Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                      Calendar No. 579
115th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                     {     115-422

======================================================================

 
    TO ESTABLISH A COMPLIANCE DEADLINE OF MAY 15, 2023, FOR STEP 2 
 EMISSIONS STANDARDS FOR NEW RESIDENTIAL WOOD HEATERS, NEW RESIDENTIAL 
               HYDRONIC HEATERS, AND FORCED-AIR FURNACES

                                _______
                                

                December 6, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Barrasso, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1857]

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 1857) to establish a compliance deadline 
of May 15, 2023, for Step 2 emissions standards for new 
residential wood heaters, new residential hydronic heaters, and 
forced-air furnaces, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the 
bill do pass.

                    GENERAL STATEMENT AND BACKGROUND

    S. 1857 is a bipartisan bill that delays the compliance 
date for Step 2 of the EPA's 2015 New Source Performance 
Standards (NSPS)\1\ for New Residential Wood Heaters (i.e., 
woodstoves and pellet stoves) and New Residential Hydronic 
Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces for three years--from May 15, 
2020 to May 15, 2023.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\80 Fed. Reg. 13672 (Mar. 16, 2015).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Step 1 of the NSPS is now in effect. Step 2 would impose 
even stricter limits. Prior to Step 1 going into effect, the 
federal emissions requirements for wood and pellet stoves had 
not been changed since 1988, and hydronic heaters and forced-
air furnaces had never been subject to federal standards.
    Step 1 of the NSPS is already leading to higher appliance 
prices and lower product availability.\2\ For example, one 
furnace retailer in West Virginia has faced diminishing demand 
as prices increase. In 2015, this retailer sold 42 appliances. 
In 2016, the retailer sold 11. In 2017, as of November 2017, 
only eight were sold. This trend will continue to worsen 
without relief. The retail cost of a new furnace doubled in 
price since Step 1 became effective, with the retail cost 
rising from $1,000 to $2,000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Legislative Hearing on S. 1857, S. 203, S. 839 and S. 1934 
Before the S. Comm. on Env't & Public Works Subcomm. on Clean Air & 
Nuclear Safety (Nov. 14, 2017) (statement of Paul Williams, Vice 
President of Business Intelligence, United States Stove Company) 
[hereinafter Williams Testimony].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The industry is working, and has been working, to comply 
with the next phase of the 2015 NSPS--the Step 2 regulations--
before they go into effect. There is simply not enough time and 
lab capacity to complete the effort within the original 
timeline.\3\ Part of the problem is that there are currently 
only five test labs in North America authorized to certify all 
wood and pellet stoves, hydronic heaters, and wood furnaces. 
Only a fraction of Step 1-certified models have been certified 
for Step 2 as of July 2018: 91 of the 571 currently-certified 
Step 1 models of wood and pellet stoves, 11 of the 113 hydronic 
heaters, and one of 16 forced-air furnaces.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Letter from Jack Goldman, President & CEO, Hearth, Patio & 
Barbeque Association, to Chairman John Barrasso et al., S. Env't & 
Public Works Comm. (Sep. 14, 2018, submitted to record of Sept. 18, 
2018 Committee meeting); Letter from VP Berger, President, Hearth & 
Home Technologies, to Chairman John Barrasso et al., S. Env't & Public 
Works Comm. (Sep. 17, 2018, submitted to record of Sept. 18, 2018 
Committee meeting).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Existing inventories of these products can remain with 
retailers for years. The NSPS prohibits the sale of new 
appliances that are not compliant with Step 2 as of May 15, 
2020. This looming cutoff point disincentivizes the continued 
production and offering for sale of new appliances subject to 
modernized emission standards. If such appliances are not sold 
by May 15, 2020, they become a sunk cost for the retailers who 
purchased them for retail sale.
    This situation has negative economic and environmental 
consequences for the millions of Americans who rely on wood 
heating as a critical heating source. Approximately 11.5 
million households rely on wood as a primary or secondary 
heating source.\4\ A significant share of purchasers of heaters 
are from lower income households and use these wood heating 
appliances to reduce their energy bills. Faced with fewer 
choices and higher prices, it is likely consumers will extend 
the lives of their older, more emissive appliances--many of 
which may be decades-old and not certified to be compliant with 
even Step 1.\5\ Without enactment of S. 1857, sales of new, 
modernized appliances will continue to diminish and higher-
emitting appliances that are not certified to be compliant with 
the NSPS will stay in use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\U.S. Energy Information Administration, Today in Energy: 
Increase in Wood as Main Source of Household Heating Most Notable in 
the Northeast (Mar. 17, 2014), https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/
detail.php?id=15431.
    \5\Williams Testimony, supra note 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The EPA itself would also benefit from a delay, as the 
agency has yet to codify the needed cord wood reference test 
method and make a best system of emission reduction (BSER) 
determination based on that test method. EPA is now years 
behind in that process, which the agency had planned to 
complete shortly after its proposal of the NSPS in 2014.\6\ 
Cord wood (i.e., firewood) is broadly recognized as the best 
test fuel for ensuring that tested emission levels better 
reflect how heaters are used by Americans in their homes. Use 
of crib wood (i.e., two-by-fours) for tuning heaters ``often 
results in poorer performance in homes.''\7\ Before Step 2 
compliance is required, the cord wood test method and BSER 
determination should be finalized and available for use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\80 Fed. Reg. at 13678.
    \7\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A substitute amendment offered by Senator Carper would have 
provided a one-year sell-through for only Step 1 models 
manufactured before May 15, 2020 and would have prevented EPA 
from making adjustments to the NSPS regulations in any way--
even if slight changes are needed to make them workable. That 
amendment would also have authorized a new EPA-administered 
buyback program for wood heaters. The amendment would not have 
provided needed relief.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Crouch, John, Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Ass'n, ``Opinion: Mirrors 
and Smoke, Smoke and Mirrors'' (Sept. 14, 2018, submitted to record of 
Sept. 18, 2018 Committee meeting), available at http://
biomassmagazine.com/articles/15594/opinion-mirrors-and-smoke-smoke-and-
mirrors.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     OBJECTIVES OF THE LEGISLATION

