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Judge to NY: Enforce outdoor wood boiler regulations

A state Supreme Court judge has ordered New York to halt the sale of outdoor wood boilers that are in violation of new air quality rules set by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The new regulations were supposed to take hold in April, but officials with DEC tried to extend the deadline through July so retailers could sell off older, non-compliant units.

But that extension was struck down earlier this week by a court ruling.

Several health and environmental groups - including the American Lung Association and Environmental Advocates - filed lawsuits to enforce the deadline.

Those groups asked the court to stop DEC from allowing the continued sale of so-called "dirty outdoor wood boilers," because they pose a threat to public health and can exacerbate asthma symptoms.

Ross Gould of Environmental Advocates of New York says the DEC was promoting a "fake emergency" in trying to hold off on enacting the regulations.

"Everyone who cares about clean air is grateful," he said.

The new state regulations cut wood boiler emissions by some 90 percent and require an 18-foot stack height in order to reduce the amount of smoke flowing to neighboring homes.

But groups like the New York Farm Bureau say the regulations are too burdensome for farmers.

According to DEC spokeswoman Lori Severino, the agency is reviewing this week's court ruling. A final decision on the merits of the action is scheduled for June 20.

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