Exempt wood stoves, popular with Mainers, fade from stores as new rules kick in

As of Jan. 1, stoves like these “EPA-exempt” models from Vogelzang, left, and Logwood, on display at Paris Farmers Union in Jay, will no longer be sold by U.S. retailers. New rules don’t apply to homeowners, however, who can resell units that are not in compliance with emission standards. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

By Tux Turkel, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald

 

Starting next month, retailers are limited to selling only wood burners that meet emission rules set by federal regulators.

JAY — There’s a nice selection of wood and pellet stoves displayed at the entrance to Paris Farmers Union here, including two small, cast-iron models. One is a Logwood camp-style stove; the other is a Vogelzang box heater. Both have labels that bear this inscription: “EPA Exempt.”

As of Jan. 1, neither can be legally sold by retailers in the United States.

“These stoves have been popular in all of Maine,” said Fred Rolfe, vice president for retail sales at Paris Farmers Union, which has 10 stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. “We’ve been selling these box-type stoves for 30 years. There are thousands and thousands of them out there.”

But new federal regulations ban stores from selling these and other stoves that don’t meet any emission standards, because they can emit up to 10 times as much smoke and lung-damaging particles as EPA-certified models. The Logwood and Vogelzang, which have sold in the $300 range, are the only two left at the Jay store.

That’s fine with John Ackerly, president of the Alliance for Green Heat in Takoma Park, Maryland. His group advocates for clean-burning wood heat.

“Tens of thousands of EPA-exempt stoves were sold year after year

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