    The three-year delay provided by S. 1857 provides relief 
for retailers to sell their existing inventory while they await 
availability of new models compliant with the revised NSPS. The 
deadline extension also is vital to ensuring that the 
manufacturing industry has time to develop, engineer, certify, 
manufacture, and deliver updated woodstoves and furnaces.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Step 2 Compliance deadline for new residential wood heaters, 
        new residential hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces

    Sets a compliance deadline date with respect to the final 
rule entitled ``Standards of Performance for New Residential 
Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air 
Furnaces,'' at May 15, 2023. States that the Administrator of 
the EPA shall finalize technical and conforming changes to 
documents as may be necessary.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On September 26, 2017, Senator Capito introduced S. 1857, a 
bill to establish a compliance deadline of May 15, 2023, for 
Step 2 emissions standards for new residential wood heaters, 
new residential hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces, with 
Senators McCaskill, Manchin, and Shelby. Senators Klobuchar, 
Wicker, Inhofe, and Tester are also cosponsors. The bill was 
referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public 
Works.
    The bipartisan, companion bill H.R. 453, the Relief from 
New Source Performance Standards Act of 2017, passed the U.S. 
House of Representatives on March 7, 2018.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\The language of H.R. 453 was added to H.R. 1917, the Blocking 
Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2017, for floor 
consideration and passage.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                HEARINGS

    A legislative hearing was held on November 14, 2017 in the 
Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and 
Nuclear Safety.

                             ROLLCALL VOTES

    On September 18, 2018, the Committee on Environment and 
Public Works met to consider S. 1857. The bill was ordered 
favorably reported by a roll call vote of 11 ayes and 10 nays.

Amendments rejected

    Carper #1--A substitute amendment to codify residential 
wood heater emission standards and to establish a federal grant 
program for wood heater emissions reductions failed by a roll 
call vote of 10 ayes and 11 nays (Senators Booker, Cardin, 
Carper, Duckworth, Gillibrand, Markey, Merkley, Sanders, Van 
Hollen, and Whitehouse voted aye. Senators Barrasso, Boozman, 
Capito, Ernst, Fischer, Inhofe, Moran, Rounds, Shelby, 
Sullivan, and Wicker voted nay).

Final Committee vote to report

    S. 1857 was ordered favorably reported by a roll call vote 
of 11 ayes and 10 nays (Senators Barrasso, Boozman, Capito, 
Ernst, Fischer, Inhofe, Moran, Rounds, Shelby, Sullivan, and 
Wicker voted aye. Senators Booker, Cardin, Carper, Duckworth, 
Gillibrand, Markey, Merkley, Sanders, Van Hollen, and 
Whitehouse voted nay).

                      REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee makes evaluation of 
the regulatory impact of the reported bill.
    The bill does not create any additional regulatory burdens, 
nor will it cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of 
individuals.

                          MANDATES ASSESSMENT

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that S. 1857 would not 
impose Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State, 
local, or tribal governments. The bill contains no new private-
sector mandates as defined in UMRA.

                          COST OF LEGISLATION

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act requires that a statement of the cost of the 
reported bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be 
included in the report. That statement follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 27, 2018.
Hon. John Barrasso,
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1857, a bill to 
establish a compliance deadline of May 15, 2023, for Step 2 
emissions standards for new residential wood heaters, new 
residential hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jon Sperl.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 1857--A bill to establish a compliance deadline of May 15, 2023, for 
        Step 2 emissions standards for new residential wood heaters, 
        new residential hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces

    S. 1857 would delay the deadline for industry to comply 
with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) performance 
standards for new residential wood heaters, hydronic heaters, 
and forced-air furnaces from 2020 until 2023.
    Using information from EPA about its current activities 
related to implementing the regulations, CBO estimates that 
enacting the legislation would not have a significant effect on 
the agency's workload or spending. CBO expects that extending 
the deadline would result in more resources being spent on 
assistance with compliance than on enforcement.
    Enacting S. 1857 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 1857 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    S. 1857 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On December 21, 2017, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 453, the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act 
of 2017, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy 
and Commerce on December 6, 2017. The two pieces of legislation 
are similar, and CBO's estimates of their budgetary effects are 
the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jon Sperl. The 
estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

  Minority Views of Senators Carper, Cardin, Whitehouse, Gillibrand, 
                     Booker, Markey, and Van Hollen

