Township of Ralpho, PA
Northumberland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
The purpose of this Part is to prevent private and public nuisances caused by outdoor fires deliberately or carelessly set and maintained and to avoid unnecessary calls and false alarms to the fire companies.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGRICULTURAL WASTE
Waste generated by a normal farming operation such as seed bags, pesticide containers or the like, if the burning of such farm-produced agricultural waste is directed, pursuant to the manufacturer's guidelines, by persons engaged in a normal farming operation.
HOLIDAY
New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
NORMAL FARMING OPERATION
The pursuit of farming as an occupation conducted on five acres or more.
OUTDOOR BURNING
The burning of any materials, to include refuse, leaves, wood, debris, plastics, tires, chemicals and any other combustible material, outside any building.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership or corporation.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
1. 
All outdoor burning within Ralpho Township is hereby prohibited except as specifically allowed with a burning permit issued under §§ 104 and 105 below.
2. 
The above limitations and permit requirements shall not apply to:
A. 
Barbeques or other outdoor fires solely for the cooking of food for human consumption;
B. 
Contained campfires and other fires for ceremonial or recreational purposes; and
C. 
Fires utilized for firefighting or emergency services training.
3. 
Only residential and agricultural operations are eligible to apply for a burning permit issued under §§ 104 and 105. No permit shall be issued to any commercial establishment, and said establishments are specifically prohibited from engaging in outdoor burning.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
After the effective date of this Part, no person shall engage in outdoor burning within Ralpho Township except upon issuance of a burning permit from the Code Enforcement Officer. The Code Enforcement Officer shall issue the burning permit to a person only when the following agreements are made and conditions are met:
A. 
Upon agreement that only paper, paper products, agricultural waste, wood, trees, branches and other similar readily combustible materials will be burned.
B. 
Outdoor fires shall only be permitted on Tuesday and Thursday from sunrise to sunset and from Saturday from sunrise to noon. The fire must be completely extinguished by sunset, or noon, as applicable. If the permitted day of burning falls on a holiday, no burning shall be allowed.
C. 
Burning must take place in an enclosed receptacle such as an incinerator or burn barrel that shall be set no closer than 150 feet from any occupied structure.
D. 
No fire shall be set or maintained within 20 feet from any structure or readily combustible materials.
E. 
The fire must be constantly attended by at least one responsible person over age 18. The responsible adult must remain outdoors and within 30 feet of the fire at all times. The responsible adult must also keep means of controlling the fire and extinguishment readily available.
F. 
No burning is allowed on any street or sidewalk within Ralpho Township, and no burning is allowed which would create any dangerous condition, obnoxious odors, dense smoke or fly ash.
G. 
The burning of garbage, vegetable waste, rubber, plastics, furniture, glass, construction material, demolition waste, metal, car products, styrofoam, foam products, tires and any substance that is being recycled in Ralpho Township is strictly prohibited.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
From time to time there may be a need for a person who does not meet the one-hundred-fifty-foot limitation to conduct a controlled fire for a variety of maintenance or operational reasons. These requests may be permitted by the Code Enforcement Officer on a case-by-case basis depending on the situation and under the following conditions:
A. 
When only trees, branches, yard waste and other similar matter are burned;
B. 
When there is no practical available alternative method for disposal of the material to be burned;
C. 
When no dangerous condition will be created by such burning;
D. 
When no such burning is allowed on any street or sidewalk within Ralpho Township;
E. 
When all such burning takes place between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. or such other times as set forth on the permit; and
F. 
When the Code Enforcement Office imposes additional conditions to avoid unnecessary risk or danger.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
A person must apply for a permanent or one-time permit from the Code Enforcement Officer on a form provided by the Township. As part of the application process, the Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect the site to make sure it meets with the above conditions and insure that the burning area is clean of all debris. No fee will be charged for the permit. The permanent permit is valid until revoked and the one-time permit will expire as set forth on the permit. At the time of the issuance of the permanent permit, a copy of this Part with the conditions of burning shall be given to the applicant. The Code Enforcement Officer will, for the benefit of the Township, retain a list of any approved burners and their addresses and phone numbers.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
No outdoor furnaces used to heat the interior of structures (as that term is defined in Chapter 27 of this Code) shall be permitted in the Residential or Village Center Districts as defined in the Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 27, et seq., of this Code.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
The Code Enforcement Officer or any authorized agent or employee of the Township may inspect any property for the purposes of ascertaining compliance with the provisions of this Part.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
The Chairman of the Board of Supervisors may ban all fires when, in his or her opinion, weather conditions make such burning hazardous to the health, safety and welfare of persons and property.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
1. 
Any person found to violate the terms of this Part or the conditions of burning shall immediately have his or her permit revoked by the Code Enforcement Officer. There is no appeal of the revocation of the permit, and a person shall be prohibited from reapplying for a permit for a period of one year from the date of revocation.
2. 
The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the ability to issue burning violation notices and fines for any violations of this Part. The amount of the fine shall, in the discretion of the Zoning Officer, range between $25 and $75. Said fine shall be paid to the Township office within 10 days of the issuance of the fine and notice violation. In the event that such fine is not timely paid, the Township shall have the authority to initiate a civil enforcement notice or a summary proceeding before the Magisterial District Judge to collect the unpaid fine.
3. 
A violation may also be enforced by an action brought before a District Judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. Any person who violates or permits the violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days.
4. 
In addition to the above penalties, any person who violates any provision of this Part may be enjoined by appropriate legal proceedings.
5. 
In the event that civil or criminal litigation is pursued, upon conviction or other finding in favor of the Township, in addition to the fine and court costs, the Township shall also recover all costs of prosecution and litigation costs, including, but not limited to, time spent by the Code Enforcement Officer, any Township consultant, witness fees, engineer, and/or solicitor, as well as any other related costs incurred pursuing the violator.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
This Part shall be enforced by the Ralpho Township Code Enforcement Officer, the Ralpho Township Police and any other person or persons approved by subsequent resolution of the Board of Supervisors of Ralpho Township.
[Ord. 166, 12/11/2007]
This Part and the permitting requirements shall take effect April 1, 2008. Effective June 1, 2008, no burn barrels shall be present on any property within Ralpho Township unless that person has a valid burning permit.