Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
San Luis Obispo, CA

(Adopted 10/19/93)
Also copied at the bottom of this page.

Also copied at the bottom of this page.

1997 Letter of Disapproval of Rumford Fireplaces

Ban masquerading as a standard
Buereaucratic runaround, 2001
Harassment of customers
Dangerous and illegal requirements for gas log installation
Update, 2007 - intransigence
Struggle in 2008 - customer hired a lawyer

Paul Reitz
San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District
3433 Roberto Ct.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

October, 1999

Paul Reitz is an air quality engineer who got his masters degree from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and did his thesis on fireplace emissions. Since the standard fireplaces he tested were not very clean nor efficient, he seemingly cannot be convinced that a Rumford fireplace can burn clean and efficiently. He also will not accept a grams per kilogram "emission factor" as an appropriate measure for fireplaces, insisting on an "emissions rate" of 7.5 grams per hour, which is the EPA Phase II standard for stoves. A "rate" penalizes masonry heaters and fireplaces which have larger combustion chambers and burn wood faster but are periodically fired rather than continuously fired.

We think Paul should accept the Washington Fireplace Standard, even if it is not perfect, until Paul or someone else develops a better standard. The Washington Fireplace Standard is the only fireplace standard in existence and our Rumford fireplaces passed it and are approved in the state of Washington.

Paul has told us that if our Rumford fireplaces are tested to the Northern Sonoma fireplace testing protocol and are shown to burn less than 7.5 g/hr, he will approve them. Problem is there is no Northern Sonoma fireplace protocol, even though they have been working on one for more than six years.

Meanwhile, Paul has approved a couple of masonry heaters and a fireplace/heater compromise design just because they were approved in Colorado. The Rumfords were tested to the same or more rigorous emission standards and met the Colorado performance standards but they are not "masonry heaters" and so were not listed on Colorado's "masonry heater list".

Is this a bureaucratic catch 22 or what?

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Date: 8/21/01
To: Jim Buckley
From: Jeff Bague

Just a little update Jim. I spoke with Larry Allen who works directly under Paul at the APCD. He said that they were currently looking at a rumford and he felt it was going to be denied. He said that Paul is trying to get into contact with somebody up north but he didn't know the guys name. The guy is a government agency type person but he wasn't sure if it was an air pollution guy. I guess they are looking at relaxing some of their standards but he's trying to see what other jurisdictions are doing.

The way Larry explained it to me was that rumfords heat up the masonry and then you shut them down and they will continue radiating heat for 12 hours or some length of time. He claims that the locals are arguing that the rumfords should be compared to a zero clearance burning for 12 hours and a rumford burning for a few hours. The rumfords short burn emissions during that period would be averaged against the zero's continuous burn to provide the same 12 hours of heating. He said that Paul won't buy that and that they look at the emissions at any one period.

I told him that I had 3 clients that wanted rumfords and I asked him his opinion of what I should tell them. He basically said it aint gonna happen....



Date: 8/21/01
To: Jeff Bague
From: Jim Buckley


That's interesting - partly because it's so wrong. "The guy up north" is George Erdman, an air regulator for Northern Sonoma County. George and Paul Reitz have leaned on each other for years - ten years at least - promising to set the national standard in fireplace emissions. We've been working hard on George because several Bay Area cities (and even Phoenix, AZ) might accept his standard if he ever comes up with one. So far he has always said he doesn't have the time or money and it's months off - for ten years. Yet he has been in the forefront when it comes to criticizing the Washington fireplace standard or any variation. Sometimes he seems not to even know what the issues are, so we've been trying all along to "educate" him. Mostly it's been Paul Tiegs, director of OMNI labs, who has been doing the educating. I've given up on him.

Larry is apparently confusing Rumfords with masonry heaters. Masonry heaters - not Rumfords - are fired for one or two hours per day and then shut down and the masonry mass continues to heat all day long. It's telling that Larry won't even accept masonry heaters which don't meet the EPA stove emission "rate" of 7.5 g/hr during the fast two hour fire but they are far, far cleaner than metal wood stoves per BTU or per kilogram of fuel or per heating cycle or any other meaningful way you could compare them.

