Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 23.1

GreenStep City Best Practices: Environmental Management
Local Air Quality No. 23

Prevent generation of local air contaminants so as to improve community health.

Best Practice Action 1

Conduct an education/financial assistance campaign around one of the following residential wood burning/auto exhaust issues:

a. Indoor and outdoor wood burning behavior, to ensure that wood burning is only done with seasoned wood and in a manner that lessens the impact on neighbors.
b. Indoor wood burning technology, to result in community members upgrading from inefficient/more polluting fireplaces and wood stoves to pellet/gas/biogas devices, air source heat pumps, or the most efficient certified wood stoves.
c. Smoker cars - older model/high polluting vehicles, to result in repairs spurred by repair vouchers.

  • MPCA resources on residential wood burning and U.S EPA Burn Wise resources provide specific information detailing health effects, cleaner burning practices and public awareness toolkits that can be customized for Minnesota. See the EPA's 2013 Strategies for Reducing Residential Wood Smoke, which includes information on regulatory options and examples, wood stove and fireplace change-outs, funding options, hydronic heaters (including outdoor wood boilers) and fireplace programs, and emissions and air quality improvements. Included are best practices such as burning seasoned wood that contains less than 20% moisture.
  • An outreach campaign might partner or be run by chimney sweeps, who are in people's houses and can recommend cleaner burning techniques and technologies, potentially incentivized by the city.
  • The wood stove appliance standards from Washington State are recommended. See also current U.S. EPA-certified wood stoves and cleaner burning fireplaces. Some stove manufacturers, such as Lamppa Manufacturing stove works in Tower, MN, already exceed EPA's Phase 2 certification, which goes into effect in May 2020.
  • Environmental Initiative’s NE Minnesota Project Stove Swap is a voluntary program that provides financial incentives to consumers and businesses to replace old wood heating appliances with new, more efficient, less-polluting technologies. Across Minnesota one-third of homes are heated without natural gas, and use wood, fuel oil, bottle/tank propane, and electricity-alone. New high-efficiency air source heat pumps (ASHPs) run by electricity can replace these non-natural gas fuels and operate with outdoor temperatures as low as -13 degrees F. Financial payback for installing ASHPs is short when an existing heating or cooling system needs to be replaced. If replacing propane, total heating costs/energy reduced is in the range of 28% to 54%.
  • An estimated 25% of passenger vehicles cause 90% of local mobile air pollution, mostly due to older cars having outdated or broken emission controls and exhaust equipment. During 2016-17 Environmental Initiative partnered with two local nonprofit garages in the Twin Cities to pilot a project to reduce emissions from older passenger vehicles of lower-income residents.
1 star Conduct an education campaign (including website information and other media releases or outreach techniques) on the health risks of wood burning, including the steps needed to mitigate those risks; conduct a similar campaign on "smoker" cars.
2 star Conduct an education campaign (1 Star rating) and offer financial assistance for decommissioning older fireplaces or wood-burning equipment.
3 star Achieve a 2-Star rating AND document quantitative environmental outcomes.

Who's doing it

Red Wing - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In 2010 the city held public meetings and established new requirements for outdoor wood boilers that establishes standards for burning wood with low water content.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Paul Drotos (City staff) | paul.drotos@ci.red-wing.mn.us | 651-410-6744
Partners:
Edina - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Complete: In an effort to educate the public on the dangers of wood smoke and to set an example to the community, at the Nov.15, 2011 Edina City Council meeting, Council agreed to convert the two indoor wood burning fireplaces in the Centrum of the Hughes Pavilion, to gas. This generated much educational publicity in the Edina Sun Current, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and local Blogs. The conversion was complete in time for the winter 2011/12 season. The payback period for converting to gas was documented to be 7 years.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Tara Brown (City staff) | tbrown@edinamn.gov | (952)826-1621
Partners:
Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In 2007, FDL received a grant to retrofit our diesel fleet. These on and off road construction vehicles were retrofitted with pollution control equipment in the form of diesel oxidation catalysts.

FDL is also working to implement a no idling policy reservation wide.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
FDL operates four outdoor monitors that measure the concentrations of air pollutants on the reservation. This includes O-Zone monitoring, nitrogen oxides, fine particulate monitoring, and mercury deposition.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shannon Judd (City staff) | shannonjudd@fdlrez.com | 218-878-7123
Partners:
Hastings - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
We have educational materials/pamphlets for the public.  In addition, this information is attached to our open burning permits and on the city website.
There is also educational materials/pamphlets for the public relating to the installation of stoves.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Schutt (City staff) | mschutt@hastingsmn.gov | 651-480-6154
Partners:
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The Leech Lake Environmental Department has a burn wise campaign that teaches how burning the right wood, the right way, in the right wood-burning appliance can protect your home, health, and the air around us.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brandy Toft (City staff) | air@lldrm.org | 218-335-7429
Partners:
New Hope - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
West Metro Fire-Rescue District has educational materials for recreational burning listed on their website.

The city published a story on recreational burning guidelines in September of 2018 on the city's website. It included information on New Hope's rules and guidelines related to recreational fires.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jeff Alger (City staff) | jalger@ci.new-hope.mn.us | 763-531-5119
Partners:
Roseville - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city's website encourages residents to "think clean" when burning. Tips include use the right fuel and notes that manufactured fire logs burn cleaner than firewood.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson (City staff) | Ryan.johnson@cityofroseville.com | 651-792-7049
Partners: