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CFBA Director Defends Outdoor Wood-Burning Furnaces

By CT Farm Bureau Press Release (7-12-10)

  JULY 15, 2010 --

In response to an editorial by the Hartford Courant defending West Hartford's proposal to ban outdoor wood-burning furnaces, CFBA Executive Director Steve Reviczky submitted a Letter to the Editor which was recently published.

The Hartford Courant's editorial, published on June 30, claimed the West Hartford "proposal would prevent a major nuisance from coming into existence, and is worthy of support." It also characterized the furnaces as "dirty and dangerous."

In his Letter to the Editor, CFBA Executive Director Reviczky replied,

"How ironic. As millions of gallons of oil spew uncontrollably into the Gulf of Mexico, there are some who want to limit the use of a local, abundant and renewable fuel: wood.

Current law severely regulates the installation and use of outdoor wood-burning furnaces and empowers the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection and municipalities to take enforcement action against violators. The Hartford Courant (editorial, June 30, "Ban Outdoor Furnaces") and others cite the 750 complaints filed with the DEP as justification for a ban. In fact, DEP records show that 380 of those complaints were made against three furnaces. There are nearly 2,500 furnaces operating in Connecticut. A more appropriate statistic might be the number of legitimate complaints where DEP found a violation of law.

Calls for a complete ban are ill-advised. Properly installed and operated, wood furnaces provide an efficient, clean heating system fueled by a renewable resource.

Unprecedented spikes in oil prices experienced in recent years, coupled with the environmental disaster unfolding in the Gulf should lead us to aggressively seek alternatives to fossil fuels, not a ban. Perhaps when the oil slick appears in Long Island Sound, outdoor wood-burning furnaces will no longer be considered a 'major nuisance.'

-Steven K. Reviczky, Executive Director, Connecticut Farm Bureau, Windsor"



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