Hearth Insight
July 2021
Legislative Update
from our NWHPBA Lobbyist, Carolyn Logue

Happy Independence Day! I hope everyone has been able to get a reprieve from our recent heat waves and is finding some time to relax and unwind before the busy season. We’re all watching to see how the COVID reopenings impact our communities. I’m waiting to see if legislators are actually going to have in-person meetings again. 

Even though legislators are home, there is still a lot going on for the hearth products industry. Below is an update on some things that are happening in the NWHPBA Government Affairs world. As always it is a bit Washington State heavy. If there is something you have a question about or think I have missed, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

As part of the 2018 Washington State Energy Code updates that were effective on February 1 of this year, the State Building Code Council prohibited fireplace appliances from having continuous pilot lights. On demand, interrupted and intermittent pilot lights were allowed.  NWHPBA was in support of this proposal. 

However, because of supply chain issues related to the pandemic, the chips required to install non-continuous pilot lights are difficult to find and often not available.

At the request of NWHPBA, the Washington State Building Code Council adopted an emergency rule to allow continuous pilot lights for a short period of time – giving the industry a chance to catch up. This is a short-lived reprieve in effect from June 22, 2021, to October 20, 2021. 

The State Building Code Council (SBCC) will revisit this emergency rule at their meeting on September 17. This will give NWHPBA a chance to update the council on the status of the chips and what the outlook looks like. Others will be given a chance to speak on the issue as well. At that meeting, the SBCC will determine whether to end the emergency rule early, let it expire on October 20, or adopt a rule allowing a longer delay of the prohibition on continuous pilot lights.


NWHPBA is working closely with the national HPBA to ensure that all EPA-Certified stoves are able to be sold in our region’s state and to make sure that both sides of the story are told when it comes to testing methodologies. Concerns were heightened in the region when Washington’s Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, joined nine other state AG’s (including Oregon’s) in a letter to the EPA asking them to revoke the alternative testing methodologies. As a result, we have begun discussions to set up a meeting with the Washington State Attorney General and will have a series of meetings on this issue with the Washington State Department of Ecology. 

If you have officials in your state that you think would benefit from a meeting with NWHPBA on this issue, please let me know at Carolyn.logue@comcast.net.


After 122 days, a record length for an Idaho legislative session, the Idaho Senate adjourned but the Idaho House did not. By not adjourning, the House says that if a special session is needed later in the year, they would not have to wait for Idaho Governor Brad Little to call them back in and they believe they could force the Senate back as well. This is an interesting twist for the Republican-controlled legislature that prides itself on heading back home by early April.

For NWHPBA, no major energy bills were passed that would impact members. Income tax and property tax relief bills did pass that could benefit NWHPBA members.


With legislative sessions over, it is time to start watching local governments for changes to licensing ordinances or other local city or county council proposals that could impact your business.  NWHPBA follows a tracking service and works with local builder associations and other coalitions to try and keep up with local issues but it is hard to cover that many areas. In addition, it would be nice to get involved on issues like gas bans while they are still in discussion rather than after the proposed ordinance is filed. We know that when we do get our members involved, public officials will listen.

Currently, we are aware of natural gas ban proposals being discussed in several Washington state cities. Bellingham continues to have discussions about a proposed ban on gas. Vancouver is also discussing a proposed ban.  The City of Spokane started a discussion that prompted a local business group to react by gathering signatures on a “ban the ban” proposal to stop that discussion. That initiative is currently being validated and then the Spokane City Council will decide whether to adopt the “ban the ban” or send it to the voters in November. 

So please watch your newspapers, check your local builder newsletters and let us know if you hear of anything we should know about. Your eyes on the ground are how we can gather the resources needed to help protect your business. 


With $3 million in the recently passed 2021-23 Washington State Capital Budget specifically earmarked for local wood stove change out programs, NOW is the time to make sure you are reaching out to your local clean air agency to find out how your business can be involved and offer your help. 

Below is the list of regional clean air agencies in Washington state. Helping them get to know your business can help your business.
Updated COVID-19 requirements for employers as Washington state reopens
Washington State Department of Labor & Industries sent this bulletin on 06/30/2021
Businesses in Washington state are able to open at full capacity and have fewer requirements to follow to protect employees from COVID-19.

