Residents in Montreal have recently been required to register all fireplaces and wood-burning stoves as part of a plan by the city to enforce tighter air-pollution regulations. By the year 2018, all wood-burning appliances will be banned unless they are compliant with strict emissions standards.
Citizens who have failed to register their wood-burning fireplaces or stoves have been hit with a fine of up to $500. The city government warned its residents by sending out letters to people who are suspected of having such appliances in their homes. In total, more than 47,000 letters were sent out. As of late last month, over 23,000 people had responded online.
Starting in 2018, all wood-burning appliances must meet the strict emission standard of producing 2.5 grams of fine particles or less per hour. Those devices that do not meet this standard will be banned. When it goes into effect, this law is expected to be one of the strictest standards in all of North America. Updating an outdated stove or fireplace to meet the standard typically costs between $2,000 and $8,000.
Additionally, the law will also mandate that wood-burning appliances not operate on smog days, in which rates of air pollution are considered to be particularly high. Also, non-compliant wood-burning appliances will still be acceptable for usage in emergency situations, where a power outage lasts more than three hours.
Similar measures have also been taken by the city of Dorval. The law in Dorval went into effect last month. With the law, any new conventional fireplace or wood-burning stove that is installed in Dorval must be certified by the appropriate regulators and not exceed the emission standard of 2.5 grams of fine particles per hour. By December of 2018, it will be illegal to use any wood-burning appliance that does not meet this standard.
It is estimated that such wood-burning appliances are responsible for producing nearly half of the fine particles in the air. Such fine particles have been found to contain small amounts of toxic substances that have been proven to result in adverse health effects.