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Washington County asks residents to give up wood-burning stoves
Washington County has launched a new exchange program for residents who still use wood-burning stoves to heat their homes.
This week the county launched the Wood Stove Exchange Program, which encourages residents to replace the stoves with cleaner, less polluting heating devices.
Last October, the Washington County Board of Commissioners approved new rules to reduce wood smoke within the county, which can be detrimental to your health, said Phillip Bransford, a spokesman for Washington County in a statement.
Wood smoke particles left in the air on cold days can stay near the ground and aggravate breathing for children, the elderly or those with respiratory diseases such as asthma.
The program is open to Washington County households who use old or uncertified wood-burning stoves or a wood stove insert as a heat source.
Oregon began certifying woodstoves to comply with emissions standards back in the 1980s.
Residents can receive a rebate of $1,500 to $3,500 if they replace their old or uncertified wood-burning stove with electric ductless heat pumps, natural gas or pellet stoves or gas furnaces. Participants may also purchase EPA-certified wood-burning stoves.
"The benefits of this exchange program can't be overstated," Washington County Board Chair Andy Duyck said. "Not only will our air quality improve, but families who get new heating devices will have a much more efficient heat source to keep them warm."
The program expects to take in about 700 old stoves over the next five years.
"While there's no hard deadline for applying, we do encourage people to submit their application sooner rather than later," says Housing Rehabilitation Specialist Tim Davis with Washington County's Office of Community Development. "As with most projects, funding is limited."
The program is funded by the American Lung Association in Oregon, Centro Cultural, the cities of Cornelius and Hillsboro, Community Action, Intel, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Oregon Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.
The Washington County Office of Community Development and the Department of Health and Human Services are running the exchange.
Visit www.WoodStoveExchange.com to apply for the program, or call 503-846-4425 for more information.