Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
(On CO Website)
New Wood Stoves and the Use of Certain Woodburning Appliances
during High Pollution Days (amended 6/16/06, effective 8/30/06)

Current Plan - 11/19/07

Call Gary Finiol (303 692 3165) or Doug Lemke (303 692 3478)

1) Get on Agenda

2) Minimal approach - Add "or IV, F, 2" to VIII, A, 5. - "any other clean burning device approved by the Commission that meets the emission standard set forth in Section II.A or IV, F, 2.

3) Do we need specific approval by Commission or just apply with test results?

In 2004 the legal advice we got was to prepare a whole package including an "issue statement", "notice", "petition" and "statement of basis" to add another section parallel to the masonry heater section on "New Technology Masonry Fireplaces". Is that what we need? Would we need a separate appendix just like Appendix A only more simple and replace "masonry heater" with "fireplace".

We would prefer to keep it simple. We don't build many Rumford fireplaces in Colorado. Rumfords are as clean-burning as many masonry heaters and they aren't used as much. We only want our fireplaces to be treated fairly, judged by the same standards that stoves and masonry heaters are judged by and be approved if they meet the performance standards set by Regulation #4.

Are the state and Denver currently in compliance with Federal Air Regulations? We've talked with Gregg Thomas, Denver air regulator, who indicated he would be in favor of approving clean-burning fireplaces.

Have there been any metal fireplaces - masonry or metal - that meet the standard set forth in Section II.A that have been approved using this section?

Colorado Air Quality Control Commission
(Commission Members)

Douglas A. Lempke, Administrator
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
Business: 303-692-3478
Fax: 303-691-7702

Theresa L. Martin, Program Assistant
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
Business: 303-692-3476
Fax: 303-691-7702

Air Quality Control Commission procedural rules
Guidebook to the Air Quality Control Commission's rulemaking process
Approved Woodburning Devices

Note: Below are reproduced only those parts of C which affect masonry fireplaces and masonry heaters.

Buckley Rumford fireplaces were approved in Colorado as "masonry heaters". The Rumfords met the 6 g/kg masonry heater performance standard with and without doors but the definition of a masonry heater in Regulation No. 4 would have forced us to burn only with glass doors closed and to add downward and/or horizontal flue gas pathways to the flue.

While we were trying to decide if we wanted to add doors and flue channels, the State of Colorado withdrew their approval (even though we met the performance standard) after a competitor complained that the Rumfords were not tested "in the masonry heater configuration". We still have not decided what to do. We were invited to re-test with the doors and flue channels in place, but maybe we'd rather ask Colorado to revise Regulation No. 4 to make it fair for clean-burning fireplaces.

When tested with glass doors the Rumfords also met the EPA emission rate requirement listed in Section VIII. 6 which reads: "any other clean burning device approved by the Commission which meets the emission standard set forth in Section II.A."

Because a g/hr emission "rate" favors small stoves and is unfair to masonry fireplaces and masonry heaters with large combustion chambers which are fired periodically, what we'd really like is to amend Regulation No. 4 so that Section VIII. 6 reads: "any other clean burning device approved by the Commission which meets the emission standard set forth in Section II.A. (the 7.5 g/hr rate) or the emission standard set forth in Section IV. B. 2. (the 6 g/kg factor)." Then we could use the Rumfords as they were designed - without glass doors. Glass doors only serve to block most of the radiant heat output.

The complete Table of Contents of Regulation No. 4 is reproduced so you can see what's missing. - Jim Buckley 6/29/97



II. Limitation on the sale and installation of wood-burning stoves.


IV. Limitations on the installation and sale of masonry heaters Approval procedures




A. On and after the effective date of this regulation no person shall install any fireplace in any dwelling in the area defined in Section VIII.A. unless it is one of the following:
1. a gas appliance.
2. an electric device.
3. a fireplace insert that meets the requirements set forth in Section II.A.
4. an approved pellet burning fireplace insert.
5. any other clean burning device approved by the Commission that meets the emission standard set forth in Section II.A or IV, F, 2. F. The Division shall grant approval if all information required by Section IV and Appendix A is submitted, and the tested appliance: 1. is a masonry heater, and 2. test results do not exceed 6.0 grams of particulate emissions per kilogram of fuel.
B. This section shall not apply to any municipality or a county, which has a provision in effect on January 1, 1993, which is substantially equivalent of this section as determined by the Commission.



