[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Barre Board of Health 9-15-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Noncriminal disposition of bylaw violations — See Ch. 67.
This regulation is adopted under MGL c. 111, §§ 31 and 31C, 142B, 142D, and 310 CMR 7.00, 310 CMR 7.09, and 310 CMR 7.52, which gives the Barre Board of Health authority to make reasonable health regulations. This regulation is also adopted under MGL c. 111, § 122, which directs the Board of Health to examine all nuisances, sources of filth, and causes of sickness within its town, which may, in its opinion, be injurious to the public health and to destroy, remove, or prevent the same.
Recognizing that people have a right to and should be ensured an environment free from excessive air pollution capable of jeopardizing their health or safety or welfare or of degrading their quality of life, this regulation is enacted to protect, preserve and promote the health, safety, welfare and quality of life for the citizens of Barre, Massachusetts, through the reduction, control and prevention of air pollution.
Outdoor wood boilers, also known as "outdoor water stoves" and "outdoor wood furnaces," are generally composed of a wood-burning firebox surrounded by a water jacket or reservoir vented by a chimney stack. The heated water is then pumped via insulated underground pipes to the residence or business. Emissions from outdoor wood-burning boilers drift across property lines raising health concerns for neighbors who inadvertently breathe the smoke-filled air.
Wood smoke is a complex mixture of chemicals and particulates. It contains carbon monoxide and other organic gases, particulate matter, chemicals, and some inorganic gases. Some of these compounds are toxic, aldehydes and phenols, and some are carcinogens, benzoprene, and cresols. The particulate matter is mostly made up of elemental carbon, soot and organic ash.
When used in these regulations or in communications, notices, or orders relative thereto, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them below.
- The Code of Federal Regulations.
- CLEAN WOOD
- Seasoned wood that has no paint, stains, or other types of coatings, and wood that has not been treated with any chemical, including but not limited to copper chromium arsenate, creosote, or pentachlorophenal.
- DEPARTMENT or DEP
- The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
- The United States Environmental Protection Agency.
- OUTDOOR WOOD BOILER or OWB
- A wood-fired boiler located outside of the building, surrounded by a water jacket in an insulated freestanding shed with a smokestack and used to heat water that is carried by underground pipes to provide heat to a building.
- Any individual, partnership, association, firm, syndicate, company, trust, corporation, department, authority, bureau, agency, political subdivision of the commonwealth, law enforcement agency, fire-fighting agency, or any other entity recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- Any animal, vegetable, or mineral, solid, liquid, or gaseous waste. It includes, but is not limited to, rubbish, garbage, ashes, construction waste, industrial waste, commercial waste, demolition waste, agricultural waste, abandoned vehicles, and any unwanted or discarded material. It does not include hazardous waste.
- SEASONED WOOD
- Wood that has been dried for at least six months.
- WOOD FUEL
- All wood intended to be used as fuel, including but not limited to trees, cordwood, logs, lumber, sawdust, and wood from manufacturing processes (butt offs, shavings, turnings, sander dust) wood pellets, slabs, bark, chips, waste pallets. This definition does not include wood chemically treated with any preservative, paint, or oil.
Existing units. Any person that wishes to continue using an OWB installed prior to the effective date of this regulation must register his/her OWB at the Board of Health within six months of the Effective Date of this Regulation. Where the OWB owner already possesses an existing permit from the Town of Barre Building Department, a copy must be brought to the Board of Health to be placed in its file. The Board of Health permitting fee will be waived for existing OWB owners, but the applicant must comply with the following process. Said application shall include:
Submission of a written application on a form provided by the Barre Board of Health.
An informal plan depicting the location of the OWB in relation to the facility that it serves and all other occupied structures within close proximity to the OWB.
Any existing OWB must have a permanent stack height extending five feet higher than the peak of any roof structure located within 150 feet of the OWB with exception of the structure it is serving.
A secondary source of heat for dwelling and/or any other heated buildings is required.
No person shall install or cause to be installed an OWB after the effective date of this regulation without a permit from the Board of Health. The permit process shall include submission of a written application on a form provided by the Barre Board of Health; a suitable plan meeting the requirements set forth below; and, payment of the permit application fee established by the Barre Board of Health as well as an electrical permit with the Barre Building Department.
Board-of-Health-approved plans for the location and installation of any outdoor wood boiler to be installed after the effective date of this regulation shall be shown in the form of a plot plan detailing the boiler component(s) and shall include depiction of:
The legal boundaries of the lot to be served;
The location of all dwelling(s) and building(s) existing and proposed on the lot to be served by the outdoor wood boiler and identification of those to be served by the boiler;
The locations of all known easements and rights-of-way on the lot to be served;
The location of all components of the outdoor wood boiler, including underground electric lines, fluid lines or ductwork;
The proposed wood burner stack height;
The location of all roads, pass ways and rights-of-way within 100 feet of the proposed outdoor wood boiler;
The location of all buildings existing within 300 feet of the proposed outdoor wood boiler, whether or not on the lot to be served by the outdoor wood-burning boiler;
The roof heights of all buildings within 300 feet of the proposed outdoor wood boiler;
Proposed wood storage area.
