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Wood boilers campaign launched to stop DEC restrictions

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by hardwood715, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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    ALBANY -— New York Farm Bureau today announced a fight-back campaign against proposed Department of Environmental Conservation regulations that aim to restrict the use of outdoor wood boilers in rural New York. "This is another attempt by Albany bureaucrats to single out the rural residents of New York," said Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau, in a written statement. "DEC's decision on restricting the use of outdoor wood boilers will literally impact thousands of farmers and rural landowners across the state." DEC is holding a series of public information sessions/hearings around the state in June on the proposal. Farm Bureau has posted information on its Web site, including the hearing schedule, talking points and a proposed e-lobby letter opposing the regulations to DEC and your state legislators Owners of outdoor wood boilers could have to retrofit costly smokestacks to meet new DEC height requirements and limit the use of their units for almost half of the year, Farm Bureau said. The proposed regulations could have financial implications for farm and rural homeowners that heat their houses, barns and greenhouses. Jeff Williams, Farm Bureau's Deputy Director of Public Policy, added, "This regulation punishes thousands of honest people that own outdoor wood boilers, use their own wood from their property and operate their units responsibly.

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  2. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    The town I work in was trying to outrightly ban the things. Now, I understand that older ones, or ones burned with wet wood and can spew out a lot of smoke. But as is typical these days, many groups look for an "all or nothing" solution. There's no working on a compromise, it's just "we don't like them, let's ban them!" mentality. These are also the same people who say we need to ween ourselves off foreign oil. Ironic IMHO.
  3. Birdman

    Birdman New Member

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    I must admit... there are some good people who own these things. Like my neighbor has a CB. He has been using it this early summer and it is really choking my elderly parents out. It is about 1/4 mile away.... but man... it can really send a huge cloud of acidic smoke towards my mother who is not in good health. I asked him to shut it down for the summer. He said " No problem" . It sure is nice to have a good neighbor. I wonder what would have happened if he had said " NO". ? I guess I would have had to move my parents from the land we have had in our family for generations? Nah... I guess just let em stay there and choke. I mean.. it would be awful to have to use some type of regulations or government controls to have my neighbor stop burning.
  4. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    The people that own these things(owb's) are going to have to get with the program eventually. I don't feel requiring a tall stack & limiting burn times is unreasonable. In Germany your emissions are checked, if you don't pass you are given a chance to correct the problem. When they come back if your boiler doesn't pass the boiler goes with the inspectors doesn't matter if it's the middle of winter. Eventually we will have emission standards & no one will need to wonder if they are being unfairly singled out. Untill then hopefully common sense should tell you if you can't see your neighbors house because of your smoke maybe you need to do something. Operating "responsibly" is very subjective, Randy
  5. EricV

    EricV Feeling the Heat

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    If society as a whole could operate "responsibly" then we wouldn't need laws, speed limits or any other regulations. But, according to some here it's America and we can what ever the hell we want and the victims can go to hell. So thanks to some we need and have to have regulations on everything, unfortunate but true.

    Birdman, you're lucky to have one of the good neighbors, many out there don't and suffer for it.
  6. shagy

    shagy New Member

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    The fact is that one who burns wood in any device should be considerate of their neighbors. Ones who abuse their rite to burn will get caught up with and get taken out of the picture.The meeting last night was a eye opener. The DEC announced they only have about 70 furnaces that have had complaint's on them out of the 20,000 in NY. Their words NOT mine. I am sure they (NY) will have to rewrite the US constitution to fix this
  7. USA-1

    USA-1 New Member

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    I feel sorry for New York wood burners having to waste time fighting such audacious attacks on their basic US citizen rights.

    On a humorous side note: check out the home page for NY DEC chemical pollution control "http://www.dec.ny.gov/25.html" They have a big picture stating:

    "Pollutants emitted from tall stacks can
    travel miles and cause harm to human
    health and our environment"

    Hmmm... Yet one of their proposed laws is to madate wood stacks to be higher than any nearby roof, to cause the exhaust to...
    I think they should stick to "Department of Environmental Conservation". Looks like they are overstepping their origional main core mission, and it shows.
  8. yanksforever

    yanksforever Member

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    And when was there such a "Basic U.S. Right" to smoke out you neighbor with wet wood, garbage and tires burning???? No one is talking about the good people
    who burn their furnaces responsibly. It's the inconsiderate ones that ruin it for everyone.
  9. USA-1

    USA-1 New Member

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    If you want to have an intelligent debate, Read the proposed law ( you obviously didn't), and get back to me.
    Where does it mention wet wood, tires, or 'good people', or 'inconsiderate ones'?
    When you read and understand what is written, post back to me, I will be glad to answer your questions.
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, for someone who calls out another member for not knowing the facts, you certainly bring up an interesting point. Do you simply not understand what they are trying to do with the taller stack?

    If so, let me explain it to you.

    Authorities in much of the Northeast have received complaints from neighbors regarding the pollution and smoke output from OWBs. Having a higher stack is well know - science, you know - to vastly dilute the smoke with more air. Therefore, it will be a little less objectionable to adjacent neighbors.

