Hawley Calls on DEC to Shed Light on Wood Burning Ban

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) has recently called on the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to heed the public’s call and reverse their decision to phase out the use of outdoor wood burning boilers. Plans to outlaw these vital tools for rural New Yorkers were scaled back by the DEC after receiving heavy scrutiny from members of the Assembly Minority Conference. However, the agency is set to force through their new plan with no regard for public input later this week.

“In light of the recent controversy surrounding the DEC, I find it appalling that they would continue to repeat the mistakes of old, rather than turn over a new leaf,” said Hawley. “While my colleagues in the Assembly Minority successfully convinced the DEC to ease the proposed regulations on wood burning boilers, the agency is doing everything they can to keep their latest attempt at overregulation out of the public forum. By holding a hearing with no input from the public, just days before Christmas, the DEC is acknowledging what we all know to be true: banning wood burning boilers is a short-sighted idea that drives up the cost of living for Western New Yorkers yet again.”

Wood burning boilers, which are commonly used on farms and multi-acre properties, are used to convert accessible natural resources into energy for heating homes and businesses. The DEC’s attempt to ban these boilers ignores the impact on people in rural areas like Western New York and serves as yet another example of what happens when the power is taken from the public and given to bureaucracies.

“Time and time again, we see that a lack of transparency in government breeds regressive, anti-business policies,” said Hawley. “Our state’s secretive budget process serves as a shining example of the need to involve the public in all major decisions of this nature. I urge the DEC to do what’s right and halt the ban of wood burning boilers, so that the needs of all New Yorkers are truly represented.”