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Indoor Burning Questions and Answers

***Restrictions Apply November through March***

 

A.

It is exempt if it is a certified EPA Phase II stove or insert, an approved pellet stove or insert, or an approved masonry heater. Most of this information is available on the Approved Indoor Burning Devices page.

 

The lists of Colorado approved pellet stoves and masonry heaters can be found there, as well as a link to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wood stoves webpage, where you can find more information on approved wood stoves.

 

A.

You are exempt only if you reside outside the defined portion of the seven-county Denver-metropolitan area. The program area includes the entire seven-county region of Denver, Boulder, Broomfield, Douglas, Jefferson, and areas west of Kiowa Creek in Adams and Arapahoe counties. Homes above 7,000 feet in elevation are exempt from the restrictions.

 

A.

No. Colorado Regulation No. 4 prohibits the use of uncertified devices, not fuels, on Action Days. Therefore, an uncertified stove, heater, or conventional fireplace, regardless of the type of fuel, may not be operated on Action Days.

 

A.

Only approved pellet stoves are exempt. Check against the list of approved pellet stoves to see if yours is exempt:

 

A.

You should contact your local health department or building department. Most municipalities in the seven-county Denver-metropolitan area have their own ordinances and regulations that include provisions for exemptions. However, they can vary, so you should call your local government.

 

You may also contact:

  • Hugh Davidson, Air Pollution Control Division (APCD)
    • 303- 692-3157

 

A.

No. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved testing must be conducted at an appropriate laboratory. It is done for an entire model line and is quite expensive.

 

A.

Most of this information is available on the Approved Indoor Burning Devices page. The lists of Colorado approved pellet stoves and masonry heaters can be found there, as well as a link to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webpage where you can find more information on approved wood stoves.


You may also contact:

  • Gary Finiol, Air Pollution Control Division (APCD)
    • 303-692-3165.

 

A.

Call the 24-hour indoor burning hotline at 303-692-3280. If the state has jurisdiction, we will contact the suspected violator. If a local municipality has jurisdiction, we will provide representatives with the information you report and the local government will follow up on the complaint.

 

A.

For those areas under state regulation, the enforcement procedure is as follows:

  1. When a complaint is received by the state about an alleged violation, the state sends a letter describing the indoor burning program that urges compliance.
  2. If the party allegedly responsible still does not comply, an investigation occurs.
  3. If investigators find that the responsible party is not complying with regulations, a Notice of Violation is issued. This requires an NOV conference between the responsible party and state regulators.
  4. After the NOV conference, three things can happen: investigators may determine that the party allegedly responsible did not violate regulations, a non-monetary settlement can be reached by which the responsible party agrees to adhere to all indoor burning regulations, or a monetary fine may be assessed. Fines can be up to $15,000 per day. Most likely, any fines assessed will be $100 to $300. Our goal is not to fine people. It is to get people to comply with the regulations. Therefore, every step will be taken to bring people into compliance with regulations rather than issue a fine.

 

The state has enforcement jurisdiction only in those areas that do not have local ordinances that are at least as restrictive as the state regulation. Most of the seven-county Denver-metro area falls under the jurisdiction of a local ordinance or regulation. Contact your city or county government to inquire about local enforcement procedures.

 

Citizens wishing to contribute to the enforcement effort should report suspected violations to the indoor burning hotline at 303-692-3280.

 

A.

No. The 7,000-foot elevation exemption applies only to the use of indoor burning devices, not their sale or installation.

 

A.

If it can be demonstrated by valid manufacturer testing data that the stove is "cleaner" than EPA Phase II standards, then it may be installed and used on Action Days.

 

A.

To achieve EPA Phase II status, a device must meet the following requirements:

  1. Non-catalytic stoves must emit no more than 7.5 grams/hour of particulates.
  2. Stoves equipped with a catalytic device must emit no more than 4.1 grams/hour of particulates.

 

A.

No. Such devices are still subject to Action Day regulations and ordinances. They are not certified wood stoves by definition and only certified wood stoves may be used on Action Days.

 

A.

Yes. However, you may not sell it in the seven-county Denver-metropolitan area. You may sell your wood stove elsewhere in the state of Colorado.

 

A.

You may use it if it is equipped with gas logs, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Phase II insert, an approved pellet insert or an electric device, and if state or local ordinances do not prohibit it.

 

A.

It depends upon whether the wood stove is certified or not. A used, uncertified (non-EPA Phase II) wood stove may not be installed or used in the seven-county Denver-metropolitan area on Action Days. A certified, Phase II stove may be installed and used.

 

A.

No. Even though no additional particulates would be added to the airshed through your move, Regulation No. 4 prohibits the installation of the stove at your new location.

 

A.

Although many pellet stoves burn "cleanly", only those whose manufacturers have performed the required testing and submitted the appropriate paperwork to the state certifying that the pellet stove emits less than 4.1 grams/hour of particulates are approved.

 

A.

You can call the 24-hour Air Quality Advisory hotline during the High Pollution Season at 303-758-4848 for current information. The Air Quality Bulletin hotline at 303-782-0211 also carries current advisory information during the season (and other pollution information year-round). Many local newspapers, radio and television stations also provide updates. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment posts advisories on its website at: