Maryland's rule that regulates small wood boilers (COMAR 26.11.09.11) has been repealed effective February 12, 2018. Since 2015, new residential hydronic heaters sold in the U.S. have been regulated by the U.S. EPA under 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart QQQQ.
The repeal of COMAR 26.11.09.11 removes any redundancy or potential conflict with the federal regulation - this includes the certification requirement for manufacturers who wish to make their units available for sale and use in the State. New residential hydronic heaters made available for sale and use in Maryland are subject to all requirements and standards under 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart QQQQ. For more information, please refer to the following:
Hydronic heaters (also called outdoor wood heaters or outdoor wood boilers) are typically located outside the buildings they heat in small sheds with short smokestacks. Typically, they burn wood to heat liquid (water or water-antifreeze) that is piped to provide heat and hot water to occupied buildings such as homes, barns and greenhouses. Hydronic heaters, however, may also be located indoors and they may use other biomass as fuel (such as corn or wood pellets).
Smoke from redidential wood heaters contains fine particle pollution, also known as fine particulate matter or PM2.5, along with other pollutants including carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), black carbon, and air toxics, such as benzene. Residential wood smoke can increase particle pollution to levels that pose serious health concerns, and in some areas constitutes a significant portion ofthe fine particle pollution problem.
The fine particles in smoke can get deep into the lungs, harming the lungs, blood vessels and heart. People with heart, vascular or lung disease, older adults and children are the most at risk.
Consider lifestyle, size of the unit and location. Also consider local ordinances and regulations or permitting requirements that may apply. Some communities restrict the use of residential hydronic heaters, while some cities, towns or municipalities may require permits for operation and/or installation.
Questions to ask your retailer:
Owners of pre-existing units will be allowed to continue to keep their units provided the units are operated in accordance with state and federal rules and do not pose a public nuisance.
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