Both OSHA and L&I continue to recognize COVID-19 as a workplace hazard for unvaccinated individuals. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace and assess the level of hazard to determine if additional steps should be taken to protect workers who are not fully vaccinated. Updated rules and guidance detail the changes employers need to know.

Employers must:
  • Ensure unvaccinated employees wear a mask while working indoors.
  • Verify vaccination status before lifting employee mask requirements, and be able to show the process used for verification.
  • Keep employees with possible or confirmed cases of COVID-19 from working around others.
  • Provide handwashing facilities and supplies.
  • Train employees to recognize and respond to workplace hazards, including COVID-19.
  • Assess recognized hazards, including COVID-19, as part of the ongoing requirement to provide a safe and healthful workplace and, where appropriate, take additional steps to protect unvaccinated employees.
  • Notify employees in writing within one business day if someone they had close contact with tests positive for COVID-19 (without disclosing the person’s identity).
  • Report COVID-19 outbreaks of 10 or more employees at workplaces or worksites with more than 50 employees to L&I within 24 hours.

Masks and face coverings
  • Employers must provide cloth face coverings or a more protective mask to employees, free of charge, when use of a mask is required.
  • Employers may still require or encourage mask use, regardless of employee vaccination status.
  • Employees have the right to wear a mask or other protective equipment, regardless of their vaccination status, as long as it doesn’t create safety issues.

Industries where masks are still required for all workers  
  • Health care (long-term care, doctor’s offices, hospitals)
  • Public transportation (aircraft, trains, buses, road vehicles)
  • K-12 schools, childcare facilities and day camps in locations where children are or are expected to be present
  • Correctional facilities
  • Homeless shelters

Verifying worker vaccination status
Employers must be able to show the process used to verify employee vaccination status. They do not need to keep an actual copy of the employee’s vaccination records.

Acceptable types of verification include:
  • Vaccine card or photo of vaccine card.
  • Documentation from a health care provider.
  • State immunization information system record.
  • A hard copy or electronically signed self-attestation from the employee.

L&I’s COVID-19 guidance includes resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Health (DOH) and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration: www.Lni.wa.gov/CovidSafety.

Call to Action: Nominate our Leaders!
Interested in participating in our decision-making? Volunteer to join our Board of Directors!
It's a great way to get involved with a minimal time commitment. Nominate yourself or a colleague by Friday, July 2nd. Ballots will go out Monday,
July 5th.
Board positions available:
10 At-Large positions
1 Eastern WA position
1 Alaska position

2-year term (2021 - 2023). All paid 2021 members are eligible to vote. 
Please email your nominations to: NWHPBA@AMInc.org.
Membership Renewals
For those who have not yet renewed, your membership is crucial and allows us to continue to advocate for the health of our industry. While 2020 was full of unprecedented events, we are thankful for our NWHPBA community. With the help of one another, we were able to support each other and share our successes through tough times.

Renewing your membership is easy, and we have many options for your convenience!
  • Renew online and pay via card or check
  • If you select to pay by check, you will be directly invoiced and can mail us a check.
  • Call us directly at NWHPBA and we can renew over the phone with you
  • 253-525-5153 (Due to COVID, if you do not connect with us, please leave a voicemail, and Katie, our Executive Director, will return your call within 24-48 hours)
"This industry can feel really secluded and alone. Maintaining my membership has allowed me to build relationships and really get to know the other members. This has opened doors and encouraged brainstorming to solve industry wide issues as well as internal ones within my business that someone had already been through and knew a great solution for."

-Ryann Blake, Chimney Techniques
Job Opening
Sales Representative

Earth N Sun is looking for a Sales Representative with some sales experience. Earth n Sun is a small mom-and-pop store in Rainier, OR that has been open for 35+ years. Earth N Sun sells hearth products that require keeping track of a lot of information. The Sales Representative we hire needs to have good memory skills, be able to work alone, be able to lift a 40-pound bag of pellets, be able to drive a forklift, and be able to work at least but not limited to working every other Saturday.

To apply for this job email your details to woodstovewarehouse@gmail.com
We want to hear from you!!!
The NWHPBA Communications Committee publishes the Hearth Insight monthly. If you have a story or article you would like to have shared, submit below to be included in our upcoming editions!!!
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