    Yet you seem to be chiding them because smoke from a taller stack will spread out pollutants more?

    You can't have it both ways! Sure, ideally we'd like to see dirty wood burning (home heating) appliances banned altogether, but for now raising the stacks will certainly help the DEC meet the needs of the complainants.

    Another factoid - Government has little choice in many of these matters. We have a system of laws and fair play in this country, and when citizens press forward with complaints which are valid under existing codes, regulations and/or common sense, Government agencies can be forced (sued) to comply. In fact, to add another factoid - the National EPA standards for Wood Stoves were put into place because of a lawsuit against the government of New York State, which was won by the complainant......and also because of many other complaints in various states.

    The regulations may need to be tweaked or changed. But let's not make any bones about the basic idea. What the government is trying to do is to simply bring the Central Heating equipment up to the basic technologies which were accepted and available over 20 years ago. Trying to make that look radical or as an overreach seems excessive.

    Most here know my opinion. I think those who want to turn back the clock are hurting our industry as a whole...let alone the pollution aspect. It would be better for manufacturers and customers to have the cleanest and best technology available, as opposed to the "freedom" of smoking up the valley.
  11. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Downstate is running NYS, even more than usual, and DEC hasn't seen any plume it liked.
  12. ken999

    ken999 New Member

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    From what I understand, adding the stack height doesn't do much for dispersion of OWB smoke.

    Where did you get your 'facts' on OWB stack heights? According to the Garn website, stack heights mean little and actually can cause an overfire condition in most boilers.

    Truth is there are no 'facts' on the stack heights...a lot is going to depend on individual circumstances and day to day conditions. A blanket regulation isn't going to fix what isn't broke in many cases, and that's what's got people irritated. Rightly so.
  13. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    stack height is a feel good solution that sounds good and looks good so it must be good. It's like most gov solutions and doesn't solve the problem and makes things worse in some cases but looks like they are doing something. I agree that people need to be educated and given facts and knowledge on how to burn as clean as possible. The problem is as I've stated before is that the people making up the rules don't have the knowledge themselves. If you stop people from having wood boilers they will put in inside boilers in there house, try and burn the same wet wood, plug their stacks and burn the house down. Around here in the 70's when fuel oil went sky high every one around here put in wood stoves. The house fires went up at the first cold cold spell as people hadn't been used to burning wood. Alot of houses burnt, people died and insurance co's quit insuring houses with wood stoves. That was one of the reasons the OWB became popular. I agree the industry did a poor job on educating people, myself included (almost burnt my house down), And now people still don't know how to burn. The gov should spend their time educating people and the problem will go a way except for a few problems and there is already laws and regs on the books to take care of these. They can put 60ft stacks on the boilers but all that is going to do is overdraft, condensate, and at the first high wind blow over. But if they put that law in then people won't use them cause it will cost to much for the stack, anchoring system,etc and that is why they are pushing the high stacks. Trust me, the oil, gas ,propane , elect. industry DOES"T want wood boilers. There isn't any money or tax money there. The gov isn't doing a very good job of regulating those industries and they are messing up the air lots more than the boilers. Look at all the forest fires, ag waste, rubbish fires, etc and see how much smoke is generated that hasn't even come close to being burnt clean. When we have some of those huge forest fires, volcanoes, The smoke plumes circle the globe.
    Don't get me wrong I can see a small problem but they aren't solving it they are making it worse.........period
    It's sort of like we have high ozone here in west michigan so they want to make everyone test their cars. But the ozone comes from the chicago area. Yes there is a problem but look at the problem, access how much of a problem it is and then come up with a just solution. In the grand scheme of things I don't see where wood boilers are where the gov needs to be putting their time and money. I can see just a few problem that need the time and money spent. Maybe if people had a job they could afford to heat thir home with that high priced propane, or could afford to get sick, or drive down the road with out ruining the tires and, have their kids get a good education, and on and on, When the gov can take care of this type of problem maybe I will have the faith that they can solve something like helping people heat their homes in a less poluting way. That's my take on things.
    I also don't think voting for a rep. or dem, is going to help. Vote for the person that is going to try and solve problems and can work with others to do it. If we get away from helping the rep. and dem. parties and to solving problems for the people we will move ahead.
    leaddog
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I thought I remember seeing a graphic chart of the dilution of OWB smoke depending on distance and stack height. Not sure if I can dig it up, but it certainly makes sense that BOTH distance away and height would cause dilution in the type that would help the close neighbors in certain cases.
  15. yanksforever

    yanksforever Member

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    I agree with you 100%. It only takes common sense...not intelligence....both of which i have (in reference to the previous post )...to know that they should be running and burning OWB's responsibly. Which means...dry seasoned wood. No wet wood, no garbage, no tires, ect. We have many in my area and every one of them gets their wood late and splits it around September( if they split it at all) and feels they have the "right" to smoke out every neighbor up and down the neighborhood! One guy has a stack that is about 2 feet tall and his house sits lower than everyone else's on the block. It is also only about 8 feet off the main street. What it comes down to is this...run them responsibly or lose them altogether.
  16. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Here they are!
    The real scientists among us can study them. The quickie I get is that the regular boilers (non-epa) are coming in WAY above any of the standards.

    http://www.nescaum.org/documents/woodboilefinal2.pdf

    Stack height depends on whether the unit is really close to other structures. If it is not, then the stack height does seem to help a bit...but it all depends on terrain, placement, wind, etc.

    Pretty complicated stuff, but folks should realize that these regulators are not flying blind and making stuff up. They did a bunch of homework.
  17. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    FYI,

    Here is some preliminary EPA data comparing Central Boiler dirty unit, their clean unit and then some even cleaner and newer technologies.

    As is evident to even a layman, we are talking VAST differences in pollutants and efficiency.

    Attached Files:

  18. leaddog

    leaddog Minister of Fire

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    I very much agree with these findings so lets not through out the baby with the bath water. Lets encourage the new technology but banning all wood boilers out side is NOT the way to go. And putting up 20ft stacks isn't either. We have to realize that how ever NY goes so does alot of the other states.
    leaddog
  19. altheating

    altheating New Member

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  20. ken999

    ken999 New Member

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    Not a scientist, but...the quickie I get is that this report is based on 'modeled' data, which makes it fairly suspect at best. They even go so far to say that their data would be subject to alot of individual circumstances in the real world. Also note that on page 6, note #4 states that the added stack height only works in certain scenarios where there is no other object around to cause swirling/down draft. I read that as the trees in close proximity to my boiler would pretty much null and void any dispersional gain I'd get from the 5,6,8 hundred dollar cost of being FORCED to add on.

    That's the BS that doesn't require a scientist to understand when it comes to this knee jerk type of regulation. There certainly are people out there who need to be corrected with their boilers. I drove by 3 of them every morning on my way to work this winter and it only takes me 18 minutes to make the drive. The rest of us don't need to be punsihed for these few idiots though and I think that there should be more thought put into this proposal.
  21. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately, there are more than a few idiots.
    As to modeling, it is how they build an airplane, a ship and most other modern technology. The movements of air and the basic physics of things are well known. There is little alternative to modeling as you cannot go setting up thousands of boiler scenarios and testing them.

    Basically, if it quacks like a duck, smells like a duck and walks like a duck - it probably is a duck.

    You are correct that each and every situation is different. However, all taken together, OWB of the older technology are simply inefficient and emit vastly more junk than needed. That's pretty simple. We could make the same argument about cars...heck, why not bring back the old cars that burn 100x as dirty? After all, if I only drive to the corner store..and if I keep my tuned just right...and if I only do it on days when it is clear and the wind is right, then it does not cause much smog. So why burden us all with more efficient and cleaner cars?

    Knee jerk does not seem to be the right description for something which has been in the making for about 25 years and is already in force with most other combustion appliances here and around the civilized world.

    I just don't agree that it is a personal problem. It is a systemic problem...a loophole. It needs to be fixed for the benefit of ALL of us.
  22. ken999

    ken999 New Member

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    ...lol...unless I'm mistaken there's a few 'models' that didn't fly.

    The bottom line is I have a phase 2 boiler, installed when there were no regulations, why should I have to add stack height when things are fine and no one is complaining???....

    Using cars for an anology, why not yank every car that doesn't meet todays standards off the road? Are you for that sort of proposed regulation? It's no different than the current proposal is it?
  23. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think cars do have some kind of twilight.....don't they? Maybe it is a state by state matter, but I don't think you are allowed to keep very dirty cars on the road in many states....unless you promise not to drive them (classic cars) much.

    I'm not suggesting that you don't have a valid beef about the modeling re: stack height. I am only speaking out for the regs in general...that is, to disallow new sales of non-EPA compliant models and to eventually phase them out. The rest are the usual gory details of regulation where you try to keep everyone happy, and no one ends up that way.
  24. ken999

    ken999 New Member

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    I'd like to think that a total phase out (at the end of service life, not some predetermined date...) will fix things too, but you have to know that people are going to burn good boilers the wrong way and eventually give them a bad name too.

    Put some laws in place about smoking out your neighbors, then ACTIVELY enforce the law. Don't harass people that do not need to be harassed. Also, why should anyone be forced to abandon or move existing PEX because their current location (that WAS to code at time of install) is no longer in compliance?

    It's just not fair.

    Existing locations should be grandfathered, new installs should be made to comply.
  25. shagy

    shagy New Member

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    I wonder if NYSERDA used 40% moisture and wet rained on wood for the CL5036 as they did in other test. That link for this subject posted on this was or is not available . Can we get a new link that works. It needs to be pointed out AGAIN to some. 70 boilers out of 20,000 + have had complaints filed on in NY ....... After May of 2012 the old 'Smoke Dragons as some call em" will no longer be built. I can not see why the DEC would allow a gasifcation stove to be used for the life of that stove on April 16 2011 but the same stove bought on the 14th that yr would have to be taken out of service in 10 yrs. Dont think much thought was put in this regulation .
    Meeting in Cortland had a guy that was smoked out by a Greenwood INDOOR boiler. How can that be????? Maybe its not so much the smoke dragons but the not so bright people running them .

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