This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.
To the wood-heat holdouts go the spoils.
Tacoma-area homeowners who haven’t yet replaced their outdated wood stoves have the best opportunity yet to switch to a more efficient heating source. But time is running out.
As of Friday, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency still had nearly two-thirds of the $650,000 it received from the state last year to get rid of old wood stoves – and the agency has only days to spend it.
The current incentives are the most generous offered since state and federal agencies began making the push to clean up Tacoma’s air a few years ago. Low-income households could get a new wood stove for little or nothing out of pocket.
Wood stoves are a big part of the reason why the Tacoma area has Washington’s sootiest air and ranks among the 31 most polluted places in the country. About 63 percent of airborne particulates in this area come from fireplaces and wood stoves during the winter, when pollution levels are at their highest.