14.28.040 General standards for installation, reconstruction and replacement.
A. It shall be unlawful to install, replace or reconstruct a wood-burning appliance unless it is one of the following:
From: Wayne Wirick [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: March 11, 2009
To: Customer: Subject: Question Regarding Rumford fireplaces in Sonoma
Thank you for giving us some time to review the documentation and the request to install a Rumford type fireplace in a residence within Sonoma. I've reviewed the documentation and determined that the Rumford fireplaces do not meet the requirements of Sonoma Municipal Code Section 14.28.040 and therefore may not legally be installed. Section 14.28.040 is reprinted below for your reference. The Rumford fireplaces do not meet any of the tests set forth in A.1 through A.4 below. Additionally, I spoke to a representative with the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District and clearly the Rumford fireplaces are not even close to being certified as an approved wood-burning appliance by that agency. Currently, the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District, like Sonoma, only allows wood-burning appliances that are EPA certified. The list of EPA certified appliances can be found at the following link: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/monitoring/programs/caa/whcert.html
Thank you for the City of Sonoma rules. I will post them on our emissions page linked from http://www.rumford.com/emissions/index.htm
The rules the Building Official, Wayne Wirick, sent represent a version of the Model Ordinance prepared by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in 2001 that said it was not a ban on fireplaces - it just would require fireplaces to pass a non-existent standard - "4. A fireplace certified by the EPA, should the EPA develop a fireplace certification program." That was the basis of our lawsuit against San Jose and Palo Alto which were the first two cities to adopt the "non ban ban" model ordinance.
The Colorado and Washington fireplace emissions rules were designed to be appropriate for fireplaces and equivalent to the rules the EPA uses to regulate wood-stoves. The EPA does not regulate fireplaces but they did participate in the development of the Colorado and Washington rules. Most of us think these standards are a pretty good equivalency and so certifies our third party independent EPA certified test lab in our test results at http://www.rumford.com/testRumfordresults.html
Wayne Wirick apparently buys into George Erdman's personal biases about open fireplaces when he makes the gratuitous remark that "clearly the Rumford fireplaces are not even close to being certified as an approved wood-burning appliance by that agency." Every time we pass the Northern Sonoma County standard they change the rules. See http://www.rumford.com/emissions/testing.html and http://www.rumford.com/emissions/RumfordRules.html
Up against this kind of premeditated bias, I don't know if I can help you unless your client is willing to appeal Wayne Wirick's decision or take the issue to court. It's not clear to me if the City of Sonoma is bound by Northern Sonoma County air quality rules or not. Taking the rules at face value I would apply for a permit on the basis of our test results at http://www.rumford.com/testRumfordresults.html which our test lab asserts are equivalent to the EPA stove standard and follow the recommendations we make at http://www.rumford.com/emissions/procedures.html
Before a reasonable official, supervisor, board or judge, I think we would have a good chance of winning an appeal based on our current testing - or based on the testing we are about to begin pursuant to the new ASTM E2558 fireplace emissions standard, which is as close as the EPA will get to developing "a fireplace certification program." See http://www.rumford.com/emissions/index.htm
Let me know how I can help.
Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
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