A state agency is pouring $160,000 into a program that helps people in Marysville, Darrington and Everett replace old wood stoves with new heating devices.
The program, launched Monday by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, gives people incentive rebates between $750 and $3,000 to get rid of uncertified wood stoves made before 1990. The program can also be used to replace wood-burning fireplace inserts, wood-burning furnaces and coal-burning stoves and inserts.
Those old heating devices cause air pollution, and can cause and aggravate health problems such as runny noses, bronchitis and asthma attacks.
“People need to be more aware of the environment,” said Marilyn Bradt of Marysville.
Bradt used the program in late 2007 to replace an old wood stove with a gas insert. The stove used to leave sticky residue on drapes and aggravate her son’s asthma.
“Since we had the gas insert, we haven’t been sick,” said Bradt, a Granite Falls Middle School teacher.
The program aims to keep Marysville and Darrington from violating federal air quality health standards, said Amy Warren, a spokeswoman for the clean air agency. The current program will continue until April 30, 2009, or until the money runs out.
“If they have an uncertified wood stove or if they think they do, the first thing they need to do is apply for the program,” Warren said.
This year, the program allocates a $110,000 state grant for Marysville. Darrington gets $30,000 from penalties paid by businesses that violated clean-air rules. Everett gets $20,000 from a settlement between the state Department of Ecology and Kimberly-Clark Corp.
When the program was first offered in Marysville from November 2007 to April 2008, Donald Gray jumped on it. An ancient wood stove had been sitting in his home for a few years after its smoke damaged the home’s chimney.
Gray, 61, said replacing the stove with a new propane stove cost him about $2,750, including a $750 rebate from the clean air agency. He said he couldn’t afford it without the rebate.
“You don’t haul wood,” the Marysville man said. “You don’t pay for wood. It’s cleaner air. It doesn’t smoke out neighbors.”
Air quality tends to be bad in parts of Marysville in wintertime, especially its old downtown area along Third Street, said Doug Buell, a spokesman for the city. The area is surrounded by foothills just north of the Snohomish River; it also has old homes with old wood stoves.
The city of Marysville and Snohomish County PUD are teaming up with the clean air agency to promote the program, Buell said.
“We want a healthier environment for people to breathe easily,” he said.
Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to apply for a rebate
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is offering its latest wood stove replacement program in Marysville, Darrington and Everett. The program’s rebates help people replace old uncertified wood stoves with new heating devices. Those with low incomes can get rebates of $2,800 to $3,000; others can get $750 or $1,500.
Details and an application can be found at www.pscleanair.org/woodstove.replacement or call 888-859-5799.