    S. 1857 would delay achievable Clean Air Act emission 
standards for new residential wood heaters, new residential 
hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces for three years. Such 
a delay would result in an increase in deadly air pollution, 
which will negatively impact the health of millions of 
Americans, and punish manufacturers that have already made 
investments to manufacture wood heaters that meet the 
standards.
    Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 
11.5 million homes use wood as a primary or secondary heat 
source. 58% of those homes are found in rural areas. 
Residential wood heaters (i.e., woodstoves, pellet stoves and 
wood furnaces) often have a long life-span, some lasting more 
than fifty years. Due to the long lifespan, industry estimates 
that 6 million residential wood heaters in operation today do 
not meet 1988 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Air 
Act emission standards, much less the emissions standards 
implemented in 2015.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Congressional Research Service (CRS), ``EPA's Wood Stove/Wood 
Heater Regulations: Frequently Asked Questions'' (March 12, 2018), 
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43489.pdf. Hereinafter, ``CRS Wood Heater 
Regulations Report.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Collectively, older residential wood heaters are a major 
source of air pollution in the United States, especially in 
rural areas. According to EPA, smoke from old, inefficient 
residential wood heaters can produce a deadly mix of 
particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide, volatile organic 
compounds (which contributes to ozone), black carbon (which 
contributes to climate change) and air toxics (which includes 
benzene and formaldehyde).\2\ This pollution builds up inside 
and outside the home, triggering asthma attacks and causing 
lung damage, cancer and other significant health problems, 
including death. EPA estimates nationally residential wood 
heaters emit hundreds of thousands of tons of PM annually and 
account for 44% of all polycyclic organic matter emissions, 
nearly 25% of all area source air toxics cancer risks and 15% 
of non-cancer respiratory effects.\3\ Compared to other sources 
of air pollution, residential wood heaters emit five times more 
PM pollution than the U.S. petroleum refineries, cement 
manufacturers and pulp and paper plants combined.\4\ EPA has 
also found that old, inefficient residential wood heaters are 
causing some areas in the country--like Fairbanks, Alaska, 
Tacoma, Washington and Keene, New Hampshire--to be in, or close 
to, nonattainment for EPA's national ambient air quality 
standards (NAAQS) for PM.\5\ Fortunately, new residential wood 
heaters made and sold in the U.S. are dramatically cleaner and 
more energy efficient than older heaters. This means using the 
latest in residential wood heater technology results in less 
pollution, less fuel needed and lower costs for consumers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\U.S. EPA, ``Basic Information about Residential Wood Heaters'' 
(October 2018) https://www.epa.gov/residential-wood-heaters/basic-
information-about-residential-wood-heaters#why.
    \3\U.S. EPA, ``Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) for Residential 
Wood Heaters NSPS Revision, Final Report,'' (February 2015), https://
www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-02/documents/20150204-
residential-wood-heaters-ria.pdf. Hereinafter, ``Final Rule RIA.''
    \4\EPA 2001 National Emissions Inventory.
    \5\Final Rule RIA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On February 3, 2015, EPA issued Clean Air Act New Source 
Performance Standards (NSPS) for New Residential Wood Heaters 
and New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces 
(hereafter called the ``2015 Wood Heater NSPS'').\6\ Set to be 
phased-in over five years, the 2015 Wood Heater NSPS updated 
the PM emissions limits for woodstoves and set the first 
standards for several other types of wood heaters, such as 
pellet stoves, indoor and outdoor wood-fired hydronic heaters, 
wood-burning forced-air furnaces; and single burn-rate stoves. 
The 2015 Wood Heater NSPS only applies to wood heaters being 
manufactured and sold, not to wood heaters already in homes. 
Wood-burning fireplaces are also excluded from regulation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\80 FR 13671.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The 2015 Wood Heater NSPS Step 1 emission reductions for 
most wood heater manufacturers went into effect on May 15, 
2015. At the time of implementation, over 85% of the wood 
heaters on the market required to meet Step 1 met the emission 
standards.\7\ Retailers were able to continue to sell the few 
residential wood heaters that did not meet Step 1 for an 
additional eight months until December 31, 2015. The 2015 Wood 
Heater NSPS Step 2 emission reductions go into effect for 
manufacturers and retailers on May 15, 2020. EPA estimated in 
total, these emission standards will get an estimated 70% 
reduction in PM and VOC emissions and 62% in carbon monoxide. 
EPA estimated the health benefits from these pollution 
reductions to be up to $7.6 billion and costs to industry 
estimated to be $46 million.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Final Rule RIA.
    \8\Final Rule RIA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    During the public comment period for the 2015 Wood Heater 
NSPS, EPA received an estimated 1,300 public comments.\9\ 
Overwhelmingly, state and local governments commented on the 
need for federal residential wood heater emission standards, 
and many commented that the Step 2 standards should be 
implemented at a faster rate than the five year timeline. The 
following are a few examples of these comments. Environmental 
agency directors from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, 
Ohio and Wisconsin joined together in a letter to EPA stating, 
``an update to the NSPS for Residential Wood Burning Devices is 
long overdue.''\10\ Wisconsin's Air Director would later 
comment that residential wood heaters represented ``32% of 
Wisconsin's total PM2.5 emissions'' and 
``[R]eductions in PM2.5 emissions from wood burning 
devices would have a positive impact on Wisconsin's ability to 
maintain a recently-achieved redesignation of the 2006 24-hour 
fine particle standard as well as continue improving air 
quality in the remainder of the state.''\11\ Oregon Department 
of Environmental Quality commented that it, ``strongly supports 
EPA's proposed rule'' and that ``Oregon has at least two 
nonattainment areas and many other areas close to violating the 
PM2.5 standard, primarily due to woodstove 
smoke.''\12\ The Missoula City-County Health Department stated 
that, ``[W]ood smoke from residential wood heating is the 
single largest contributor to the high PM2.5 
concentrations in western Montana and Missoula County and 
revising the current NSPS for wood stoves is critically needed 
for Missoula County to meet and maintain PM2.5 
ambient concentrations below the National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards . . . . [W]e question whether five years, as 
contemplated under the preferred option, is too long given that 
the proposed final standards, based on BSER, are already being 
met by top industry performers, and urge that the second, 
tighter phase of standards be accelerated where 
practicable.''\13\ The Connecticut Department of Energy and 
Environmental Protection echoed Missoula City-County's 
comments, stating that wood smoke greatly contributes to 
Connecticut's air quality concerns and, ``we question whether a 
compliance window of five years is necessary given that the 
proposed final standards are now met by top industry 
performers.''\14\ And finally, the National Association of 
Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), which represents air pollution 
control agencies in 40 states, the District of Columbia, 116 
metropolitan areas and four territories, commented several 
times that, ``[N]ACAA welcomes this proposal . . . . 
[R]esidential wood combustion is extremely difficult to 
regulate at the state level because the devices are installed 
and operated in private homes and consumers are able to 
purchase wood heaters and stoves outside their own state (which 
could enable a consumer to purchase a device that does not meet 
the standards of his state of residence). We cannot overstate 
the importance of federal standards for these sources. In the 
absence of strong new federal standards, states and localities 
will have no choice but to pursue or build upon their own 
regulatory programs in order to attain and maintain NAAQS and/
or meet other clean air goals . . . . [N]ACAA favors EPA's 
preferred option of a two-step approach and, further, urges 
that EPA accelerate implementation of the second, tighter phase 
of standards where practicable.''\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\CRS Wood Heater Regulations Report.
    \10\Letter to USEPA Administrator Jackson from Lake Michigan Air 
Directors Consortium (LADCO)--NSPS for Residential Wood Burning 
Devices, to EPA Docket (EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734), October 10, 2012, EPA-
HQ-OAR-2009-0734-0246 at https://www.regulations.gov.
    \11\Comment submitted by Bart Sponseller, Bureau of Air Management-
Director, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to EPA 
Docket (EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734), May 2, 2014, EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734-1511 
at https://www.regulations.gov.
    \12\Comment submitted by Uri Papish, Air Quality Program Manager, 
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to EPA Docket (EPA-HQ-OAR-
2009-0734), May 5, 2014, EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734-1640 at https://
www.regulations.gov.
    \13\Comment submitted by Benjamin Schmidt, Air Quality Specialist, 
Missoula City County Health Department (MCCHD), Montana to EPA Docket 
(EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734), May 5, 2014, EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734-1580 at 
https://www.regulations.gov.
    \14\Comment submitted by Robert J. Klee, Commissioner, Connecticut 
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to EPA Docket 
(EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734), May 5, 2014, EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734-1502 at 
https://www.regulations.gov.
    \15\Comment submitted by George S. Aburn, Jr., (Maryland), Co-chair 
and Lynne A. Liddigton, Co-Chair (Knoxville, Tennessee) NACAA Criteria 
Pollutants Committee, National Association of Clean Air Agencies 
(NACAA) to EPA Docket (EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734), May 1, 2014, EPA-HQ-OAR-
2009-0734-1417 at https://www.regulations.gov.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since the 2015 Wood Heater NSPS was implemented, states and 
local communities still suffer from air pollution from 
residential wood heaters and are depending on the reductions 
from Step 2 to help meet or maintain attainment for 
PM2.5 NAAQS.\16\ Many states have included the 
expected pollution reductions from the 2015 Wood Heater NSPS in 
their State Implementation Plans and some states--like Colorado 
and Vermont--have taken the extra step of adopting the 2015 
Wood Heater NSPS into state law. At the same time, there are 
over 200 different models of wood heaters that are already 
meeting Step 2 emission requirements and an estimated twenty 
states, including Alaska, Vermont and Iowa that have some type 
of residential wood heater change-out program to help address 
the legacy pollution concerns from older, inefficient wood 
heaters.\17\ States have told Minority staff that these change 
out programs have been highly successful, however, state funds 
cannot keep up with demand.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\See National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) letter 
to EPW members, ``Comments of the National Association of Clean Air 
Agencies on Technical Provisions of S. 839, the Blocking Regulatory 
Interference from Closing Kilns Act and S. 1857, the Relief from New 
Source Performance Standards Act,'' (June 21, 2018), Entered into 
public record September 18, 2018. Hereafter, ``NACAA EPW Letter.''
    \17\Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), ``Wood Stove 
Changeout'' (October 2018), https://www.hpba.org/Promotional-Campaigns/
Woodstove-Changeouts/What-is-a-Woodstove-Changeout/Ongoing-Changeout-
and-Incentive-Programs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    S. 1857 proposes a delay in the compliance date of Step 2 
of the 2015 Wood Heater NSPS from May 15, 2020 to May 15, 2023. 
Because wood heaters have a long lifespan, a three year delay 
in Step 2 will result in an increase in air pollution that will 
be compounded over decades. The Northeast States for 
Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM)--501(c)(3) nonprofit 
association of air quality agencies in the Northeast--estimates 
that if S. 1857 became law it would result in an additional 
2,500 tons of PM emitted annually or 50,000 tons over twenty 
years. This additional PM pollution will result in up to 280 
additional premature deaths per year and a loss of up to $2.3 
billion annually in foregone monetized public health benefits 
from increased premature deaths, asthma attacks, lost work 
days, and other effects.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\See Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management 
(NESCAUM) letter to EPW staff, ``NESCAUM Analysis on 3 year NSPS 
Residential Wood Heating Extension,'' (December 18, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This additional air pollution has stakeholders concerned 
that enacting S. 1857 would make it much more difficult for 
many states to achieve clean air health standards and would 
have an effect on public health for decades to come, especially 
those living in rural America. State agency organizations--like 
the Western Governors Association, NESCAUM and NACAA--have 
publically stated they are opposed to delaying the 2015 Wood 
Heater NSPS. NACAA summed up their opposition to S. 1857 with 
the following statement, ``[I]n short, the three-year extension 
to the Step 2 emission standards sought by S. 1857 is 
unnecessary and would adversely impact public health and the 
environment and undermine clean air efforts in certain states 
and local areas as well as harm the bottom line for most 
manufactures that have already taken steps to comply.''\19\ 
Twenty other environmental and health groups have also 
expressed their opposition to S. 1857, with health groups 
stating that ``[T]he (wood heater air pollution) problem would 
not end in three years, unfortunately: due to the long lives of 
these devices, they would continue to spew toxic pollution into 
the air in their homes and neighborhoods for decades.''\20\\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\NACAA EPW Letter.
    \20\See letter opposed to S. 1857 from Allergy & Asthma Network, 
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, American Lung Association, 
American Public Health Association, American Thoracic Society, Asthma 
and Allergy Foundation of America, Center for Climate Change and 
Health, Environment and Human Health, Inc., Health Care Without Harm, 
Trust for America's Health Allergy &Ast to EPW members, (August 2018), 
Entered into public record September 18, 2018.
    \21\See letter opposed to S. 1857 from Alliance for Climate 
Education (ACE), California Safe Schools, Center for Biological 
Diversity, Doctors and Scientists Against Wood Smoke Pollution, 
Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law & Policy Center, 
Earthjustice, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense 
Council, Sierra Club, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment to EPW 
members, (September 17, 2018), Entered into public record September 18, 
2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    We share the concerns of states, public health and 
environmental groups and oppose S. 1857. We believe as written, 
S. 1857 ignores the plight of states and communities suffering 
from residential wood heater pollution and will have long-term 
negative effects on public health for our constituents and 
future generations. Instead of a blanket three year delay, 
during Committee markup of S. 1857, Senator Carper offered what 
we believe to be a common sense compromise proposal that would 
address some of the industry's concerns, while still 
maintaining critical emissions standards to protect public 
health.
    Senator Carper's amendment to S. 1857 would have 
accomplished three things. First, it would have reduced 
regulatory burden for residential wood retailers and 
manufacturers. It would have done so by allowing retailers one 