Rumfords heat radiantly which introduces all sorts of other issues when trying to determine their efficiency and they probably don't have the clear case emissions claims that masonry heaters do: they are really clean when they are not burning but still heating. Rumfords, however, are "inherently cleaner" (in the words of Paul Tiegs) than metal stoves on a grams per kilogram basis. Like the masonry heaters, Rumfords have larger fireboxes, can't be closed down to a slow smolder and so can't meet the artificial EPA stove "low burn rate" standard.

Twenty years ago the EPA was never interested in relatively clean-burning fireplaces. They were only narrowly and reluctantly (due to a law suit) interested in the then new European airtight stoves that could be banked, closed down, and caused to smolder all day emitting lots of pollution. The EPA stove standard is a "rate" which is unusual for EPA and intended to regulate only the new airtight stoves capable of such low burn rates and gross pollution. Now look where we are - being forced to find ways to starve a fireplace or heater for air so it can meet the smolder standards. Paul Reitz and his ilk are making us design less efficient and less clean-burning appliances to meet an inappropriate standard because they have lost track of the issue.

Put the gas logs in the Rumford - or let's sue them.

Jim Buckley

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Hi, I just wanted to let you know that the local APCD is using your list of architects and sending letters to all the architects in SLO letting them know that Rumford fireplaces are not allowed in our county and that we should be aware of Rule 504. This is just for your info and my email is just to let you know my stand point on this practice.


Dear Mr. Bague: Based on a recent review of fireplace resources (Rumford web site), it appears that you are listed on the Rumford web site under Architects that specify Rumford style fireplaces. Your listing is below:

Jeff Bague Architects
697 Higuera Street, Suite A
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
805 544 4399 (fax 805 544 8454)
(Jeff Bague - Fine custom homes. Would like to help the local APCD reverse their current anti fireplace position.) 11/01

Please note that these (Rumford) fireplaces are not approved for sale or installation within SLO County. You will receive a letter with Rule 504 and a listing of approved devices in the mail shortly.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please feel free to call me at the number below if you have any questions.

Tim Fuhs
Air Quality Specialist
(805) 781-5912
(805) 781-1002 (fax)
web site: slocleanair.org


First, I am very surprised that a government agency is using information that was obtained from a private website to contact architects. Second, I have never specified a Rumford fireplace and am well aware of Rule 504. I posted a note on that particular website as I am a fan of Rumford fireplaces and was hoping that the Rumford group could provide supporting documentation that would allow the Rumford to be approved in this local agency as it has been in other areas. I am also aware of why it has not been approved here and support your decision. I was simply hoping that there was some way that Rumford fireplaces could be improved to allow them to be approved in this area.

I have to question how appropriate it is to collect information using a third party website and to assume that our office specifies Rumford fireplaces because we have an interest in that particular style of fireplace.

Jeff Bague Architects
cc: archcomment@rumford.com



Thank you very much. I agree with you that it's extraordinary that a government agency is using information that was obtained from a private website to contact architects. May I say that you alerted us to this fact?

I'd like to point out to the SLO APCD that Rumfords are still permitted if fitted with gas logs and that nearly a third of our customers prefer gas logs even if they are allowed to burn wood. And that architects with SLO addresses may also design buildings in other areas with more reasonable policies. Not to mention that Rumfords are cleaner than the woodstoves SLO does approve. But then my blood pressure is rising. I should merely thank Mr Tim Fuhs for the advertising.

Warm regards,
Jim Buckley

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To: Jim Buckley
From: "TED MORT"

Dear Mr. Buckley,

I am supervising construction of a new home in San Luis Obispo County, California. We╩put in╩a Rumford fireplace (48" box, 17" oval liner in chimney) that was approved with the design of installing a small EPA╩wood-burning stove inside the Rumford firebox with a 6" metal flue running up inside the masonry flue.. The APCD would accept this as long as we filled the space between the metal and masonry flues with a lightweight grout so the metal one could not be removed at a later date.

In the meantime, the owner has reconsidered and wants to use a gas log in the Rumford box instead. APCD is balking at this because if the chimney and flue are left as is, they won't have any control over someone converting the fireplace back to a wood-burner in the future. In a policy letter, they stated that "the manufacturer's recommended size flue pipe must be installed". The Peterson Log Co., however, just says that their logs are designed to work in an existing fireplace and that it is the firebox, not the log, that determines the needed flue. This makes sense to me, and I would think that any alterations to the flue size would adversely affect the drafting performance of the chimney for a gas log the same as it would for wood. Is this right? If so, could I get something in writing from you stating the proper flue size, the compatibility of using a gas log, etc., so I can have something to show APCD?

