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Lawmakers Consider Taking Wood Burning Regulation Out of the Hands of the DEQ

Flickr: Rich Misner

The legislature will be considering several air quality bills this session, including a newly proposed bill that would turn some of the states current wood burning restrictions into law.

The language of Republican Rep. Brad Dee’s bill has not yet been released to the public, but he says it would essentially outlaw wood burning only in non-attainment counties and only when the air quality exceeds EPA standards. If the bill were to pass it would supersede any rule made by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, but Dee says it’s not his intention to take away their rulemaking authority entirely.

“But in this particular instance, as I think has been proven in the last few days, they’ve probably overstepped and maybe gone a little too far.”

What Dee is referring to, is the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s recently scrapped proposal to ban wood burning statewide.

“When they make a rule and it all of the sudden over the state of Utah puts thousands, not hundreds, but thousands of people into public hearings on what this rule means to them in their area, I think we as a legislature take notice.”

Bryce Bird is the air quality director for the DEQ. He says regardless of what the legislature does, his department will continue to do what they can to help clean up the air.

“We look forward to having the ability to provide input and also provide some of the feedback that we received as part of our public comment process.”

The bill should be numbered and made available to the public by the end of the week. 

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