Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
Nevada County, CA

County Ordinance #2099 (pdf) of of the Nevada County General Code, Chapter IV, General Regulations, Article 14A Wood Stoves and Fireplaces.


To: Jim Buckley
From: John Boyd
Subject: Nevada County California Fireplace
Date: Fri, 25 May 2007

Hi Jim,

About a year ago you advised me that the Nevada County, CA. building dept. had approved a rumford fireplace in Truckee. You shared a couple letters and test results that had been given to the building dept., and you asked me to let you know the outcome of our application with Nevada County. We just picked up the plans today and two rumford fireplaces have been approved for our home. We're going with a 48" in the great room and a 30" in the study based on your recommendations.

You had also said something about a good mason in the Truckee area. Our contractor works in the Truckee area and is interested in talking with someone experienced with building a rumford. Can you share the masons name and contact information? We'll be breaking ground next week and things should progress quickly after that. Looking forward to hearing from you.

John


Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005
From: "D.E. Montagne"
To: buckley@rumford.com
Subject: Nevada County Ord#2099

Jim,

I was able to download the Nevada County General Code from the County website. I have extracted the pages that deal with the implementation of County Ordinance #2099. See attached pdf of of the Nevada County General Code, Chapter IV, General Regulations, Article 14A Wood Stoves and Fireplaces.

Regarding the issue of Rumfords, note "Definition" which defines what constitutes an "EPA Phase II certified appliance". It allows for non-certified fireplaces if evidence is supplied, including manufacturer's documentation, that it is at least an equivalent alternative.

I don't know if the Omni report you have would be considered "manufacturer's documentation" for this use.

Also under "Standards for Solid Fuel Burning Appliances" the following is stated: "All new solid fuel burning appliances shall be EPA Phase II certified appliances or such alternate appliances meeting or exceeding EPA clean air emission standards as the Chief Building Inspector may approve."

Note that these two changes allowing for equivalency are amendments of Ord#2099 and were created by ordinance # 2163 adopted 11/23/04. This immediately post-dates the correspondence regarding Nevada County's attitude towards Rumfords that you have posted on your website. Perhaps you moved them on this issue...

Dave


6/4/04
JDrew7140@aol.com
John,

Below is my correspondence with the building official in Nevada County on behalf of another customer. Part of my confusion was that I didn't know where Nevada County was. I now understand from yet another customer, Mike Kerton (Kerton Construction), that Truckee is in Nevada County. We have a "careful" relationship with officials in Truckee in that our customers seem to have better luck getting approval than we do - possibly because they are more attentive to tax-payers than outside agitators.

Anyway, all I know about Placer County and Truckee is on line at http://www.rumford.com/emissions/Tahoe.html and http://www.rumford.com/emissions/Truckee.html

It's my understanding that Placer County will accept the equivalency standard used in most of the rest of California and corralled in the California Manual at http://www.rumford.com/manualca.html.

Trukee has a more rigid standard forcing fireplaces to meet an inappropriate stove "smolder" standard. Fortunately two of our Rumford models, with closed doors do meet this standard and we have developed a modified manual specifically for Truckee at http://www.rumford.com/manualgh.html

What we know about Nevada County is, again, below. All said and done, I have not followed up with the Regional Air Resources Control Board as Don Schlining suggested, but, as I said, our customers seem to have some success getting approval for our three "Certified Rumfords". I recommend printing out the cover letter and test results at http://www.rumford.com/testRumfordresults.html and submitting them with your application for a building permit. Maybe you will get the permit. If not, let me know and I will talk with the official and/or follow up with the Regional Air Resources Control Board and go from there.

Best,
Jim Buckley

PS: Michael and Susan - Did you ever get approval? Can you shed any light?

***************************

BACKGROUND

To: Michael McDonald , "Susan Slate"
From: Jim Buckley
Subject: Fwd: Re: Nevada County. CA

Susan and Michael,

So far so good. Don sounds reasonable.

Best,
Jim Buckley

Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2004 12:40:06 -0700
From: "Don Schlining"
To:
Subject: Re: Nevada County. CA

Hello Jim,

Thanks for the e-mail. I will send you a copy of Ordinance 2099. This ordinance was drafted by the Regional Air Resources Control Board, I will attempt to include a name and phone number so you can contact them regarding any proposed changes.  Let me know if you have any further questions.

Regards, Don Schlining, Building Plans Examiner

>>> Jim Buckley 6/4/2004 12:03:20 PM >>> Dear Mr. Don Schlining,

You are absolutely correct in that fireplaces cannot be "EPA Certified" since the EPA specifically exempts fireplaces - and other wood-burning appliances. There is no EPA "fireplace standard". The EPA only certifies a small range of air-tight wood stoves and they wouldn't regulate them except that they were forced to by a law suit brought many years ago by the Lung Association that was concerned about the new "European air-tight stoves" that smoldered and polluted.

More recently, many places with air quality problems do want to regulate fireplaces and other wood-burning appliances. The states of Colorado and Washington and some areas within California, Nevada and Arizona regulate fireplaces. Working with these states and other areas, and with the EPA, and with a couple of EPA Certified testing labs, the industry has developed alternative, fireplace-appropriate, emissions standards.

Our Rumford fireplaces have been tested to these accepted fireplace standards by OMNI, an EPA Certified testing lab in Portland Oregon, and the results are published on line at http://www.rumford.com/testRumfordresults.html There you will note that the Rumfords were generally much cleaner than they had to be to pass the fireplace standard of 7.3 grams of PM10 per kilogram of fuel burned which has been established to be the equivalent of the EPA 7.5g/hr rate standard for stoves. Our Rumfords have proved to be cleaner than most stoves so we think that our Rumfords should be permitted anywhere that EPA certified stoves are permitted.

If your concern is, as Mr. McDonald suggests, that a field-constructed fireplace will be difficult to regulate, rest assured that we have good control by specifying a combustion air system, a door that insures the proper opening size and a throat and smoke chamber that dictate the rest of the dimensions that make the fireplace burn clean. And we provide a label on the door frame with a specific serial number and the relevant emissions information. See Manual at http://www.rumford.com/manualca.html

Please reconsider your decision not to approve a permit for the "Certified Rumford" our customer, Ms. Susan Slate has applied for. If the language of your ordinance doesn't permit you to approve this fireplace, please send me a copy of your ordinance (the last version I have is the 1997 Southern Nevada Building Code) so that we may evaluate our options to propose changes to the ordinance or to appeal your decision.

Very truly yours,
Jim Buckley

>Can the fireplace be built at the Rumford factory "kit" then
>installed on-site? There must be a way around this perhaps without
>asking Nevada County to change their policy if in fact that is a
>policy.
>
>Susan - is it a kit issue and emmissions issue not that it is a wood
>burning fireplace?
>
>Thank you all for you help with this.
>Michael (your customer) McDonald
>
>Susan Slate wrote:
>
>Hello,
>
>As you suggested, I took the emissions letter and test results to
>the Nevada County Building Dept to get approval for a Rumford
>fireplace in CA. I gave the info to Don Schlining (a plans
>examiner). He reviewed it with the Building Official who said that
>anything built on site is not considered EPA certified. Therefore no
>approval.
>
>Can you contact him directly to clarify any questions/concerns? It
>would be greatly appreciated.
>
>Don Schlining 530-470-2711
>don.schlining@co.nevada.ca.us
>
>Thanks for your assistance,
>Susan Slate
>

6/4/04

Hello Jim,

Thanks for the e-mail. I will send you a copy of Ordinance 2099. This ordinance was drafted by the Regional Air Resources Control Board, I will attempt to include a name and phone number so you can contact them regarding any proposed changes. Let me know if you have any further questions.

Regards,
Don Schlining, Building Plans Examiner


6/4/04

Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2004 12:40:06 -0700 From: "Don Schlining" To: Subject: Re: Nevada County. CA

Dear Mr. Don Schlining,

You are absolutely correct in that fireplaces cannot be "EPA Certified" since the EPA specifically exempts fireplaces - and other wood-burning appliances. There is no EPA "fireplace standard". The EPA only certifies a small range of air-tight wood stoves and they wouldn't regulate them except that they were forced to by a law suit brought many years ago by the Lung Association that was concerned about the new "European air-tight stoves" that smoldered and polluted.

More recently, many places with air quality problems do want to regulate fireplaces and other wood-burning appliances. The states of Colorado and Washington and some areas within California, Nevada and Arizona regulate fireplaces. Working with these states and other areas, and with the EPA, and with a couple of EPA Certified testing labs, the industry has developed alternative, fireplace-appropriate, emissions standards.

Our Rumford fireplaces have been tested to these accepted fireplace standards by OMNI, an EPA Certified testing lab in Portland Oregon, and the results are published on line at http://www.rumford.com/testRumfordresults.html There you will note that the Rumfords were generally much cleaner than they had to be to pass the fireplace standard of 7.3 grams of PM10 per kilogram of fuel burned which has been established to be the equivalent of the EPA 7.5g/hr rate standard for stoves. Our Rumfords have proved to be cleaner than most stoves so we think that our Rumfords should be permitted anywhere that EPA certified stoves are permitted.

If your concern is, as Mr. McDonald suggests, that a field-constructed fireplace will be difficult to regulate, rest assured that we have good control by specifying a combustion air system, a door that insures the proper opening size and a throat and smoke chamber that dictate the rest of the dimensions that make the fireplace burn clean. And we provide a label on the door frame with a specific serial number and the relevant emissions information. See Manual at http://www.rumford.com/manualca.html

Please reconsider your decision not to approve a permit for the "Certified Rumford" our customer, Ms. Susan Slate has applied for. If the language of your ordinance doesn't permit you to approve this fireplace, please send me a copy of your ordinance so that we may evaluate our options to propose changes to the ordinance or to appeal your decision.

Very truly yours,
Jim Buckley


Can the fireplace be built at the Rumford factory "kit" then installed on-site? There must be a way around this perhaps without asking Nevada County to change their policy if in fact that is a policy.

Susan - is it a kit issue and emmissions issue not that it is a wood burning fireplace?

Thank you all for you help with this.
Michael (your customer) McDonald

Susan Slate wrote:

Hello (Jim),

As you suggested, I took the emissions letter and test results to the Nevada County Building Dept to get approval for a Rumford fireplace in CA. I gave the info to Don Schlining (a plans examiner). He reviewed it with the Building Official who said that anything built on site is not considered EPA certified. Therefore no approval.

Can you contact him directly to clarify any questions/concerns? It would be greatly appreciated.

Don Schlining 530-470-2711
don.schlining@co.nevada.ca.us

Thanks for your assistance,
Susan Slate

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