MCAA Receives Favorable Ruling From EPA on Masonry Fireplaces
EPA will not include masonry fireplaces in NSPS
By Tim O’Toole
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided not to pursue the inclusion of masonry site-built fireplaces in the rewriting of the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for new residential wood heaters.
The EPA had been advocating regulation of emissions on all masonry site-built fireplaces constructed in the U.S. This would have been a major change from the original NSPS published in 1988 that exempted fireplaces. The Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) has worked with the Brick Industry Association (BIA) and other interested parties to educate EPA representatives about the masonry site-built market and the implications of regulating that market.
A key component in the EPA’s decision was the agreement of the MCAA to develop an educational series on the proper construction and use of masonry site-built fireplaces to be used in the Masonry Certification program.
Gil Wood, EPA Staff Lead for the NSPS, indicated that the EPA was encouraged by the MCAA’s willingness to add courses on masonry site-built fireplaces to the Masonry Certification curriculum and looked forward to its development and implementation.
The EPA also cited the questionable cost-effectiveness of site-testing every fireplace built and the extent to which small business masons would be affected as reasons to not include masonry site-built fireplaces in the most current draft of the regulation.
About the Author
Tim O’Toole is the Director of Marketing, Education, and Information Technology for the MCAA. He has a Masters in Business Administration from Webster University and has worked in the masonry industry since 2003.