On Wednesday, San Francisco's Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board of Directors said in a press release that they had "adopted amendments to Regulation 9, Rules 4 and 6 to eliminate emissions of nitrogen oxides, or NOx, from residential and commercial natural gas furnaces and water heaters in the Bay Area by requiring new appliances to be zero-NOx."
According to the environmental board, "Emissions from natural gas building appliances account for a similar amount of NOx pollution as passenger vehicles in the Bay Area. As a group, they are one of the largest emitters of nitrogen oxides of all stationary sources of air pollution, which the Air District regulates."
"The 1.8 million water heaters and furnaces in the Bay Area significantly impact our air quality, resulting in dozens of early deaths and a wide range of health impacts, particularly in communities of color," said Dr. Philip Fine, executive officer of the Air District. "This groundbreaking regulation will phase out the most polluting appliances in homes and businesses to protect Bay Area residents from the harmful air pollution they cause."
The new policies would only apply to new appliances, "and do not mandate the immediate change out of existing appliances, nor will they apply to appliances used for cooking, such as gas stoves."
As the statement announced, "NOx-emitting" natural gas furnaces and water heaters will be "phased out over time, beginning with water heaters in 2027."
By 2029, only zero NOx furnaces will be allowed to be purchased or installed in the area, and new commercial water heaters will have to meet zero NOx standards by 2031, the Epoch Times reported.
According to the outlet, the federal government has been contemplating tougher restrictions on gas stoves as well, citing a statement from Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. when he told Bloomberg that the federal government could ban them.
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