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Oregon Sues EPA Over Wood Stove Rules

Oregon is accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of dragging its feet in coming up with new wood-stove regulations. The state announced a lawsuit Wednesday against the federal agency.

Oregon was joined in the legal action by six other states, along with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency in the Seattle-area.

Jeff Manning of the Oregon Department of Justice says those 25-year-old rules should be updated to require sales of newer, cleaner-burning stoves. But Manning says that doesn't mean people will have to give up their current stoves.

"This is not a deal where federal agents or state employees are going to be rushing people's homes and nabbing the old beater wood stove out," Manning says. "The existing stoves that are out there would essentially be grandfathered in."

A 2009 survey by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality found that just over a third of Oregon households use either wood-burning stoves or fireplaces on a regular basis. The EPA says it's reviewing the lawsuit and is in the process of developing new rules.

On the Web:

Oregon DEQ's info on wood-burning stoves: