Burn Smart will improve air quality in Summit County

Summit County residents looking to improve the heating efficiency of their homes and reduce air pollution can now apply to the Burn Smart Summit County program to replace their wood burning stove.

“We have an opportunity to take what Habitat is doing and take what the health department is doing, merge them and really build some momentum in the community towards air quality, Phil Bondurant, Summit County Health Department Environmental Health Director, said. ” Now is the time to be proactive. Now is the time to not only educate the public on this situation but engage them and help them be a part of the change. Now is the time to act so in the future we’re not finding ourselves trying to back-regulate to a time when the air was clean.”

Burn Smart, the result of a $120,000 air quality grant from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is a partnership between the Summit County Health Department, Habitat for Humanity of Summit and Wasatch Counties, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and Purple Air. The program will reduce exposure to wood smoke pollution by helping low and moderate-income residents obtain sources of heat cleaner and healthier than wood-burning stoves.  In addition, the grant will help fund an education and awareness campaign for underserved populations to address the health effects of wood smoke.

“Habitat for Humanity of Summit & Wasatch Counties is thrilled to expand our repair program in a way that not only benefits the health and safety of individual homeowners but makes an environmental impact in our community,” said Shellie Barrus, Executive Director Habitat for Humanity of Summit & Wasatch Counties.

Recipients will be selected on a variety of criteria, including income, household size, location in the county, the degree they rely on wood burning to heat their home and more. Applications can be submitted online or a print version downloaded at summitcountyhealth.org/burn-smart.