskills

    catskills New Member

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    .........the population is dense even in rural areas???? My Lord, the population of Delaware County is about the same as in 1850!!! The "dense" areas seem to be mostly in Albany.
  15. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I mean relatively dense. Orange, Rockland county, Albany area - and the population seems to follow the interstates quite heavily. Granted, it is not NYC, but political power depends on population and economic might - not on the number of acres owned.

    BTW, just for interest...... NY State is the #1 state in the USA for readers of Hearth.com! I can even see exactly where each of these readers live (in general).

    Map enclosed shows hearth.com visitors from NY.

    Notice the clustering of readers along the interstates - up and over.

    Attached Files:

  16. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    "BTW, just for interest...... NY State is the #1 state in the USA for readers of Hearth.com! I can even see exactly where each of these readers live (in general)."

    How do you think it looks on a state by state per-capita basis? Kind of evens the playing field. LOL
  17. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Sure, VT and Maine would probably win on that one. I'll take a look. The stats program does not sort it out that way. It only cares about numbers.
  18. stihlgoin

    stihlgoin New Member

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    I just read through the NYS draft COMPLETELY, and found nothing alarming about it. It may increase the ultimate cost to us, due to increased testing, but it plainly says to burn CLEAN wood only, and the setbacks for new boilers (outdoor) are only 100 to 150 feet. Furthermore, it looks like it only singles out boilers that are not certified to be used in the primary residence. So, any boilers with indoor certification (which also happen to be gassifiers for the most part), should pass with flying colors and be of no issue. There are way too many wood burners in NYS for any total ban to take place. I think it'll be easy to spot those who don't clean up their act, though.

    Chris
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah, I guess that is why you are from Candor, NY instead of a place like Slick, NY
  20. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Craig. "Pinko Commie Bedwetter" or PCB has always worked for me.

    Try it sometime :)

    I like the "to the right of Attila the Hun". I'll have to remember that for use at the appropriate time.
  21. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Calm down, buddy - cannot imagine why you think Slick, NY is a reference to you - I was just being jive with his Candor Location......

    Only you know if you are slick, buddy, but at the same time attacking the host is not good business - or politics! Myself and a number of others have a little tiny button which can open a trap door and send all your hard-earned writing and efforts to the REAL cyberspace....so

    be nice

    please
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    See, I learn something new every day...have to change my Ma. location now.
  23. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    BTW, for folks that want an overview of the history - this article from Adirondack Life provides a relatively local point of view.....
    http://tinyurl.com/37689e


    Here is Vermont Government site and pages on their OWB regs
    http://www.vtwoodsmoke.org/

    That site also contains links to most OWB regs around the NE and even the country.....
  24. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    The """" new and improved """" DEC under Grannis rule is like a Nazi tank. I live as far away from NYC as you can get but still in NYS and we have new officers freshly imported from guess where (NYC) running around with snot dripping down their nose and diaper dragging on the ground. These guys are pissin' alot of locals off with their city mentality and multiple citation writing ability. It's like the gestapo just marched into town. The locals used to have a rappport with the previously established officers and things were good. I'm not saying "out here we are above the law" but it is a different world and common sense needs to prevail. These guys are writing tickets and letting the courts sort it out . This is B.S. I don't even own an OWB so it's not like I'm fighting for a cause. I just know how DEC operates and it won't be pretty (for ANY wood burner ) if these laws are enforced. It will give the whiner (affected by smoke or not) that doesn't like his neighbor (OWB or EPA exempt burner) an excuse to call him in and make his life miserable. No matter who gets dragged into this fiasco right or wrong is gonna be LESS some greenbacks when it's done to fix a problem that might not even exist just because their neighbor has a beef. I"m for reasonable setbacks and minimum chimney heights. Just like other issues we better stick together here or we will all fall .
  25. stihlgoin

    stihlgoin New Member

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    I think Slick, NY is down rt 17(I-86) someplace, but I've been told not to go there by reputable sources.....

    I imagine when actual regulations are on the books, the DEC "fish cops" (as my former State Trooper neighbor affectionately referred to them) won't be handing out arbitrary tickets. And, once again, this will hasten people's move towards wood gassification, especially when they start going through MORE wood when they try to burn nice dry stuff in their OWBs. New regs didn't eliminate wood stoves, and they won't eliminate the use of wood. NYS would have to spend so much extra $$ to subsidize home heating oil for "in need" residents -especially within the blue line and in more rural upstate areas (read: less affluent)- that it would create a deficit even Albany couldn't live with. I'm not a politician, not a dealer of OWBs, and most certainly not a genius, but I'm sure that the end result of this will be one that most New Yorkers will live with. Just think of all the new "green" business that may come about in the HVAC industry. We might see some real innovation, I/O having smoke blown............

    Chris

    -may or may not be worth 2 cents
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