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Stove buy-back to clear the air

MARYSVILLE Thanks to a new program of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, city residents have a chance to turn in their old wood stoves and receive discounts of between $200 and $750 on the purchase of new, more efficient and environmentally friendly units.
According to information provided by the clean air agency, Marysville is in jeopardy of exceeding air standards developed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The clean air group claims older wood stoves are a significant contributor to the problem and the buy back program is an attempt to eliminate some of the excessive smoke coming from those older stoves.
Beyond providing basic education about the impact of wood stoves, the buy back program can provide dollars toward replacement of any pre-1995 wood stove with newer technology, be it a new stove, fireplace insert or whole-house heating option such as a gas furnace or electric heat pump. The discount available to each household depends on the type of new appliance purchased.
Homeowners should work with participating contractors and dealers to choose their preferred new appliance, and the discount is applied at the time of purchase. Additional incentives and offers are available through a variety of groups including Puget Sound Energy and the Snohomish County PUD. Financing also may be available to qualified households.
Anyone who uses an old wood stove or fireplace insert in these communities should contact us as soon as possible, said Dennis McLerran, executive director of the Clean Air Agency.
It not always easy to determine, McLerran added, if your wood burning device is older than 1995. McLerrans agency has set up a toll-free phone number and a Web site either of which can aid homeowners in determining if they are eligible for the buy back.
We have limited funding available on a first-come-first-served basis and only through February 2008, McLerran said.
Details are available at 888- 859-5799 or www.pscleanair.org/woodstove.replacement.
In many residential neighborhoods, on certain nights of the year, up to 80 percent of the fine particle pollution is from residential wood fires, McLerran said. We know that wood smoke pollutants are associated with premature mortality, are harmful to breath and can cause other health effects.
The federal EPA imposed certain new clean air standards in 2006. According to the Clean Air Agency, the rules lowered dramatically the allowable amount of fine particle pollution; that is particles less than 2.5 micrograms in size. Communities that do not meet the new standards can face a number of restrictions imposed by the federal government.

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