Opinions of top wood stove industry insiders revealed in 1998 interviews

[From the blog of PBEA member Alliance for Green Heat] Long before the regulatory debate about wood stoves heated up in the 2010s, the EPA commissioned a series of fascinating interviews with the top wood stove experts in the country on a host of technical and policy issues. These interviews give a glimpse of the opinions and philosophies of industry and academic leaders at a time when they apparently felt free to go on the record about what became controversial topics.

The content of these interviews remains very relevant today for anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes look at many of the underlying issues in the 2015 EPA stove and boiler regulations. The interviewers – Jim Houck and Paul Teigs (who are top experts themselves) – asked questions ranging from whether masonry, pellet, boiler and furnace appliances should be regulated, to the vulnerabilities of catalytic stoves, to how lab testing can better reflect real world use of stoves.

These interviews remain a valuable resource because each of the nine experts was asked the exact same questions. Thus, if you are interested in masonry heaters, or catalytic or pellet stoves, or how labs coax the best numbers from stoves, it is relatively easy to scroll down and see how each person answered the question. Of the nine interviewees, four are from industry (John Crouch, Bob Ferguson, Dan Henry and Michael Van Buren), two from test labs (Rick Curkeet and Ben Myren), two from academia (Skip Hayden and Dennis Jaasma) and one from EPA (Robert C. McCrillis). Their full titles and affiliations are at the end of this blog along with the full list of questions asked.

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