Connecticut is a state looking for renewable energy sources, where wood is in abundant supply. But one method of heating with renewable fuel, outdoor wood furnaces, could be all but banned under terms of a bill to be introduced next General Assembly session.
State Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, co-chair of the General Assembly's Environment Committee, said he has received so many complaints about the units, which resemble small metal sheds with round stacks, that he will introduce a bill to outlaw them for everyone but farmers.
"I was getting messages from homeowners who were extremely concerned about smoke that was coming into their homes from wood burning furnaces," Meyer said. The furnaces currently are banned by local regulation in 14 towns.
The Connecticut Farm Bureau will oppose Meyer's bill despite its plan to exempt farmers, said Steven Reviczky, executive director of the non-profit group representing about 4,000 farmers. He said wood harvesting itself is farming, and a ban would eliminate a market for locally-produced renewable energy.