[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Nanticoke 3-18-2009 by Ord. No. 7-2009. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Article 1, Section 27, provides, in pertinent part, that "the people shall have a right to clean air";
In response to the enactment by the Congress of the United States of the "Clean Air Act," 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq., and in recognition of the mandate of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has enacted the "Air Pollution Control Act," Act 1992-95, § 14, as amended, 35 P.S. § 4011 et seq., which, at § 4012 thereof, provides that a City may enact an ordinance in respect to air pollution so long as the provisions of such ordinance "will not be less stringent than the provision of the Air Pollution Control Act"; and
Studies, reports and advisories prepared by international, national and state research and regulatory agencies and organizations inquiring into the effects and impact of the types of fuel used in and the scale and duration of the emissions produced by outdoor solid fuel furnaces have been published. The Council, while recognizing the economical alternatives to conventional heating systems provided by outdoor solid fuel furnaces, has determined that such appliances may create uncontrolled offensive emissions of smoke, fumes and odors into the ambient air, which can be potentially detrimental to the health and safety of the residents of the City of Nanticoke and can deprive neighboring residents of the rightful use and enjoyment of their property. Accordingly, the Council of the City of Nanticoke, upon the enactment of this chapter, does hereby establish and impose various restrictions upon the installation, maintenance, use and operation of outdoor solid fuel furnaces within the City of Nanticoke so that such appliances do not create a private or public nuisance and, further, for the purpose of securing and promoting the health, comfort, convenience, safety and welfare of the persons and property of the residents of the City.
The following words or phrases, as the same are used herein or as the same appear in the context hereof, unless otherwise indicated, shall have the following meanings ascribed to them in this chapter:
- An outdoor solid fuel furnace and all appurtenances thereto, including, but not limited to, all equipment and all components necessary to and used in connection with the installation, maintenance and use of the outdoor solid fuel furnace.
- EXISTING APPLIANCE
- An appliance that has been constructed, installed, maintained and used on or before the effective date of this chapter.
- NEW APPLIANCE
- An appliance that has been constructed, installed, maintained and used after the effective date of this chapter.
- OUTDOOR SOLID FUEL FURNACE
- Any equipment, structure, device or associated apparatus and related appurtenances which is installed, affixed or situated outdoors for the primary purpose of the combustion of approved solid fuels to produce heat or energy by the distribution through pipes of a fluid heated in the device and used as the primary or secondary or supplementary heating system, which provides heat for interior space and/or domestic water within a structure located on residential premises, and is not located within the structure to be heated or to be provided with hot water.
- Any individual, partnership, corporation, firm, association, institution, governmental agency or entity, enterprise or any other legal entity whatsoever which is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- The minimum horizontal distances between the front right-of-way line or rear or side lines of any lot or parcel of land. When two or more lots under one ownership are used, the exterior property line so grouped shall be used in determining a setback.
- A building constructed and used for human habitation, housing of farm animals, or storage of equipment or materials of whatever nature.
All existing appliances shall be inspected within 90 days of the effective date of this chapter to determine compliance with its manufacturer's installation specifications and use instructions in respect to its electrical and plumbing equipment and components only. If the existing appliance is determined as being maintained and used in compliance with such manufacturer's electrical and plumbing installation specifications and use instructions, then the existing appliance shall be registered and recorded in a registry permanently maintained by the City of Nanticoke. Such registry shall duly and accurately note the appliance's owner(s), street location, placement of appliance on the lot of the owner(s), manufacturer, date of installation, date of inspection, and date of the registration of the appliance. Such registry shall be available for public inspection upon request.
Any new appliance shall be inspected to determine compliance with its complete manufacturer's installation specifications and use instructions within 30 days of the completion of its installation. If the installation and use of the new appliance are determined to be in full compliance with such complete manufacturer's installation and use instructions, the owner of the new appliance shall be granted a permit as provided by § 275-5 of this chapter.
The location of all new appliances shall be in such place on a parcel or lot of land as is recommended in their manufacturers' installation specifications and use instructions in respect to setbacks from the lots lines of adjoining property owners, but in no event shall any new appliance be located less than 25 feet from the lot lines of adjoining property owners.
The only fuels permitted to be burned in an existing appliance or a new appliance shall be those fuels recommended in its manufacturer's installation specifications and use instructions.
The residue of the spent fuel used in any outdoor solid fuel furnace shall not be disposed of in any manner that would constitute a violation of the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection or the ordinances of the City of Nanticoke. The residue of spent fuel and any fuel debris shall not be accumulated on the premises for a period in excess of 90 days.
All appliances shall be operated only between September 1 and May 31, annually, unless the appliance is used as the sole source of residential interior heat and/or domestic hot water service.
Notwithstanding full compliance with all of the terms and provisions of this chapter or the grant of a permit for the installation, maintenance and use of an existing or new appliance or full compliance with all air quality control and management provisions of any federal, state, regional or local statutes, ordinances, rules or regulations, the City of Nanticoke may suspend a permit and declare the existence of a public nuisance created by emissions from any appliance upon the grounds that it is necessary to so act to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City of Nanticoke and their property, if any of the following conditions occur:
Malodorous air emissions from the appliance are detectable by persons or the public generally beyond the property of the owner(s) on whose premises the appliance is located; or
The emissions from the appliance interfere with the rightful use and enjoyment of life and property of another; cause severe annoyance or discomfort; are offensive or objectionable, or all of the foregoing conditions, to any person who lives within the range of the emissions from the appliance into the ambient air; or
The emissions from the appliance cause damage to vegetation or the property of another person; or
The emissions from the appliance are or may be harmful to the health of any person or to the public generally.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to authorize any installation, maintenance or use of an appliance that is or becomes a public or private nuisance, regardless of compliance with the terms and provisions of this chapter.