If installing a metal flue won't cause any problems, let me know. Also, are there some gas logs which are more compatible with a Rumford than others? One tech at the Peterson Co. thought that there were cautions about using them due to the shallowness of the box, but he wasn't sure and didn't seem very knowledgeable. The tech who is supposed to know more hasn't gotten back to me.╩╩I noticed that your website lists gas logs. The owner has picked out a Peterson, but I'll pass on any recommendations or sales pitch you have to make.

Thank you for whatever help you can offer on this.*

Ted Mort
J.M. Reiss, Inc.

From: Jim Buckley
Subject: Gas logs in Rumford / Problem with APCD
Cc: gaslogs@riwinc.com, jeff@mcnear.com, John Crouch


The Peterson Co. makes quality gas log sets and I agree with their tech who says the size of the firebox determines the flue size, not the gas log. The guy who didn't call you back may be at the national Hearth Products show this week in Nashville.

We sell Rasmussen gas logs sets that Rasmussen has specifically designed to fit our Rumford fireplaces. They are shown on line at http://www.rumford.com/store/gaslogs.html The difference is that the Rasmussen logs sets are sized for our large but shallow fireboxes. They have four or five levels of burners and large logs but the sets have a small footprint. If your customer were to choose a Peterson set the largest set that would fit in the Rumford would probably look too small.

The issue, however, is that all logs sets are required by their manufacturers and by the National Fuel Gas Code to be installed only in code-compliant wood-burning fireplaces. The only exceptions are UL listed dedicated gas appliances with bolted on doors and placards so then can't be mistaken for real fireplaces. The reasons are 1) gas burns about as hot a wood so the code required wall thicknesses and clearances to combustibles should be the same as for wood-burning fireplaces. 2) The yellow "realistic" gas flame emits a lot of carbon monoxide so you want the fireplace to draw and 3) you don't want a house guest or future owner to mistake it for a real fireplace, burn wood in it, and burn the house down.

Specifically, your question about draft is that the large flue is necessarily sized, by code and long-standing rule of thumb, to be one tenth of the fireplace opening area. Sometimes heating engineers look on some chart based on the BTU output of the gas logs and think a much smaller flue will work, but what they fail to realize is that in an open fireplace up to 30 times as much dilution air flows in over the fire and the flue has to be sized accordingly or it won't exhaust all the products of combustion.

Reason number 3) - the thought that your client or some future owner might remove the gas log set and burn wood - is exactly what SLO wants to prevent, but they are a little over zealous. It's sort of like rigging your car so that it cannot exceed the speed limit. Our position is that our customers are law-abiding citizens. They pay taxes and obey traffic laws and, if the law in SLO is not to burn wood, they will obey that law too. It's insulting to assume otherwise.

First, try the obvious literal approach. The SLO letter, you say, advises you that "the manufacturer's recommended size flue pipe must be installed". I'm sure either the Peterson or the Rasmussen company would provide you with a letter stating that they require the flue size be that required by code for a masonry fireplace of that size.

If that doesn't work, point out to the regulator - or the city attorney - that requiring a flue that's too small would very likely cause carbon monoxide spillage and would be a violation of code. Ask them to affirm their requirement in writing so that you or any future owner can have recourse in case anyone is sickened or dies from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Of course your client would not install the gas log set under conditions that almost certainly would be hazardous to their health. If SLO officials do not permit you to build a fireplace with gas logs installed according to code and the manufacturer's recommendations, I will see what kind of support I can get from the gas log manufacturers and their trade associations. This could result in an interesting lawsuit.

Jim Buckley

PS: Can you fax me a copy of that letter? Fax number is 360 385 1624


The APCD will not allow the gas logs without us installing a B-vent up through the masonry flue in order to make it a "dedicated gas appliance". But of course, this will not work, as the logs are not part of an "appliance" and need the fireplace and flue to remain as is to operate properly. We are installing a free-standing woodstove in the rumford box as originally planned.

Thanks for your input.

Could you do me a favor and please remove my phone number and e-mail from your the letter on your website? I have had some people contacting me and would rather not. Thanks.

