PARIS, Ky. & RANDOLPH, Vt.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Recently, Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin met with Vermont Castings Group senior management team members at the manufacturer’s facilities in Kentucky and Vermont. The topic, among others, was increasing regulatory restrictions on the hearth industry and their effects on the welfare of the manufacturer, who has production facilities in Kentucky and Vermont employing over 600 people.
Vermont Castings Group, headquartered in Paris Kentucky, is a leader in the hearth industry and manufactures a variety of decorative heating appliances such as fireplace systems, gas logs and wood stoves under their Monessen, Majestic and Vermont Castings brands. New industry regulations requiring safety barriers for sealed glass fireplaces and impending restrictions on EPA governed emissions standards are creating increased pressure on the company, and its hearth industry counterparts, to modify products to meet government standards. The modifications may reduce or eliminate certain product categories for the industry if the new regulations are out of reach of some manufacturers.
Andy Barr visited the Kentucky headquarters on August 13, 2014 to tour the 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility, which is the hub of the employee-owned company’s production. Meeting with Ricardo León (CEO/President), Pat Kelly (Sr. VP, Product Development, Engineering and Marketing) and Jacob Reuben (CFO), Barr also discussed the impact that recently passed safety regulations, and legislation still pending from the EPA, will have on the company’s overall success. Barr also talked with VCG employees and requested their input on ways Congress can better serve their needs.
On July 15, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin met with León and Reuben at the company’s Randolph, VT foundry to review the same topics impacting the industry. Since the majority of the company’s wood stoves are produced at the Vermont facilities, and a large percentage of wood stove users reside in the northeast, the topic of EPA regulations was particularly relevant. Consequently, Shumlin, León and Reuben also discussed the possibility of incentive programs to assist consumers who’d like to replace their older stoves with newer, more efficient ones. Vermont Castings has boasted the most efficient stoves in the industry, as ranked by the EPA, for over twenty years. Exceeding with EPA emissions standards, whatever the new rule may be, continues to be a primary goal of the brand.