This chapter shall not be a defense to any civil claims.
No person or entity shall cause, allow or maintain the installation or use of an appliance without first having it registered as an existing appliance or inspected and having obtained a permit issued by the City of Nanticoke as a new appliance within the periods of time stated in § 275-3 of this chapter.
An application for the registration of an existing appliance or for a permit for a new appliance or for a permit for any modified or suspended appliance shall be made to the City of Nanticoke Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer on forms furnished by the City of Nanticoke. The applicant shall furnish the following information on the application:
Name and address of the applicant (owner of appliance) and the property owner, if the appliance is installed, maintained and used on premises owned by a person other than the owner of the appliance;
Legal description of the property;
A sketch or drawing of the dimensions of the applicant's complete premises, including locations of all structures thereon and of the appliance's proposed location relative to adjoining property lines and the front street, and the distance from all adjoining property lines measured from the proposed location of the appliance; and
A copy of the appliance manufacturer's installation specifications and use instructions.
Prior to the registration of an existing appliance or the issuance of a permit for a new, modified or suspended appliance, the City of Nanticoke Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer shall inspect the appliance and all associated equipment and appurtenances thereto to determine compliance with its manufacturer's installation specifications and use instructions, as provided in §§ 275-3 and 275-5D and E of this chapter. Prior to the registration of an existing appliance or the grant of a permit for a new, modified or suspended appliance, the City of Nanticoke Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a written report of such inspection, the original of which shall be maintained as a permanent record of the City of Nanticoke and a copy of which shall be delivered to the owner of such appliance.
In the event that the maintenance and use of an appliance is suspended for any reason whatsoever for a period of 18 consecutive months, such appliance must be inspected by the City of Nanticoke to determine full compliance with all of the manufacturer's installation specifications and use instructions in the manner provided for new appliances in § 275-3 of this chapter. Should such full compliance be determined, a new permit shall be issued in the manner herein provided. A suspended appliance shall be considered as a new appliance hereunder.
In the event that an appliance is modified in any way or for any reason whatsoever such appliance must be inspected by the City of Nanticoke to determine full compliance with all of the manufacturer's installation specifications and use instruction; provided, however, it is an existing appliance which has not been relocated on the premises, the manufacturer's installation specifications and use instructions as to setbacks will not apply. Should such compliance be determined, a permit shall be issued in the manner herein provided.
All appliances, associated equipment and materials, and fuel used shall be subject to inspection by the City of Nanticoke Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer at any reasonable time to assure compliance with the terms and provisions of this chapter. The City of Nanticoke Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to enforce all provisions of this chapter. In furtherance of his duty and right to such enforcement, he may enter upon and inspect any parcel of land for the purpose of ascertaining compliance with the provisions of this chapter upon the presentation of his credentials to the occupant of such parcel of land.
A registration or a permit may be suspended at any time for a violation by the owner/operator of the appliance and the owner of the premises to comply with all of the terms and provisions of this chapter or to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City of Nanticoke.
A suspended registration or a permit may be reinstated when the City of Nanticoke Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer determines that the condition(s) which resulted in the suspension is/are remedied and written reasonable assurances of the owner/operator of the appliance and the owner of the premises are given that such condition(s) shall not occur again. Recurrence of a condition which had previously resulted in the suspension of a registration or a permit shall be considered as a violation of this chapter and shall be subject to the penalties provided herein.
Nothing contained herein shall authorize or allow burning within and emissions from or burning or combustion associated with or generated by appliances, which acts and conditions are or may in the future be prohibited by codes, laws, rules or regulations promulgated by the United States Environmental Agency, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, or any other federal, state, regional or local agency authorized to exercise jurisdiction over air quality control management. All new appliances and all electrical, plumbing or associated equipment or appurtenances used in connection with existing appliances shall be installed, operated and maintained in strict conformity with the manufacturer's installation specifications and use instructions, and any and all local, state and federal ordinances, codes, laws, rules and regulations.
Before commencing any action in the nature of a violation of this chapter, the City of Nanticoke Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer shall first give notice to the person charged with violating this chapter. Such notice shall be in writing and shall be served personally upon such person or by posting a copy of such written notice on the premises or attaching a copy of the written notice to each building or structure on the premises. In addition, a copy of the written notice shall be sent by United States Postal Service certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of the land, building, structure or premises in or on which the appliance is located, at the owner's last known address. The notice shall specify that failure to remedy the violation within 10 days of the date of the personal service or 12 days from the date of mailing may result in penalties to be levied against the owner of the premises if the specified violations are not remedied.
A violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a summary offense and shall be enforced by the commencement of an action before a Magisterial District Judge in the same manner provided for enforcement of summary offenses under the applicable provisions of the Pennsylvania Rules of Court. The Solicitor of the City of Nanticoke may assume charge of the prosecution of such violations in a manner consistent with the Pennsylvania Rules of Court relating to trial of summary cases, as the same may be amended from time to time.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 and all costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of said fine, shall be subject to imprisonment to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses.
In addition to all other remedies provided herein for violations of this chapter, the City of Nanticoke shall have the right to proceed in any court or competent jurisdiction for the purpose of obtaining an injunction, restraining order, or other appropriate remedy to compel compliance with the provisions of this chapter.