Ted Mort

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Subject: denial of fireplace approval
To: jeannie@rumford.com
X-Mailer: Lotus Notes Release 6.5.3 September 14, 2004
From: preitz_apcd@co.slo.ca.us
Date: 10-May-2007 10:57:43 PDT


We received a request for approval of the Buckley Rumford 36" and 48" fireplaces in 1997 and the approval was denied. I am attaching an electronic copy of that letter.

(See attached file: RUMF_DNY.LTR.doc)

I am not aware of any design changes that have been made to these devices, but if you have a different device or want to submit something for approval, you need to follow section G.2.a of SLO Rule 504 and include a copy of the test report(s). Note that our hourly fee has increased to $83.94 and will be close to $100/hr after August 1, 2007. Rule 504 is posted at your website, but you can also view a copy at http://www.arb.ca.gov/drdb/drdbltxt.htm under San Luis Obispo County.

This section of your website http://www.rumford.com/emissions/SLO.html, contains a lot of misinformation. I am not pleased that Jim posted my home address at the top of the page. Fortunately I have not lived there for over 10 years.

To set the record straight, at the time Rule 504 was adopted (1993) I was just a student intern at the SLO APCD. I did not write Rule 504 and did not have direct input to that rule. In addition, neither Tim Fuhs nor Larry Allen work for me. I am an engineer that works for the District, Larry Allen is the Air Pollution Control Officer and we all answer to the current 12 member San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control Board. Jim was at the Rule 504 hearing and he had an opportunity to comment before the earlier 5 member Board at the rule hearing in 1993.

Northern Sonoma County APCD did develop a protocol and to my knowledge several devices were submitted for approval and none of them passed the criteria. George Erdman at NSCAPCD would have more information on that.

Information may be submitted to:

Paul Reitz
San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District
3433 Roberto Ct.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Date: May 29, 2007
To: preitz_apcd@co.slo.ca.us
From: Jim Buckley
Subject: Re: Fwd: denial of fireplace approval


Firstly let me apologize for listing your home address. I didn't know it was a home address. It was the address I had for you. Frustrated though I may have been, I had no intention of harassing you personally.

As for the substance of our exchange, I think it's accurate. We meet the Washington and Colorado performance standards as determined by OMNI, an EPA certified test lab. Both of these standards, though flawed, were designed using the best science available at the time, as an equivalent to the EPA Phase II stove standard of 7.5 g/hr.

In fact, with the doors closed, we even meet the unfair 7.5 g/hr rate as reported by OMNI at http://www.rumford.com/testRumfordresultsgh.html I don't know where you got the higher g/hr results you included in your 1997 letter.

We may argue over whether or not the Northern Sonoma County Standard is relevant. It wasn't finalized in 1999 when I last talked with you and made my on line comments. It may or may not exist now but you confirm my information that no fireplace has ever passed it. Requiring a fireplace to meet a standard that no fireplace has ever passed (or any other appliance for that matter) is equivalent to a ban.

Moreover, it's not that the SLO standards are so high. Several of the appliances that are approved in SLO meet only the Colorado Regulation #4 standard of 6 g/kg. We meet that performance standard too and were briefly approved in Colorado but, since Reg.#4 is limited to masonry heaters, we were later taken off the list because Rumfords are clean-burning fireplaces - not masonry heaters.

So, no, we have not made any design changes. We meet the appropriate standards that are available as shown both in 1996 and more recently in 2000 when we participated in the development of one of the Northern Sonoma County ever-changing fueling protocols.

The issue has come up for us again partly because we had yet another SLO customer we had to turn away and we also learned that the town of Truckee uses the SLO "list". So we are motivated to re-apply and, that failing, to seek some other remedy perhaps starting with the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control Board.

By the way I was not at any Rule 504 hearing in 1993. I had just moved to Seattle from Ohio and had no knowledge of Rule 504 or any other wood smoke ordinance.

Jim Buckley

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MP-1 Residential Wood Burning Emissions from woodheaters and fireplaces are the result of incomplete combustion of wood. PM10 and CO are the dominant pollutants produced, although ROG emissions are also significant. Rule 504, Residential Wood Combustion, was adopted on October 19, 1993, to implement 1991 CAP control measure MP-1. The rule restricts the sale and installation of new woodburning devices to allow only devices meeting EPA Phase II emission standards in new or remodel construction. Retrofit or replacement of existing fireplaces is not required. Implementation of a voluntary woodburning curtailment program is currently being studied. (Note: this measure is primarily focused on PM10 emissions which occur during winter months. Thus, estimated emission reductions are listed below in tons/year and are not included in the ROG and NOx control measure tables and charts at the end of the chapter.) Rule Adoption Date: 1993 Applicable APCD Rule: 504 Year 2003 Emission Reduction: PM10: 52 tons/year ROG: 30 tons/year NOx: 4 tons/year




1. This regulation shall apply within the boundaries of San Luis Obispo County to any person who owns, operates, installs, builds, inspects, sells or offers for sale a wood burning device for any dwelling unit as defined herein.


