Rapp, Causer Argue Against Proposed Wood-Fired Boiler Restrictions
12/9/2009
Reps. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean) and Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) were among several Republican members of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee who signed a letter sent to Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Hanger today to officially register their opposition to recently proposed regulations that would place significant restrictions on the use of outdoor wood-fired boilers in Pennsylvania.
 
“At a time when almost all Pennsylvanians are struggling with higher energy bills and the harmful effects of the international economic recession, I have heard from far too many of my constituents that these new regulations have little to do with environmental protection and will amount to nothing more than kicking hard-working people while they’re down,” said Rapp.   “In terms of economic recovery and achieving Pennsylvania’s energy independence from non-renewable foreign imports, by making it more expensive and difficult to use outdoor wood-fired boilers, these proposed regulations will lead to even more lost jobs throughout Forest, Warren and McKean counties because even less Pennsylvania residents will rely on clean burning and renewable Northwestern Pennsylvania-grown lumber to heat their homes.”  
 
“Local governments are already empowered to regulate these boilers, if and when it is necessary. We do not need the state to step in with some overly strict, one-size-fits all regulations – this is clearly a local issue,” Causer said. “To give people in our area the opportunity to voice their opinions, DEP has agreed to hold another public hearing on this issue in Coudersport in January. I hope people will take advantage of the opportunity to share their opinions on the issue.”
 
Under the DEP’s proposed regulations:
  • New boilers must be installed a minimum of 150 feet from the nearest property line.
  • New and existing boilers must have a permanently attached stack that is at least 10 feet above ground and extend at least two feet above the highest peak of the highest residence. For new boilers, the regulation applies to residences within 150 feet. For existing boilers, it applies to residences within 500 feet.
  • A person may not purchase, sell, offer for sale, distribute or install a boiler unless it meets Phase 2 standards for efficiency.
  • Only clean wood, wood pellets made from clean wood and certain home heating oil, natural gas or propane fuels can be used in the boilers. 
DEP is also considering a seasonal prohibition on the use of outdoor wood-fired boilers, which could have serious consequences for consumers who use the boilers to supply hot water to their homes and for milk house cleaning and use.
 
These regulations are currently open for public comment. Written comments must be received by the DEP Environmental Quality Board by Jan. 4, 2010.   For more information on the proposed regulations and submitting public comments visit or RepRapp.com or RepCauser.com.
 
Rep. Kathy Rapp
65th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Ty McCauslin
(717) 772-9979
Rep. Martin T. Causer
67th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Patricia A. Hippler
(717) 772-9846