APPENDIX A - Test Method Protocols for Measuring Wood-Burning Masonry Heater Emissions Revision/Update: May 16, 2006

COMMENTARY by Jim Buckley, 1996

Colorado has accepted a 6 grams per kilogram standard, which is a little tougher than the 7.3 grams per kilogram equivalency of the EPA Phase II Stove standard of 7.5 grams per hour. Colorado was the first state to accept a grams per kilogram emissions standard which is much more fair for masonry fireplaces and masonry heaters which tend to have large combustion chambers but are fired periodically or occasionally rather than continuously.

The Masonry Heater Association was instrumental in getting the Colorado standard approved and so the standard only applies to "masonry heaters" as defined in the regulation.

Basically, the definition of a "masonry heater" (definition 12 above) requires that there be one or more tight-fitting doors and masonry flue ducts with a horizontal and/or downward component at least as long as the largest internal firebox dimension.

There also seems to be a way fireplaces might be approved in Section VIII.6, but the emission standard specified is a grams per hour rate rather than a grams per kilogram factor.

Buckley Rumford Fireplaces are clean-burning even without doors and efficient even without horizontal or downward ducts but we have promised we will only build Buckley Rumford fireplaces in Colorado "in the masonry heater configuration" which complies to the letter of the regulation. However....

We think clean-burning and efficient Rumford fireplaces should be judged on performance alone and not be subject to inappropriate and innovation limiting definitions. We are happy to be approved as a "masonry heater" but high intensity radiant heating Rumfords are not "masonry heaters" as that term is general understood and we will be working to amend Regulation No. 4 to either eliminate the restrictive masonry heater definition or add an equivalent grams per kilogram standard to Section VIII.6.

UPDATE, December 27, 1999

In three years nothing has happened at the state level with Regulation #4. We participated in a "Critical Review Team" in 1998 that went nowhere. Margie Perkins, Director of the Air Pollution Control Division never acknowledged my letter to her in August of 1998 and we continued to get approved or denied county by county in the mountains. The last county to approve Rumfords was Grand County and Gary Finiol at the state level was helpful in providing letters that confirmed some of this history of Rumford approval/disapproval at the state level.

Numerous people, including the Grand County Commissioners, Gary and our own lawyer, have urged us to "play along" and just put the zigzags in the flue that would qualify our Rumford as a "masonry heater" according to Regulation #4, so when we had the opportunity to do some more testing we did build a "Rumford-Colorado Masonry Heater". At the eleventh hour, however, Paul Tiegs at OMNI cautioned us:


Just a note to let you know that I just got a message back from Gary Finiol (the Colorado guy). He says that their present interpretation of the rule stands as "in-field testing" is not testing in, at, around, or under a "laboratory". The in-field testing requirement of Regulation 4 is in their words "in a residential/home" setting. They know there is no "laboratory" or even "in-field" definitions provided in the regulation, but as in a lot of these kinds of situations, they also know it takes a lot of time and money (items of which no one has enough of especially in this industry) to challenge their interpretation .

Paul Tiegs

I then asked Gary Finiol to clarify the State's position and he responded:

As it has always said, "in-home field testing" is required by the regulation. Nothing has changed to modify that requirement. I guess you will have to do it that way to meet the bureaucratic requirements.

The "in-home field testing" language was, at the time, thought to be permissive language to "allow" small heater builders to test in home rather than build a $20,000 heater in a lab just to test it. I don't believe the intent was or could have been to disallow more objective testing in a certified laboratory. Gary Finiol had said a few years ago that his office had sought an AG's opinion but never got one.

On and on....... I should keep my blood pressure under control but this is just stonewalling and another example of patently unfair and unequal enforcement of the rules in the hopes that we will go away.

2005 Changes to include Fireplaces Proposed but Withdrawn
2006 Commission Hearing
REG4 fireplace proposal#1A8D8D
Reg 4 fireplace protocol#1A8D8E

The changes made in 2006 at least now allow lab testing. Adding a section that would eccentially ban fireplaces by requir9ng them to be much cleaner than a maosnry heater - since they are presumably only decorative - was withdrawn, according to Gary Finiol, because we hired a lawyer.

See top of page for current strategy ...

Fireplace Emissions
Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
Copyright 1996 - 2007 Jim Buckley
All rights reserved.