1. "Consumer": Means any person other than a distributor or a retailer who buys a wood burning device.

2. "Dwelling Unit": Means any building or portion thereof which contains living facilities, including provisions for sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation. For the purpose of this rule, dwelling unit includes single and multi-family residences, mobile and/or modular homes, hotels, motels and other similar occupancies.

3. "EPA": Means the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

4. "EPA-Certified Wood Burning Device": Means any wood burning device that meets the performance and emission standards set forth in Part 60, Title 40, Subpart AAA Code of Federal Regulations, February 26, 1988.

5. "Freestanding Fireplace": Means any wood burning device other than a wood heater that is not inset into the walls of a structure, and vents smoke via a flue pipe through the wall or roof of the structure.

6. "Fireplace": Means any permanently installed masonry or factory built woodburning device with an open front or glass door and which does not meet the definition of a wood heater.

7. "Fireplace Insert": Means any woodheater designed to be installed in an existing masonry or factory-built fireplace.

8. "Garbage": Means all solid, semisolid, and liquid wastes generated from residential, commercial, and industrial sources, including trash, refuse, rubbish, industrial wastes, asphaltic products, manure, vegetable or animal matter, and other discarded solid and semisolid wastes which have not been sorted and recycled for use in wood combustion devices.

9. "Gas Fired Fireplace": Means any device dedicated to burn natural or liquified petroleum gas as its fuel through a ceramic, or otherwise noncombustible gas log, and which cannot be converted to a wood burning device.

10. "Manufacturer": Means any person who constructs or imports a wood burning device.

11. "Oregon-Certified": Means any wood heater meeting the performance and emission standards set forth in Sections 100 through 190 of Chapter 340, Division 21, Oregon Administrative Rules.

12. "Paints": Means all exterior and interior house and trim paints, enamels, varnishes, lacquers, stains, primers, sealers, undercoaters, roof coatings, wood preservatives, shellacs, and other paints or paint-like products.

13. "Paint Solvents": Means all organic solvents sold or used to thin paints or to clean up painting equipment.

14. "Pellet-Fueled Wood Heaters": are devices that burn pellet fuel exclusively, and are either EPA-Certified or exempted under EPA requirements set forth in Part 60, Title 40, Subpart AAA, Code of Federal Regulations, February 26, 1988.

15. "Permanently Inoperable": Means modified in such a way that a device can no longer operate as a wood heater.

16. "Person": Means any person, firm, association, organization, partnership, business trust, corporation, company, contractor, supplier, installer, user, owner, state or local governmental agency or public district, or any officer or employee thereof.

17. "Petroleum Product": Means any petroleum product other than gaseous fuels.

18. "Retailer": Means any person engaged in the sale of wood burning devices directly to the consumer.

19. "Seasoned Wood": Means any wood that has been sufficiently dried so as to contain 20 percent or less moisture by weight.

20. "Treated Wood": Means wood of any species that has been chemically impregnated, painted, or similarly modified to improve resistance to insects or weathering.

21. "Used Wood Heater": Means any wood heater that has been sold and/or used at least once, except wood heaters that have been used by retailers for the purpose of demonstration.

22. "Wood Composition Products": Means plywood, particle board, masonite or any other manufactured wood product containing chemical adhesives, bonding agents, or any other non-wood material.

23. "Wood Burning Cookstove": Means a wood burning appliance designed primarily for cooking food, with a separate oven for cooking or baking which is contained in, and is an integral part of, the body of the appliance.

24. "Wood Burning Device": Means any fireplace, free standing fireplace, fireplace insert, wood stove, or other wood heater, that burns wood or any other nongaseous or nonliquid fuels, or any similar device burning any wood used for aesthetic or space-heating purposes in a private residence or commercial establishment, having a heat input less than one million British thermal units per hour.

