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House approves bill to phase out wood stoves
First Published Mar 06 2014 06:35 pm • Last Updated Mar 06 2014 08:08 pm

The House approved legislation Thursday that would offer a subsidy to roughly 200 homeowners that rely on wood-burning stoves in parts of the state with dirty air to transition to cleaner natural gas.

Phasing out the wood stoves would dramatically reduce fine-particulate pollution, said the sponsor, Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek. Heating a home with a wood stove, she said, produces as much pollution as 200 natural-gas furnaces.

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Rep. Edward Redd, R-Logan, said the wood stoves make up as much as 7 percent of the pollution during winter inversions.

HB154 allocates $1.5 million to help people who live in areas where the air does not meet federal standards transition from wood to natural gas make the change. It also includes a public-education campaign to inform Utahns about the effects of burning wood.

The bill passed the House 43-28 and goes to the Senate for consideration.

A House committee earlier had stripped out a provision to hire extra state enforcement employees to cite people burning wood on bad-air days, with critics referring to them as chimney "gestapo."

— Robert Gehrke




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