Seward Renews Call For Open Review Of OWB Regs

ONEONTA, 12/20/10 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) is again calling on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to conduct a full, open review of proposed outdoor wood boiler (OWB) regulations.

“Energy costs are rising on a daily basis and upstate homeowners and farmers struggling to make ends meet are constantly searching for economical and environmentally sound methods to keep expenses in check,” said Senator Seward.  “I appreciate the Department of Environmental Conservation’s efforts in revising outdoor wood boiler regulations but local concerns have not been adequately addressed.”

Senator Seward sent a letter to the DEC in May detailing specific objections to proposed regulations governing the manufacture, sale and use of outdoor wood boilers (OWB).  Seward says many of those concerns have not been fully considered, and further, the process has been closed to elected officials and the general public.

“The DEC has failed to hold a new public comment period on the revised regulations as promised during an October meeting of the Environmental Review Board,” added Seward.  “In fact, with less than two days before the planned vote on the revised regulations they have yet to be posted on the DEC website – a complete lack of transparency.”

In a second letter, Seward reiterates concerns with the revised regulations and calls on DEC Acting Commissioner Peter Iwanowicz to delay consideration until a complete review and public comment period are held.

“Clean air is one of the reasons many people choose to live and work in upstate New York.  To that end, these same residents and their elected officials must be fairly consulted when government decides to enact regulations that impact their daily lives.

“Suspending the vote on revised OWB regulations until they receive a full public review is necessary to ensure a proper balance between clean air and allowing upstate residents to make use of affordable, renewable energy sources like outdoor wood boilers,” Seward concluded.


The complete letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is attached.