25. "Wood Heater": Means an enclosed, wood-burning appliance capable of and intended for space heating that meets all of the following criteria: a. An air-to-fuel ratio in the combustion chamber averaging less than 35-to-1 as determined by tests specified in Subsection F.1. b. A usable firebox volume less than 20 cubic feet. c. A minimum burn rate less than 5 kg/hr. d. A maximum weight of less than 800 kg. For the purpose of this rule, fixtures and devices that are normally sold separately, such as flue pipe, chimney and masonry components that are not an integral part of the appliance or heat distribution ducting do not count as part of the appliance weight.

26. "Zero Clearance Fireplace": Means any factory-built fireplace designed to be installed into wood-frame construction.


1. Woodburning cookstoves, woodburning furnaces, woodburning boilers and other woodburning devices not specifically defined herein are exempt from the requirements of this rule.

2. Wood burning devices classified as antique or having historical significance may be exempted from the requirements of this rule by the Air Pollution Control Officer (APCO) upon presentation of evidence that they qualify as an antique or historically significant device.

3. Wood burning devices which are the sole source of heat in a dwelling unit shall be exempt from the provisions of Subsection D.6.

4. District-approved devices as defined in Subsection G.1, as well as Oregon-certified and EPA-Certified Phase I devices, shall be exempt from the provisions of Subsection D.6.

5. Wood burning devices sold as appurtenances to real property in an escrow transaction shall be exempt from the provisions of Subsection D.3.a.


1. Public Awareness Requirements a. Each retailer shall supply public awareness information with each sale of a wood burning device in the form of pamphlets, brochures or factsheets on the following topics: 1. Proper operation and maintenance of wood heaters; 2. Proper sizing of wood heaters; 3. Proper fuel selection and use; 4. Weatherization methods for the home; 5. Proper fuel storage to maintain low moisture content; 6. Health benefits from low-emission woodburning devices . b. Retailers may use pamphlets prepared by the District, the state Air Resources Board, or industry, subject to the APCO's approval.

2. Installation of Wood Burning Devices in New or Existing Dwelling Units a. No wood burning device for which a building permit application is submitted on or after February 1, 1994, may be installed in any new or existing dwelling unit unless it is a District-approved device as defined in Subsection G.1. b. An inspection by the APCO or his designee shall be performed upon completion of the installation, or prior to issuance of final approval for any new dwelling unit(s), to verify that all wood burning devices installed are District-approved devices as defined in Subsection G.1.

3. Sale and Installation of Used Wood Burning Devices a. Effective February 1, 1994, no person shall sell, advertise or offer for sale, supply, install, or transfer ownership of a used wood burning device unless it has been rendered permanently inoperable, or is either EPA-Certified, Oregon-Certified, a Pellet-Fueled Wood Heater, or other District-approved device as defined in Subsection G.1.

4. Moisture Content Limit for Seasoned Wood a. Effective February 1, 1994, no person shall sell, offer for sale, or supply any wood that is orally, or in writing, advertised, described, or is in any way represented as "seasoned" or "dry" wood unless the wood has a moisture content of 20 percent or less by weight. b. Wood moisture content shall be measured in accordance with Subsection F.2. c. The APCO may delegate to another person or agency the authority to test wood for moisture content and determine compliance with Subsection D.4.a.

5. Prohibited Fuel Types a. No person shall cause or allow the burning of any of the following materials in a wood burning device: 1. Garbage; 2. Treated wood or wood composition products; 3. Plastic products; 4. Rubber products; 5. Petroleum products, including tar or tar paper; 6. Paints and paint solvents; 7. Coal; 8. Other material which may produce noxious odors or toxic compounds when burned. b. This provision shall not apply to firewood or other wood or plant products designed and marketed specifically for use as a fuel in wood burning devices.

6. Voluntary Curtailment a. The APCO may declare a voluntary curtailment for burning in wood burning devices when an impaired air quality episode occurs in a geographical area within San Luis Obispo County. The APCO may determine an impaired air quality episode by using criteria set forth in Title 17, California Code of Regulations, Chapter 1, Subchapter 2, Article 3 (commencing with Section 80180) or other criteria established by the APCO. b. The APCO shall provide public notification of voluntary curtailment by one or more of the following methods: 1. Oral notice presented at least four times during a twelve hour period by radio or television stations operating in the district; 2. A recorded telephone message for which the telephone number is published in the telephone directory or newspaper of general circulation within the district; 3. Written notice published in a newspaper of general circulation within the district; 4. Other methods as the APCO determines appropriate. c. District-approved devices as defined in Subsection G.1, as well as Oregon-certified and EPA-Phase 1 certified devices, shall not be subject to the voluntary curtailment provisions of this rule.


