Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
It’s the last day of UPR’s spring member drive and we need your help to reach our goal. GIVE NOW to help UPR cross the finish line!

Wood Burning Ban Will Not Move Forward as Proposed

Jennifer Pemberton

With less than a week left for Northern Utahns to comment on a proposed winter wood burning ban, the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is acknowledging that the proposal will not move forward as written.

DAQ Director Bryce Bird told legislators on Monday that the overwhelming feedback received at public hearings in the seven affected northern Utah counties has made it obvious that the proposed rule needs to head in a different direction.

The rule was originally crafted after the DAQ held wood burning workshops to get input on how a ban might affect residents along the Wasatch Front. The workshops were not well attended. Less than thirty people showed up and none of them were daily wood burners, and that feedback is what the Division used to inform the proposal.

“Many people at the hearings let me know that we overreached on that proposal," says Bird. "But what it provided was an opportunity for them to give feedback. Instead of having less than 30 people interested in wood burning, now we have thousands interested in wood-burning.”

Bird says during the comment period the Air Quality Board learned more about the health impacts of wood burning and was made aware of areas not served by regulated utilities. The revised rule will take a wider variety of Utah communities and lifestyles into account.

The good news is that “the public process worked as it should," says Bird. The DAQ held public hearings and a public comment period . "We can take that information and re-address it with the benefit of that information. I think it's how rule-making is supposed to be done."

The Division of Air Quality is accepting written comments about the proposed rule through February 9 and will take several months to compile the information. The bottom line, Bird told legislators, is that the proposal will not move forward as it is currently written.