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Provincial money for Central Okanagan wood stove replacement program

The Regional District of Central Okanagan, in partnership with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, is receiving $22,000 from the provincial wood stove exchange program to encourage residents to replace their old wood stoves with cleaner burning models that will improve personal health and air quality, Environment Minister Terry Lake announced today.

"By upgrading to a new stove and following the tips to burn smarter, British Columbians can ensure better air quality in their communities and a more positive effect on their own health," said Environment Minister Terry Lake in making the announcement.

The two regional districts, and 12 other participating communities and regional districts are receiving a total of more than $192,000 in grant funding from the Ministry of Environment to support their woodstove exchange goals for 2013. The goal is to have close to 700 stoves exchanged across the province in the

coming year.

Since 2008, the B.C. government has partnered with the BC Lung Association to run the wood stove exchange program. To-date, the B.C. government has put over $1.8 million towards the program which has resulted in over 5,000 old wood stoves successfully replaced.

There are approximately 116,000 older model stoves currently in use around the province that can affect the health of homeowners, their neighbours and overall air shed health. As the nights get longer and the

weather gets colder, many British Columbians will be sparking up these wood-burning stoves for warmth; however, before doing so, it is important to remember some helpful tips to make burning more efficient while maintaining good air quality and personal health.

For example, always use dry well-seasoned wood that is cut into small pieces - seasoned wood can provide as much as 15 per cent more heat than the same amount of unseasoned wood. It also significantly reduces air pollution. By burning smaller, hotter fires to ensure complete combustion

of the wood, there should be very little visible smoke coming from the chimney and no smell of smoke indoors. It is also important to have any wood-burning appliances inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a certified technician.

In B.C., all new wood stoves and inserts sold must meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA) emission standards. New emissions-certified wood stoves burn one-third less wood; and reduce smoke and particulates entering the atmosphere by up to 90

percent.

More than 5,000 wood-burning stoves have been replaced by cleaner burning models since the Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program began five years ago - this equates to a reduction of more than 310 tonnes of

particulate matter pumped into the air.

The communities and regional districts receiving grants for the 2013 wood exchange program are:

• Regional District Central Okanagan and Regional District Okanagan

Similkameen

• Campbell River

• Cowichan Valley Regional District

• Kimberley and Cranbrook

• Golden

• Mackenzie

• Port Alberni

• Metro Vancouver

• Prince George

• Regional District of Nanaimo

• Regional District of Central Kootenay

• Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

• Sunshine Coast o Valemount

 

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