Gazette polls



Do you think wood-fired outdoor boilers should be regulated by the state?

Yes, it's a public health issue and should be regulated 30% 205 votes
No, the state should leave us alone 61% 423 votes
These boilers should be banned altogether 8% 55 votes
Total Votes: 683

Note: This is not a scientific poll.

comments


March 23, 2009
9:31 p.m.

[ Suggest removal ]
Rick ( richard robie ) says...

When the dollar has fallen as far as our leaders can drive it and our 'friends' the UN get the world to dump the dollar, gasoline, diesel and fuel oil will be too expensive to waste on heating homes. The alternative is local, accessible, cheap wood.

During the last depression the hills for miles around the Capital District were stripped of their trees, which were made into charcoal to heat the cities.

If the smoke bothers you, move to the city, where laws banning outdoor wood furnaces already exist.

March 24, 2009
11:38 a.m.

[ Suggest removal ]
WomanWithAnAttitude (no real name given) says...

All wood smoke is harmful, especially to the elderly, the young, and those with compromised health (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2008). According to the Department of Ecology, State of Washington (no date) "in one hour the Outdoor Wood Boilers can release particulates equivalent to four heavy duty diesel trucks. The OWB combustion process is primitive and inefficient, and produces lots of thick heavy smoke. The OWBs are banned in the state of Washington".
The American Lung Association in the state of Maine (2006) strongly cautions against the use of these primitive devices.
There are many valid sources that could be used to support the argument that OWBs are harmful to the environment. The US EPA (2008) does offer some best practices.
However, in my opinion, the objective is to advance our society, not to sanction an attitude of "If the smoke bothers you, move to the city". That is just boorish.

References:
American Lung Association of Maine, 2006. Retrieved March 24, 2009 from http://www.vtwoodsmoke.org/ME-hlth.html).

Department of Ecology, State of Washington. (n.d.) Outdoor wood-fired boilers. Retrieved March 24, 2009 from http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/AOP_P...).

United State Environmental Protection Agency. (2008) Health and environment. Retrieved March 24, 2009 from http://www.epa.gov/woodheaters/healthenv....

March 24, 2009
2:05 p.m.

[ Suggest removal ]
sustainable (no real name given) says...

I am a public health professional and fully understand the danger associated with smoke and vulnerable populations. I am also well aware of the benefits of wood boilers (free or cheap sustainable fuel). I have owned and operated a outdoor wood boiler in a responsible manner for nearly 5 years, and by responsible I mean I use seasoned wood and don't burn any garbage. My boiler smokes only when the draft is open,creating far less smoke than most fireplaces or woodstoves.

I have a hard time reading comments like those above - womanwithattitude - issuing blanket statements about wood boilers. Come to my house sometime and watch mine operate, you won't see billowing smoke or smoke that is low to the ground. And before you throw stones, check their own energy use - chances are you live in a house heated by oil (not sustainable).

If you're talking about OWB in residential areas, I agree, they may need to be regulated. But when it comes to boilers like mine, responsibly operated, in a rural setting with little or no impact on health, mind your own business.

March 25, 2009
8:31 a.m.

[ Suggest removal ]
esteban1949 (no real name given) says...

I use and have used a wood pellet franklin stove...very fuel efficent and burns very very clean...alot cleaner than coal fired energy generation plants. In fact the only unit cleaner burning than mine is NG...go figure...

March 25, 2009
9:26 a.m.

[ Suggest removal ]
annarondac ( Patricia Ann Wadsworth ) says...

Do we really need another agency of the government telling us what to do? Another regulation means a bigger government to "oversee" our actions.

March 25, 2009
11:03 a.m.

[ Suggest removal ]
WomanWithAnAttitude (no real name given) says...

Dear Sustainable, I hardly issued a blanket statement unless of course you are disputing my first statement, "All wood smoke is harmful, especially to the elderly, the young, and those with compromised health". Good luck with that one. On the contrary, I presented both sides of the argument. Perhaps, you missed the US EPA list of best practices and responsible use. I provided web links for your convenience. I had not made my mind either way. Your statement about heating with oil was presumptuous. My apartment is heated with radiators fueled by a gas burner. But I'm just lucky there. There are many who depend on oil and I am certainly glad not to one of them. I'm not certain but it appears that you believe that living in a rural area should exempt you from government regulations. Interesting. However, I'm afraid I must take exception with your closing statement. That was not very nice. It’s everybody’s business.

March 25, 2009
3:34 p.m.

[ Suggest removal ]
isme (no real name given) says...

In the winter my big house shrinks to one living room. My 1890 Glenwood Oak #30 is the prime source of heat, heals joint pains, fries fish, bakes a means potato, simmers vegies, and boils water. It also holds me hostage (4-6 hrs/load), emits gas (so do I), demands regular pipe cleaning and room dusting, and can be nasty if tripped over in the dark. I respect her base-burning cast iron and quickly responsive russian steel, both will endure longer than my frail frame. Besides, isn't a thing of beauty a joy forever?

March 25, 2009
3:35 p.m.

[ Suggest removal ]
Rick ( richard robie ) says...

Boorish? Sorry WomanWithoutABrain, I'm afraid I must take exception to your closing statement. OWB furnaces are already outlawed in the cities, so suggesting whiners move there is a helpful hint.
.
Heating with gas may be comforting now, but when the coming hyperinflation (from the US Treasury printing trillions) makes foreign oil too expensive, guess what business and commerce will be switching to.
.
That's right - Natural Gas.
.
And guess who's gas the businesses will get - for the greater good, of course -
.
to keep industry alive, they will be allotted what the residential customers, like you, used to get.

You can burn those phony statistics when you're freezing and sitting in the dark, just don't breathe the smoke.
.
btw - I realize the morphing of your handle into something more appropriate is callous and chauvinistic, but it is accurate.
.
Just think, if you hadn't made an issue of your sex, everyone would have thought it was the product of a another stupid man.
.
Thanks for making it clear that weaker can refer to one's mind, too.

 

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