A home in Michigan has a natural gas fireplace installed, and the homeowner says the heating system is helping his son, who has autism, to function at school.
ABC News reported on Tuesday that the boy, who is about 10, had his first class at a new public school on Monday and has had trouble sleeping in class.
The boy is a fifth-grader at the Glen Hills Academy in Lakeland, Michigan, according to the website of the school.
The school district told ABC News it has not received a complaint about the home’s use of the natural gas heaters, which are on the property and can be seen on a Google map.
The district is still assessing whether the home meets the requirements of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards for natural gas homes.
In February, the EPA banned the use of natural gas heating in public housing, saying that it was dangerous to children and parents who are exposed to elevated levels of CO2.
But the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it has been using natural gas to heat some of its buildings for years.
The state Department of Environmental Quality (DEP) says it is not enforcing any of the rules, which allow a home to use natural gas as long as it meets a minimum set of standards.
The DEQ told ABC that it uses natural gas on a case-by-case basis, and that the natural-gas heating system has been used on the home for years and is not required to meet any other requirements.
But it added that it does not require any additional permits to install the heating systems on homes.
DEQ spokesman Joe McLean said the agency has not had any complaints about the use or operation of the home.
He said the homeowner, who did not want to be identified for fear of losing his home, has been in contact with the DEQ, who confirmed the use and said they are working to resolve the issue.
The home is in the city of Glen Hills, where the DEP has been expanding its efforts to prevent air pollution from coal-fired power plants.
The EPA also has guidelines that it says should be used by homeowners and building owners when installing a natural-fuel-burning heating system, which should include that the system is designed for a maximum of six hours per day, is designed to be shut off during inclement weather, and is designed so that it will not blow away during an earthquake.
The agency also has specific requirements for natural-coal-fired homes.