Air Quality Compliance

Backyard Burning

Under Vermont Air Pollution Regulations, the open burning of natural wood and yard waste from property maintenance, property clearing, and so forth is allowed without a permit from the Air Quality and Climate Division. Open burning of trash is never allowed in Vermont, however, there are still reports of illegal burning across the state.

Dealer Information

If you sell or plan to sell or lease outdoor wood boilers, this page provides much of the information you need to know to ensure that you are complying with Section 5-204 of Vermont's Air Pollution Control Regulations (APCR). Section 5-204 of the APCR, affects OWBs installed after October 1, 1997. Prior to that date OWBs in Vermont were subject only to a generic regulation regarding public nuisances or odors caused by air pollution sources.

Science and Testing

The science of air pollution is very complex and technical. Below is a "Technical Primer" giving the basics to help to interpret the research and technical documents.  See the links below for associated documents regarding the science and testing of OWBs.

Health And Environment

While all smoke is harmful, uncertified OWBs generate more particulate pollution than indoor wood stoves.  The units are designed to burn wood at lower combustion temperatures and generally have shorter stacks which emit smoke at house level. Wood smoke releases fine particulates ("soot"), carbon monoxide, and other toxic pollutants. While the new certified OWBs produce less smoke, wood yard with outdoor wood boilersmoke in any form is a potential human health problem.

Outdoor Wood Boilers

outdoor wood boiler and adjacent wood shedWith the high cost of heating oil, more Vermonters are looking to wood as a source of heat and hot water, but not all wood heat is the same. While indoor wood stoves have been tested and certified by the EPA for emissions since 1990, testing and certification of more efficient outdoor wood boilers (OWBs) is a more recent development.

Gasoline Vapor Recovery

Gasoline vapors are released to the atmosphere every time a fuel tank is filled with gasoline. This happens when filling a large underground storage tank as well as the fuel tank of a motor vehicle. Vermont adopted regulations, referred to as Stage I and Stage II vapor recovery, to require the control of these vapor emissions.

filling fuel tanks at gas station

Open Burning

Under the Air Pollution Control Regulations, the open burning of natural wood from property maintenance, clearing of property, and so forth is allowed without a permit from the Air Quality & Climate Division. The open burning of some materials, including wood waste from demolition activities at a business, industry, farm or a private residence, is also allowed but requires a permit. If a permit is issued, it generally will be for the burning of wood only, and only in locations where the smoke will not cause a potential nuisance or health concern.


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