Make your voice heard: DEQ opens public comment on proposed seasonal wood burn ban

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is now accepting public comment for the next month to discuss the proposed ban of wood burning from November to March in seven northern Utah Counties.

Oral and written comments will go before the Air Quality Board.

The 40-day public comment period started Jan. 1 and will end Feb. 9.

“We welcome everyone’s input,” Bryce Bird said, air quality director. “We’ve made some progress by implementing 23 new rules aimed at improving air quality but still aren’t quite where we need to be to meet the federal health standards. Wood burning does contribute to poor air quality and a seasonal ban during winter inversions will make the air healthier.”

If the ban were approved there would be no burning in fireplaces and wood/coal stoves from Nov. to March 15.

There is a possible exemption for sources above 7,000 feet.

The proposal also exempts restaurants and homeowners whose only source of heat is solid fuel, but they must register with the DAQ after Feb. 1 when the sole source registry opens.

Public hearings will be held at:

· 4 p.m., Jan. 14: Tooele County Health Department, 151 N. Main. St. Room 181

· 6 p.m., Jan. 15: Utah Department of Environmental Quality, 195 N. 1950 West, Room 1015

· 11:30 a.m., Jan. 20: Bear River Health Department, 991 S. 800 West, Room B. Brigham City

· 5 p.m., Jan. 20: Morgan Weber Health Department, 477 23rd St., Auditorium, Ogden

· 4 p.m., Jan. 21: Logan Historic Courthouse, 199 N. Main St., Council Chambers, Logan

· 10 a.m., Jan. 28: Davis County Administration Building, 61 S. Main St., Farmington

· 11 a.m., Jan. 29: Utah County Health Department, 151 S. University Ave., Room 1600

You may submit written comments via email to mberger@utah.gov., or mail to: Mark Berger, DAQ, P.O. Box 144820, 195 North 1950 West, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114.

MORE: Click here for more information on wood burning and air quality 

43 comments

      • bob

        It’s a comment that’s based on the premise that the Federal government supposedly derives its power, and is limited by, the Constitution.

        “Air Quality” isn’t in there. I checked. If We the People want the Fed to be in charge of “the environment” then we should authorized them to be in charge via an Amendment. Until then, the 10th Amendment forbids them from being involved.

        I know, I know……I’m a “kook” and a “nazi” for mentioning the Constitution. But at least I’m not a sheep.

  • Mette

    It`s crazy to implement more laws, taking away more freedoms. Also the expense this will be to so many who are relying on wood burning.

    • bobert

      Stop whining and get a gas heater already… Get with the times, people do not travel by horse and buggy anymore? Why use an outdated heat source?

  • Roy L Barrus

    I gave away an older stove 2 years ago and payed 4 times the price to purchase an 85% efficient stove and made significant alterations to the structure of my home to enhance the asthetics around the stove. Inefficient stoves and inefficient internal combustion engines pollute significantly more than my stove.

    • bob

      Sorry buddy, but if I can’t have a stove then you can’t have a stove. You don’t got to arbitrarily draw the line at what YOU do.

      Would you like to see the creation of an expensive government bureaucracy to go around measuring the efficiency of wood stoves?

      • bobert

        You do not think there is not already an efficiency rating for these? There are already wood stoves that can be burned on red days. Bob is an all or nothing person apparently..

      • bob

        Bob is a FREEDOM or nothing person.

        The Feds confiscate wealth and then make up “rules” to enable them to keep it. They don’t care what the air is like in a square state thousands of miles from D.C.

        It is not possible for Utah to meet Federal air quality standards during an inversion. It doesn’t matter whether we burn wood or not. (Very few people do anyway.)

        The standard is arbitrary, ignores the realities of geography, and makes NO difference to “air quality.”

  • BOB

    Shall we compare the emissions from my wood buring stove with the brush fires that the western United States experiences every year? The dearth of common sense suffered in government is highly contagious..

    • bobert

      Maybe you should tell those wildfires to not burn then… This is apples to oranges… So, just because there are wildfires in the summer, you should be able to pollute as much as you want? Stop whining and install a efficient gas heater… Utah really is stuck in the 1800, both religiously and apparently with the ways people heat their homes…

  • bob

    It’s time to recognized that the goal of the Left in this matter is not to “clean up the air.” The goal is to destroy the economy and usher in Chinese-style socialism. And you just have to take a look at China to see what THAT would do to the environment.

    Enough of this nonsense. I’m tired of the government babysitting me. If this is a “free country” then we have a pretty low standard of “freedom”. If we are “free”, then who isn’t? North Korea? We should set the bar a LOT higher.

    • bobert

      Yeah man, like it is a free country, I should be able to do meth and whatever I want because I am free… There has to be regulations in order to make a society work… It is funny you are complaining in a state that the LDS regulate everything that is fun…

      • bob

        That’s twice you’ve managed to work your hate speech into a discussion that has nothing to do with religion.

        Funny how you’re all for regulation that doesn’t come from Mormons.

  • Darrin

    Just a few things They aren’t pointing out:
    Electricity does not appear magically from thin air with no carbon footprint(MOST OF UTAH’S ELECTRICITY COMES FROM BURNING COAL) POST A PRETTY PICTURE OF THAT WHY DON’T YOU!
    Enforcement will cost $$$$
    Vehicles used to enforce will pollute, therefore counteracting their big plan to save the world

    It is amusing to see the only studies They publish will benefit their agenda.
    Let’s ask for non biased studies showing how much pollution is generated to produce the electricity necessary to run a furnace in an average sized home. How long is said woodburning stove burning to produce enough “particulates as 90 SUV’S?” What kind of wood? How long were the SUV’S driving, at what speed? How many people will be driving around on the tax payers dime, in new vehicles, using expensive infra red guns to monitor these wood stove offenders? Sounds very expensive! Until we see the true comparison on an equal playing field this is just not the whole truth! Hidden agendas, political gain B.S!

    • bobert

      Let’s also go back to horse and buggy, I demand that until I see a side by side comparison that cars are a more efficient mode of transportation. We should all just live in the past and never upgrade… Stop whining and get with the modern times…

      • BOB

        The mayor of Seattle wanted to ban beach bonfires. This was while much of California was experiencing massive wild fires. Liberals and common sense cannot coincide.

  • COMMON SENSE

    DOUBLE STANDARD??? Utah Gov.pushing developement, from the rich mans playground in the mountains,destroying our ecosystem,to building homes so close together,you can’t call them a home! Not to mention the Big corporations they keep building….And then they blame the little man trying to heat his home!?!!!!

  • Seth

    People you need to call your local state reps and tell them you are opposed to the wood stove ban. We also need to let our reps know that we do not like a board of un-elected people telling us how to live our lives. Put pressure on the state legislator and this board will back off.

    • Pam

      Bobert, you must work for the monopolized gas company or a heating/hvac company? I am a single mom working two jobs to just barely get by without any assistance. My budget simply doesn’t allow room for paying a huge gas bill in the winter months. Modernization isn’t the issue with me and many in my similar situation. We live within our means and do our best to survive. Kudos to you for being rich enough to have such luxuries…

  • Mark McMillan

    Bobert must be one of the bobbleheads from Utah Physicians for a healthy waste land. Please google this organization and their leader Brian Moench (especially brian moench). This is just one of many radical ideas from this freedom hating group. When you see what this guy is up to you’ll be shocked.

  • Mark

    I say ban it. It hasn’t been socially acceptable to burn a fire for enjoyment for at least a decade now.

    • bob

      “Socially acceptable” to whom?

      And is that the standard now? Ban anything that isn’t “socially acceptable”?

  • COMMON SENSE

    Here is a thought…..If our air quality is unhealthy at times right now…..How will it be when the SL Valley is wall to wall homes? What will they ban next? What is a real life answer?

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  • Skyler Harrison

    It is 2015 in the most developed nation in the world and people are still burning wood to heat their homes????!!!!….. Seriously, we don’t live in caves anymore. Start Evolving. Burning wood in a fire place for 4 hours produces the same emissions as 3000 Natural Gas Furnaces.

  • Scott Alvey

    I guarantee, any official who votes in favor of this motion will be signing their own eviction from their cozy position on the hill….they will not be able to even buy votes in the next election

  • bob

    “Public comment”……as if it matters.

    Go ahead. Attend their little get-together. Voice your opinion. Pretend it matters.

    What DOES matter is that you contact your elected representatives and let them know how this issue will affect your VOTE. They’re not going to pay attention to the handful of cranks who show up at these silly meetings. They send some low-end interns there to pretend to “listen” and then they do the bidding of the Feds.

  • Bonnie Zinanti

    I’m ok with wood burning restrictions but not a ban. What about the wax logs? If fireworks are sold at grocery stores & stands then I should be able to burn. Other states do not allow personal fireworks. That’s my gripe. Look at the charts and see what happened on New Year’s Eve with the air quality.

  • Brian Pardee

    I use free, natural wood to burn to help subsidize my ever growing heating costs. Its absurd for the government to impose this on the taxpayers without modifying their own habits. I propose to make it mandatory for government employees that are paid with tax money use public transit to get to their office jobs from November 1st through March 15th.

  • Linda c

    I feel that banning wood burning stoves should not go forth. What about when we power outages and Ut Power
    does not fix broken power until the fifth day. It has happened in the past.

    Besides I have asthama also and I have learned to deal with it. Also woodburning is a better heat., it is a more comforting feel.
    As a person living in Salt Lake City we do not burn unless it a green day. So leave this where it is. I am sure there will be a ,ot of people breaking law on purpose.
    By Linda Carroll

  • Mark McMillan

    It’s really a shame when you look at the first two meetings and the results. Bryce Bird (DAQ) meets with the news media after each meeting and clearly demonstrates that his mind was made up long ago despite the over capacity turnouts at both meetings from the don’t force an all out ban crowd. Unfortunately I’m afraid that most of these people that are taking time off work and out of their busy lives don’t realize that this is just theater. The DAQ has to hold these public comment periods because it’s the law. To bad not knowing this gives you a false sense that you have at least an opportunity to stand up and have your voice heard. That said, we can’t just give up.

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