New York Joins States in Suing EPA

by Zachary Coppick

Widener University Political Science Major

Last Tuesday New York joined a growing number of states that are suing the EPA. This law suit is over the EPA’s lack of regulation on wood burning heating systems. In 2010 all outdoor wood burners were ordered to cut emissions by 90 percent by New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation. However, the EPA has not followed suit by mandating the same change for the entire country. New York and other states are saying that the EPA’s 25 year old emission limits on wood burners are outdated and need to be revised by the federal agency.

Due to the nature of wood burning pollutants this is a large problem for New York.  Wood smoke has been linked to having pollutants that can cause asthma attacks, heart attacks, and premature death. Sounds a little harsh but that information was published by the attorney general’s office in 2008.  Also the EPA has stated that wood heaters soot contributes 13 percent to the soot pollution in the country. This would be a very good reason to have them regulated better. Since 1988 the EPA was supposed to review and revise the wood burning regulations ever eight years, but as we can see that didn’t happen. These regulations and policy were outlined in the Clean Air Act which is the state’s main point. An estimated 14,500 outdoor wood burners have been sold in New York since 2000 which is cause to have them regulated properly. The EPA has made no comment on this so far and this does not come at a surprise because due to the government shut down they are no longer working.


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