A secondary source of heat for dwelling and/or any other heated buildings is required.
Installation must be completed within six months of issuance of the permit.
The requirements set forth in this section are intended to set forth the minimum criteria that the Board of Health presently believes is required to protect public health, safety and the environment, based on information reviewed by the Board as of the effective date of this regulation. Nothing in this regulation is intended to limit the powers of the Board of Health, and the Board expressly reserves its right to take further action with respect to any individual case pursuant to its authority as set forth in MGL c. 111, § 122 through 125 (regarding nuisances), or any other applicable law.
All new and existing outdoor wood boilers shall be installed and operated according to the manufacturer's specifications. Any EPA-approved outdoor wood boiler which has been altered, installed, or disassembled in anyway not specified by the manufacturer shall be considered a non-EPA-compliant boiler. Some common examples of what manufacturers prohibit burning are:
Any wood that does not meet the definition of "clean wood" or "wood fuel."
Waste petroleum products.
Paints and paint solvents.
Glossy or colored paper.
Plywood, saltwater driftwood, particle board, construction/demolition debris.
Any other material not intended by a manufacturer for use as fuel in a solid fuel-burning device.
Retailers selling or offering for sale new outdoor wood boilers in the Town of Barre shall supply public education information with each sale of an outdoor wood boiler in the form of pamphlets, brochures or fact sheets on the following topics:
No person shall install or cause to be installed any outdoor wood boiler after the effective date of this regulation within 50 feet of the house it is serving or within 300 feet of any other occupied structure. This requirement will not apply to outdoor wood boilers installed prior to the effective date of this regulation.
Any new OWB must have a permanent stack height extending five feet higher than the peak of any roof structure located within 300 feet of the OWB with the exception of the structure it is serving.
The operation of any new or existing outdoor wood burning boiler may not occur between the dates of May 15 and September 15 of each calendar year. A variance may be granted if the OWB owner exceeds the distances required within these regulations.
An outdoor wood boiler shall be located no less than 100 feet from any property line.
The Board of Health may vary any provision of these regulations with respect to any particular case, when in its opinion, the enforcement thereof would do manifest injustice, and the applicant has proved that the same degree of protection can be achieved without strict application of the particular provision. All variances shall be considered at a hearing by the Board of Health.
Permit suspension or revocation. The Board of Health may suspend or revoke any permit issued pursuant to these regulations for any violation of these regulations, or any other applicable General Law, regulation or bylaw.
Penalties. The owner of any OWB operated in violation of these regulations shall be penalized.
First offense: A written warning to correct a violation of these regulations shall be issued after a verification of a complaint.
Second offense: Automatic fine of $100 issued by the Board of Health or Board of Health Agent. The OWB owner has option to appeal an order to correct a violation of these regulations, provided that a written request for a hearing is filed with the Board of Health within seven days of receipt of the violation notice.
Any subsequent offense: If an inspection or examination reveals that an OWB is installed or operated in a manner that is not compliant with these regulations, the Board of Health, the Health Agent or the Town of Barre Fire Department shall issue an order to cease operation of the OWB until it has been restored to compliance so as to not be deemed a nuisance under the public health laws. Such revocation or suspension may take place after a hearing held by the Board of Health of which the permit holder is given seven days' written notice. Such notice shall be deemed given upon certified mail and return receipt requested to the address listed on the permit application.
This regulation may be enforced by any Barre Police Officer, Barre Fire Department, the Barre Board of Health or the Barre Health Agent.
Whoever violates any provision of this regulation may be penalized by a noncriminal disposition process as provided in MGL c. 40, § 21D and the Town's noncriminal disposition bylaw. If noncriminal disposition is elected, then any person who violates any provision of this regulation shall be subject to a penalty in the amount of $100 per day for each day of violation, commencing 10 days following day of receipt of written notice from the Board of Health. Each day or portion thereof shall constitute a separate offense. If more than one, each condition violated shall constitute a separate offense.
Whoever violates any provision of this regulation may be penalized by indictment or on complaint brought in the district court. Except as may be otherwise provided by law and as the district court may see fit to impose, the maximum penalty for each violation or offense shall be $1,000. Each day or portion thereof shall constitute a separate offense. If more than one, each condition violated shall constitute a separate offense.
The Barre Board of Health may enforce these Regulations or enjoin violations thereof through any lawful process, and the election of one remedy by the Board of Health shall not preclude enforcement through any other lawful means.
An owner may appeal an order to correct a violation of these regulations, provided that a written request for a hearing is filed with the Board of Health within seven days of receipt of the violation notice.
The provisions of this Chapter shall be effective upon adoption by the Barre Board of Health, approval by DEP and publication pursuant to MGL c. 111, § 31C.