Borough of Punxsutawney, PA
Jefferson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of Punxsutawney 3-12-2007 by Ord. No. 1070. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Open burning — See Ch. 97.
Indoor and outdoor fires — See Ch. 128.
Residences and commercial and industrial establishments located within the Borough of Punxsutawney are entitled to clean air and environmental conditions free of unreasonable dust, odors, fumes and smells, as well as an environment which is free of stored debris and combustible fuels in outdoor areas within the densely populated Borough. Commonly available research indicates that outdoor furnaces generate emissions which cross property lines, and because these emissions, including but not limited to smoke, stay close to the ground, they readily infiltrate neighboring residences and buildings and can easily come into contact with people and animals both indoors and outdoors. These emissions have been observed to cause poor visibility, including upon highways, streets, and alleys within the Borough. These emissions can aggravate cardiovascular and respiratory health problems, such as angina and asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, as well as irritate breathing and irritate the eyes of healthy persons.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A tube attached to an outdoor furnace for the purpose of channeling fumes, smoke and odors away from the outdoor furnace.
Only fuel approved and recommended for use by the manufacturer of the outdoor furnace shall be burned. In no event will fuel include cardboard, cooking oil, garbage, gasoline, lawn or tree trimmings, leaves, naphtha, paper, plastics, rubber, trash, material treated with petroleum or other substances, or materials the fumes from the combustion of which may be dangerous to the health of an average person or cause poor visibility on any highway, street or alley within the Borough.
Any outdoor fuel-burning device, appliance, apparatus, equipment, furnace, container, or any part thereof, whether marketed and sold by a manufacturer as an outdoor furnace or otherwise, which is installed, affixed or situated on property within the Borough of Punxsutawney for the purpose of combustion of fuel to produce heat for a heating system used to heat an interior space or water. Included are outdoor furnaces which have been enclosed by any kind of structure or building of any kind, including a garage or shed separated by space from the residence or building the furnace serves. Any "homemade" outdoor furnace is prohibited.
Any individual, agent, independent contractor, business, partnership or corporation. Use of the singular herein shall include the plural.
Any by-product, whether visible or not visible, produced by the combustion or burning of any material when operating an outdoor furnace.
Every outdoor furnace shall be placed at least 50 feet from any property line of the property on which it is located, at least 25 feet from the structure it is serving, and at least 300 feet from any building on any property which borders the property on which the furnace is located. A furnace must be located only upon the same lot as the structure it serves. A furnace shall not be placed on any alley, street, highway, path or trail.
In no event shall an outdoor furnace be located within 1,000 feet of any property line of any of the following: any armory, boarding home, church or other place of worship, college, day-care center, grocery store, hospital, laboratory, medical facility, including an office of a member of the healing arts, nursery, nursing home, personal-care home, pharmacy, playground, public park or walkway, recreation area, restaurant, school, sports field, university, wastewater treatment facility, or United States Highway Number 119 or Pennsylvania State Route Numbers 36, 310, 436, Graffius Avenue, Horatio Street, Perry Street, Scotland Avenue or Woodland Avenue Extension (Wood Street).
Outdoor furnaces shall be operated only between October 1 and April 30.
Every outdoor furnace shall be installed, operated and maintained at all times in accordance with the manufacturer's installation and operation instructions and recommendations and all Borough, county, state and federal codes, laws, regulations and rules. In the event of a conflict among any of these, the stricter shall apply. The owner of the outdoor furnace shall keep a copy of the manufacturer's installation, operation and maintenance instructions at the furnace location for inspection by the appropriate agent of the Borough.
All outdoor furnaces shall meet the current emission standards and other regulations for such appliances promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. These standards, and all amendments, are adopted in total by the Borough of Punxsutawney by reference.
In the event an outdoor furnace is more than 75% torn down, physically deteriorated or decayed, it must be removed or replaced with a new unit within two weeks of receiving written demand for removal by the Code Enforcement Officer.
Every outdoor furnace shall have a chimney extending no less than three feet higher than the highest point of the tallest building or buildings on the properties which border the property on which the furnace is located. In no event shall smoke or fumes from any outdoor furnace be permitted to enter a building or property which borders property on which the furnace is located.
Every outdoor furnace shall have a filter or "scrubber" system attached to the chimney.
Every outdoor furnace must have a fan or blower attached to the unit or chimney to increase the efficiency of the furnace.
Every outdoor furnace shall use only the type of fuel as recommended by the manufacturer and required by this chapter or other code, law or regulation.
All fuel to be burned in an outdoor furnace shall be neatly stacked or stored under cover and shall be kept at all times free of insects and rodents.
All ashes or other waste by-products of fuel burned in an outdoor furnace, other than smoke and other emissions, cannot be accumulated by the owner. Ashes and other waste by-products must be disposed of on a regular weekly basis according to law.
Any outdoor furnace discovered to be operating in violation of any provision of this chapter shall be extinguished immediately. Any police officer, code enforcement officer, fire official or other designated official or agent of the Borough may order the immediate extinguishment of any fire in any outdoor furnace being operated in violation of the provisions of this chapter. Said official or agent may take any reasonably prudent action to extinguish or cause the extinguishment of any fire in any outdoor furnace believed to be operated in a manner which violates the provisions of this chapter. Failure to follow the directives of any such official or agent named herein shall constitute a violation of this chapter. Any time an outdoor furnace is extinguished pursuant to the provisions of this section, it shall be reported to the Punxsutawney Code Enforcement Officer.
Any person who wants to install or operate an outdoor furnace shall first obtain a permit from the Punxsutawney Code Enforcement Officer. The fee and application form for this permit shall be promulgated and revised from time to time by the Punxsutawney Borough Council. No outdoor furnace shall be installed or operated without a valid permit. A permit may be suspended by the Code Enforcement Officer in the event the permittee fails to comply with any provision of this chapter, including amendments hereto, or any other code, law or regulation.
Any permit may be revoked for any violation of this chapter, particularly (but not limited to) the occurrence of any one of the following conditions:
Emissions from an outdoor furnace which are detectable not on the property for which the permit has been issued;
Emissions from an outdoor furnace which interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of life or property;
Emissions from an outdoor furnace which cause damage to property; or
Emissions from an outdoor furnace which irritate or harm the health of a human or animal.
The standards and regulations set forth in this chapter, except for § 135-3, Location, shall apply to all outdoor furnaces already being operated within the Borough of Punxsutawney on the date this chapter is enacted, at an effective date set forth below.[1]
Editor's Note: Ordinance No. 1070 provided that this section would go into effect 10-1-2007.
Any violation of any provision of this chapter shall be a summary offense. Upon conviction, a person shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than$1,000, plus costs, and, in default of payment, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. A second conviction will result in the permanent revocation of the permit issued for the offending outdoor furnace. Each day a violation exists shall be deemed and constitute a separate offense.