Sonney Introduces Wood-Fired Burner Legislation

Erie County lawmaker claims DEP regulations are costly and wasteful


State Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Harborcreek) has introduced legislation that would prohibit the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from implementing regulations on the use of wood-fired furnaces and boilers. The Erie County lawmaker testified Wednesday in Coudersport at a Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board hearing on the matter.


“The regulations that DEP is proposing represent everything our citizens despise about big government,” Sonney said. “The department is attempting to force Pennsylvanians to unnecessarily reach deeper into their pockets during difficult economic times, and is overstepping its boundaries in trying to put into place laws while many of our municipalities are already confronting the issue in their own backyards.”


DEP wants to regulate the height of burner stacks, the level of particulate matter emitted by these burners, their distance from property lines and the time of year these furnaces and boilers can be used.

Sonney’s legislation challenges each of these mandates, as well as the need for regulations in light of the numerous local governments that already address the issue within their own municipalities.


“Wood-fired furnaces and boilers are being used by many people as a low-cost method of heating their homes and running their businesses,” commented Sonney. “With family businesses and finances already stretched, the last thing we should be doing is asking them to spend more of their hard-earned money, be it to meet further standards with regard to their energy needs or in forcing them to look for other more costly means of heating.


“I’ve heard from a great number of constituents on this issue, and we’re simply asking DEP to listen to those requests and hold off on their effort,” he said.


Sonney currently has 27 co-sponsors on his legislation.


Rep. Curt Sonney
4th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(717) 783-9087

(814) 664-9126

Contact:  Scott B. Little
 House Republican Public Relations
(717) 260-6137