Shea bill to allow use of woodstoves during emergency power outages gains House approval

A bill that would allow people to use their woodstoves for heat during emergency power outages, regardless of whether a temporary burn ban has been issued, passed the House of Representatives Monday, 97-0.

House Bill 2785 was authored by 4th District Rep. Matt Shea after a severe windstorm in November left more than 250,000 homes in the Spokane/Inland Northwest area without power for several days.

“Some of these people came to me and were afraid they might be penalized for installing a wood stove to protect their family, their health, or their business,” said Shea, R-Spokane Valley. “We want to make sure it is very clear in the law that during an emergency, where there is a massive power outage like we experienced in Eastern Washington, that people don’t have to choose between their health and business or a fine.”

The measure would limit the authority of the Department of Ecology or local air authorities to restrict the installation or use of certain woodstoves during emergency power outages.

The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

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