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EPA Launches National Clean Woodstove Campaign

Release Date: 06/16/2005
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Contact: John Millett, 202-564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C.-- 06/16/05) As part of a national effort to reduce pollution by replacing older woodstoves with cleaner-burning EPA-certified stoves, residents of Libby, Mont. (Lincoln County) will breathe cleaner air thanks to a woodstove "changeout" campaign established by EPA, the woodstove industry, and state and local governments.

"Helping areas of the country reduce pollution and meet national air quality standards for fine particles is our top priority," EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Jeffrey Holmstead said. "By combining local programs like clean woodstove installation with tough new federal regulations on power plants, cars, trucks, and diesel equipment, we can dramatically reduce fine particle pollution and improve public health across the country."

Roughly six percent of all fine particle pollution (PM 2.5) in the United States comes from wood smoke. In some areas where woodstove use is high, wood smoke can account for a greater share of PM 2.5. Replacing older wood stoves with EPA-certified stoves can reduce wood smoke -- by 70 percent on average.

Fine particles are particles 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less -- about 1/30th the size of the average human hair, or smaller. Exposure to fine particle pollution has been linked to a number of serious health problems, ranging from aggravation of asthma and the development of chronic bronchitis, to heart arrhythmias, heart attacks, and even premature death in people with heart and lung disease.

The Lincoln County Woodstove effort is part of the Great American Woodstove Changeout Campaign, EPA's effort to encourage Americans to replace inefficient, more polluting woodstoves with EPA-certified woodstoves, pellet stoves or fireplace inserts, or with electric or gas heating units. Work is starting now so the new units will be in place in time for winter. In the first year of the campaign, EPA also is supporting changeouts in southwest Pennsylvania, the greater Dayton, Ohio area, and Washoe County, Nevada.

During the next three years, the Libby-area campaign will replace old, polluting woodstoves with cleaner-burning, EPA-certified woodstoves. Libby and the surrounding area do not meet EPA's national air quality standards for fine particle pollution, also known as PM 2.5.

To launch the Lincoln County Woodstove Changeout, the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) donated more than $1 million to install new, EPA-certified stoves and chimneys free of charge for about 300 lower-income households. EPA, the State of Montana and Lincoln County are providing additional resources.

Researchers estimate that about 80 percent of Lincoln County's fine particle pollution comes from residential wood smoke from woodstoves, fireplaces and outdoor wood heaters. Lincoln County does not currently meet EPA's PM 2.5 standard.

For more information on clean-burning woodstoves, go to: .