Wood-stove replacement program may be expanded in Placer County
Placer County may expand its wood-stove replacement program countywide in an effort to curb air pollution.
The voluntary portion of the proposed campaign will be funded by a $13 million settlement with Sierra Pacific Industries over air-quality violations.
While the county has had voluntary incentive programs in the Martis Valley and Colfax, the Placer County Air Pollution Control District is looking to expand those financial incentives and make the replacement of stoves that are not Environmental Protection Agency-certified mandatory in another four years.
“If approved by the board, next year we will offer wood-stove replacement incentives for the next four years,” said Heather Kuklo, an air-quality specialist for the district.
Air Pollution Control staff is fashioning a package of incentives that range from $700 to $1,000 to remove or replace a noncertified stove with a low-pollution wood, pellet or gas stove, Kuklo said.
The size of the incentive may vary according to the financial situations of the residents, Kuklo said. If adopted by the district board, Kuklo said those incentives would continue for four years, at which point replacement of the old stoves would become mandatory.
The proprietor of a North Shore store that sells stoves welcomed the possible award program.
“I think they really need to do that; there needs to be something in place with incentives,” said Cindy Deas, who owns Lake Tahoe Specialty Stove and Fireplace in Kings Beach. “And it needs to be all of the county, not just parts.”
Certified and noncertified stoves are hard to tell apart, but certified stoves usually have a label, and stoves produced since the early 1990s should meet the new standards, Deas said. The newer stoves burn more of the particulate matter generated by a wood fire.
The incentives would come from interest on a $13 million lawsuit settlement from Sierra Pacific Industries, a timber-operations company and the state’s largest private landowner, Kuklo said.
The Associated Press reported in August that the company’s sawmills violated state air-pollution-control regulations, according to a joint investigation by the California Air Resources Board, the California attorney general and Placer County’s Air Pollution Control District.
The district board will consider the expanded wood-stove program at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 13, in the Board of Supervisors Chambers at 175 Fulweiler Ave. in Auburn.