MALTA: Residents steamed at boiler proposal

"I have asthma. It's just a health problem when you have a high-density smoke-emitting system," he said.

Lavery said he's asked the Department of Environmental Conservation to correct the problems.

"I'd like to commend the board for tackling this issue," Lavery said.

Homeowners using wood boilers acknowledge that there is the potential for problems if the user is burning something other than wood and indicated that use of the proper materials should be mandated.

"If you burn good clean wood, there is hardly any smoke," said Tom Bradbury.

Ernie Balch added, "I can understand if you burn rubber tires, garbage or plastic. It can smell bad."

Mary Ellen Ward said her family purchase an outdoor wood boiler 10 years ago when faced with replacing the home's wood stove.

"It's a more effective way to heat our home than the wood stove ever was," she said. Ward said the board's stated mission to preserve the town's rural character was "questionable" when it comes to legislating the wood boilers.

"We've lost in Malta what rural America is all about," Ward said.

Chris Raynor, who sells wood boiler units, told the board he agreed with placing restrictions on the units, but he did not think banning them was a solution.

"All wood boilers are not created equal," he said.

Raynor said that manufacturing companies are working to make their products compliant with Environmental Protection Act requirements.

"They are going to be coming out with cleaner units," Raynor said.

Resident Bruce Carlton said, "I think Malta would be well served by being cautious about restrictions." He suggested the town look toward improvements in efficiency.

The discussion will continue at a workshop schedule for Tuesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. ""

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