On Tuesday, March 31st, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill preventing state regulators from imposing a season-long wood-burning ban in Utah. The new law was in response to the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) proposed rule to prohibit the use of all residential wood-burning appliances along the Wasatch Front from November 1st through March 15th each year. HPBA and local Utah members mounted a spirited defense of EPA-certified stoves and pellet stoves, emphasizing the need for exemptions from a burn ban for homeowners who used those products responsibly. HPBA and the Rocky Mountain HPBA members created the Utahns for Responsible Burning website and helped ensure the vocal opposition of roughly 2,000 angry wood burners at the seven public hearings. The DAQ proposal was withdrawn shortly after the hearings were concluded.
The law prohibits a season-long burn ban in the future and requires that industry be consulted in any public education campaign next fall. The bill mandates a study of the potential impact of a two-step no burn program which would be similar to other control programs which have been used in other areas for over 25 years. Our many thanks to the industry in and citizens of Utah who supported us in this effort to ensure that Utahns retain the right to responsible use of clean wood-burning products.