full year to sell Step 1 products after the May 15, 2020 
deadline and allowing manufacturers to waive the thirty-day 
notice comment period for testing as long as testing data could 
be securely stored for EPA to analyze in the future. Second, 
the amendment would have codified the emission standards in the 
2015 Wood Heater NSPS. Third, the amendment would have 
established a $75 million annual voluntary residential wood 
heater change out program for five years within EPA called the 
Wood Heater Emissions Reduction Act (WHERA) to incentivize the 
removal and replacement of old, inefficient residential wood 
heaters.
    WHERA mimics the successful Diesel Emissions Reduction Act 
(DERA) and residential wood heater programs already implemented 
in twenty states. WHERA allows for states, territories, 
regional and local air quality agencies and Indian tribes to 
compete for EPA dollars to run programs that work for their 
communities with the goals of scraping or recycling old, dirty 
wood heaters; and replacing old wood heaters with new, 
efficient, clean burning and properly installed heaters that at 
least meet EPA's Step 2 wood heater emission standards. The 
language also requires EPA to ensure rural communities are 
fairly represented in funding allocations and that Indian 
tribes receive at least 4% of funding.
    We believe the WHERA program will have the most benefits 
for public health and wood heater consumers. According to EPA, 
replacing one dirty inefficient wood heater is equivalent to 
taking five dirty diesel engines off the road and the monetized 
public health benefits from replacing the nation's old, 
inefficient residential wood heaters would be up to $126 
billion per year.\22\ In addition to cleaner air, homeowners 
that replace inefficient wood heaters with more efficient 
heaters also save money in reduced annual heating costs. 
Industry and EPA estimate that the newest residential wood 
heaters use about a third of wood compared to older heaters, 
saving consumers 20 to 40 percent in heating costs. The Hearth, 
Patio & Barbecue Association--an association representing North 
American manufacturers, retailers, distributors, 
representatives of residential wood heaters--issued a study 
reviewing a similar residential wood change out program in 
Montana and found that, ``[T]hose who upgraded to an EPA-
certified model found wood use cut by a third, effectively 
saving them time and money, while significantly lowering 
particulate emissions both inside and outside their homes.'' 
The study went on to conclude that, ``a changeout (program for 
wood stoves) is one of the most cost-effective methods of 
reducing fine particulates, and an upgrade to EPA-certified 
wood stoves offers homeowners ancillary safety and efficiency 
benefits.''\23\ We couldn't agree more.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\ U.S. EPA, ``Burn Wise, Wood Smoke Awareness Kit'' (October 
2018), https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-11/documents/
kit_2_fast_facts.pdf.
    \23\ Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. ``Preliminary Report: 
Clearing the Smoke: The Woodstove Changeout in Libby, Montana'' 
(January 2008), https://www.hpba.org/Initiatives/Woodstove-Changeouts/
Success-Stories/Libby-Montana-Changeout.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    We also believe WHERA supports retailers and manufacturers 
with the transition to cleaner, more efficient residential wood 
heaters better than the underlying bill. WHERA incentivizes 
homeowners to buy the best available residential wood heater 
products--when they might not otherwise do so--giving financial 
incentives for retailers and manufacturers to sell and make the 
best products. Overall, the residential wood heater industry 
has been supportive of such change out programs at the state 
and local level.
    An early version of the proposed WHERA program was shared 
with the Majority and the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association 
in July 2018, and was refined with input from stakeholders and 
EPA. The final WHERA language in the Carper Amendment reflected 
edits and comments from two states that currently run a 
residential wood heater change out program, from two major 
state agency organizations that collectively represent 40 
states, 160 metropolitan areas, 4 territories and D.C., from 
nine tribal, environmental and health organizations (two of 
which help communities establish change out programs), and from 
technical assistance provided by career EPA staff. We believe 
WHERA is now well vetted and should be part of any solution 
that the full Senate considers.
    We were greatly disappointed that our Republican colleagues 
voted down the Carper Amendment and passed S. 1857 without 
modification. Even though we continue to oppose S. 1857 as 
written, we stand ready to work with our colleagues to advance 
legislation that will support states and local governments 
grappling with residential wood heater pollution, protect 
public health, and aid the residential wood heater industry.

                                   Thomas R. Carper.
                                   Benjamin L. Cardin.
                                   Sheldon Whitehouse.
                                   Kirsten Gillibrand.
                                   Cory A. Booker.
                                   Edward J. Markey.
                                   Chris Van Hollen.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate 
requires the committee to publish changes in existing law made 
by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will make no 
changes to existing law.

                                  [all]