1. Retailers shall maintain a purchase record which includes the customer's name, the address of the building where the appliance is installed, and the make and model number of the device. The retailer shall maintain records for at least three years and make them available for inspection by the APCO upon request.


1. The standard for determining air/fuel ratios for wood heater combustion is EPA's test procedure set forth in Part 60.534, Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations.

2. Wood moisture content shall be measured by ASTM Test Methods D 2016 - 74, D4442-84, or other test method as specified by the APCO.


1. District-approved devices for installation in new and existing dwelling units shall include the following: a. All EPA-Certified Phase II wood burning devices; b. Catalytic wood burning devices which emit less than or equal to 4.1 grams per hour of particulate matter which are not EPA-Certified but meet the documentation requirements defined in Subsection G.2; c. Non-catalytic wood burning devices which emit less than or equal to 7.5 grams per hour of particulate matter which are not EPA-Certified but meet the documentation requirements defined in Subsection G.2; d. Pellet-fueled woodheaters; e. Dedicated gas-fired fireplaces.

2. The APCO shall maintain a current list of approved wood burning devices. The APCO shall update and/or add new wood burning devices to this list upon completion of review and verification of the following information for each device under consideration: a. A dated letter from an EPA-accredited laboratory which includes: 1. Product model identification; 2. Date(s) of emissions testing and test method used; 3. Explanation of the reason why the product was exempted from EPA certification or is classified as a nonaffected facility; 4. Listing of the grams/hour particulate emission rate for the model tested. b. Documentation of the quality assurance program used by the manufacturer to ensure that tolerances and materials used in the model line under consideration are the same as those used for the tested device. Listing by a nationally-recognized testing lab shall be deemed adequate to satisfy this requirement. c. Documentation of the warranty coverage provided for the product model. d. A copy of the owners manual for the product model.

3. Devices approved as clean-burn by other air quality agencies may be added to the list of District-approved devices at the discretion of the APCO.

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District Approved Devices

The following woodburning devices are approved for use in new and remodel residential construction:

1. All EPA-Certified Phase II wood burning devices. Nearly all new freestanding woodstoves and fireplace inserts on the market are EPA-Certified Phase II devices. Freestanding woodstoves have a certification tag permanently affixed to the back of the unit. Fireplace inserts have a permanently affixed tag generally located on the lower front of the unit. 2. All pellet-fueled woodheaters, as defined in Rule 504. 3. All dedicated gas-fired fireplaces, as defined in Rule 504. 4. Zero clearance fireplaces that are not EPA-certified, but can document the ability to meet the EPA-Phase II emission limits according to the procedures defined in Rule 504.

The following zero-clearance fireplaces, which are not EPA-Certified, have met the District requirements and have been approved for use in San Luis Obispo County: Manufacturer Model PM10 Emissions (grams/hour) Fabco Signafire 4.0 Heatilator NX 2.7 Majco Majestic PF-36 5.5 Majco Majestic F/FC 36 5.5 Majco Majestic BFC 36 5.0 Moberg Royal Crown MRC 3036 * 3.4 Moberg Royal Crown MRC 3042 * 3.4 RSF Energy Delta 3.5 RSF Energy Opel AP 2.8 RSF Energy Omega 6.7 RSF Energy Oracle ** 7.5 Temp-Cast 2000 *

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Date; 1/10/08
To: Michael McClain
From: Jim Buckley
Subject: Rumford Approval in SLO


I will be on the road Saturday (tomorrow). My cell phone number is 360 531 1081.

The most important thing to do for the meeting with your lawyer - or the SLO plans examiner - is to print off the Manual at http://www.rumford.com/manualca.html That includes the Test Results which you asked me to get Paul Tiegs to send you with an original "official" signature. If you print off the Manual and put it in a nice binder it will look impressive.

Next look at the SLO Rule 504 at http://www.arb.ca.gov/drdb/slo/curhtml/r504.htm and the list of District Approved Devices at http://www.slocleanair.org/programs/woodstoves-approved.asp

As I said in my email to Paul Tiegs (with a copy to you) there are some questions to ask.

1) Why does SLO approve some masonry heaters but not our Rumford which was tested to the same standard in the same lab?

2) Since the list of approved devices says SLO will approve "Zero clearance fireplaces that are not EPA-certified, but can document the ability to meet the EPA-Phase II emission limits according to the procedures defined in Rule 504." What are the procedures and have any Zero clearance fireplaces been approved?

I think the important thing is to ask for approval and then, if denied, ask for specific reasons for the denial so we have a basis for meeting their standard, making further arguments or appealing the decision.

I could run through the other California cities and counties that have approved Rumfords but I don't think that is particularly productive. The ones that have approved Rumfords have basically accepted our test results and the procedures set forth in the Manual above. Most of this detail in linked to the emissions page at http://www.rumford.com/emissions/index.htm where we have published our email correspondence and notes. You might look at Mill Valley, Marin County, Contra Costa and San Francisco. Some of the efforts were not so successful as you can see in the notes linked under Truckee and Northern Sonoma County. As you will soon see each jurisdiction is a struggle and changes often.

If your attorney wants to see a summary of our law suit against San Jose and Palo Alto see http://www.rumford.com/emissions/SanJose.html I can provide details which are off line now that we have abandoned the California Hearth and Homes website.

Finally, we are currently testing to the newly approved ASTM fireplace emissions standard that has been developed in conjunction with the EPA. We probably won't have test results for a few months and maybe longer than that if we find the new standard needs modification, but it would be difficult to imagine SLO not accepting a national ASTM standard endorsed by the EPA. The details of the ASTM standard development process are at http://www.rumford.com/emissions/ASTMstd.html

Jim Buckley

Date: 1/27/08
From: "Jeffrey Stoutenborough, Architect"
To: Jim Buckley
cc: "Michael McClain"


I'm very sorry to have taken so long to respond to your email. Frankly it got buried in my "in" basket.

The details of any emissions testing is proprietary. All any manufacturer has to do is to get the test lab to certify that the appliance passed. I can tell you that Moberg tested his fireplace at about the same time we did in the same lab - OMNI Testing Labs in Portland, OR. Our results are on line at http://www.rumford.com/testRumfordresults.html Maybe Moberg or SLO will give you comparable numbers for the Moberg fireplace. I don't think Moberg tested his fireplace open - without doors - as we did.

I suspect the issue for Paul Reitz is efficiency. SLO does not have an efficiency standard but Paul seems to approve masonry heaters, which he "just knows" are efficient and not fireplaces that meet he same emissions standard because he "knows" fireplaces are not efficient. Of course this is very subjective on Paul's part and, in the absence of any objective standard, it's unfair. Our limited number of tests using the "flue gas loss" method do show that masonry heaters are more efficient at about 63% overall efficiency while masonry fireplace efficiencies range from about 25% to 55% efficient. Of course even those numbers don't take into account "radiant efficiency" as defined by he ANSI Z83.19 standard. See http://www.rumford.com/tech9.html It's the radiant heat a Rumford puts out that makes it really effective.

A couple of weeks ago I learned that another customer, Michael McClain, has hired a lawyer to appeal San Luis Obisbo's refusal to issue a permit to build a Rumford. Maybe you could join forces.

Jim Buckley

-- Jeffrey Stoutenborough wrote --


Thanks for your help and time on the phone yesterday in clarifying our situation with the SLO APCD folks. ╩As a fan of wood burning fireplaces in general and Rumfords in particular, I find the situation where this single building official is preventing people from being able to build as they desire and deserve because of his capricious and personal reasons. ╩If he was really interested in eliminating the 'low hanging fruit' of particulate emissions, I think he would start by banning all campfires that are totally unfiltered and operate on a daily basis, more often than fireplaces are used, in the County. ╩Since this has not been done, I find it arbitrary that instead he chooses to crush peoples dreams when they decide after saving all of their lives to build their dream home to retire in.

You mentioned the Moberg unit yesterday that the SLO folks allow and said it is an inferior unit. ╩I know that SLO also allows several Tulikivi fireplaces that are prohibitively expensive. Do you have apples to apples emissions comparison data between your fireplaces and these units? ╩I am interested in pursuing that avenue.


Jeffrey Stoutenborough, Architect
317 Mohawk Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93109-1833
voice & fax: (805)957-2040

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