Alpine County gives incentives to clean air |

Alpine County gives incentives to clean air

A wood stove replacement program in Alpine County and two other rural California counties is the latest effort to promote clean air in the region.

Beginning next month, Alpine County residents who have wood burning stoves that don’t conform to Environmental Protection Agency standards can get a $1,000 voucher to put in new stoves.

The program, announced by the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District, is also offered in Mono and Inyo counties.

“Our goal is to reduce combustion-related emissions with cleaner burning stoves,” said Ellen Hardebeck, air pollution control officer. “We want to reduce the amount of particulate pollution by replacing old, dirty stoves.”

The district was awarded a grant from the state’s air quality resources board to allow for the vouchers. For those who are with MediCal and qualify, $2,000 vouchers are available.

The idea is to move the rural counties away from old wood burning stoves that don’t meet 1992 EPA standards, Hardebeck said. Any stove, whether it’s wood or chip burning, built before 1993, doesn’t meet air quality emissions standards.

The new, cleaner burning stoves are certified non-catalytic wood stoves, pellet stoves, kerosene or propane heaters and stoves built in and after 1993.

Applications are being taken through June for the replacement program. The district says it has enough money to replace 15 non-conforming wood stoves in rural Alpine County.

To qualify, wood stove users must prove that their non-conforming units are their primary sources of heat, Hardebeck said.

Applicants must prove they are permanent residents or are landlords with homes that have wood burning stoves as the primary source of heat.

Once approved, the homeowners will receive a voucher they can turn in to retailers which are registered for the program through the district.

The retailer will install the stove and the resident will give them the voucher. The retailer will be reimbursed by the district, she said.

“They will take the old stoves, rendering them inoperable. That way the homeowner can’t turn around and sell it to someone else.”

Wood stoves located in vacation rentals and homes used for recreational purposes are not eligible for the program. Packets are available by calling (760) 872-8211.

City editor Jeff Munson can be reached at

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