On June 10, 2019, Governor Scott signed into law Act 50 which establishes milestones for the regulation and oversight of certain Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) wood heaters (a.k.a. boilers) in the State of Vermont.
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.
If you sell or plan to sell or lease outdoor hydronic heaters, 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 outdoor hydronic heaters installed after October 1, 1997. Prior to that date outdoor hydronic heaters in Vermont were subject only to a generic regulation regarding public nuisances or odors caused by air pollution sources.
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, many specifically dealing with outdoor hydronic heaters.
While all smoke is harmful, uncertified outdoor hydronic heaters tend to generate more particulate pollution than most other wood burning devices including indoor wood stoves. The units are designed to burn wood at lower combustion temperatures and generally have shorter stacks that emit smoke at house level. Wood smoke releases fine particulates ("soot"), carbon monoxide, and other toxic pollutants.
Using wood to heat our homes is common practice for many Vermonters whether it be with cordwood or wood pellets. According to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation’s Vermont Residential Fuel Assessment: 2014-2015, 38% of Vermont households burned wood for at least some of their space heating needs.
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.