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.
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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