[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Chittenango 2-23-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Village of Chittenango Outdoor Wood Boiler Law." It is adopted pursuant to § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law.
With the dramatic fluctuations in the cost associated with fossil fuels for home heating, commercial and residential property owners seek alternative methods of heating their real property, using available wood sources, under the belief that such may provide heat to their property at lower cost, but in a safe manner. In conjunction with this effort, manufacturers have produced wood-burning boilers, which heat water for circulation inside commercial and residential premises, but which are actually located outside the structure which they heat. Such are called outdoor wood boilers. The predominate source of material which is burned is wood products, which are burned within a closed container. The container is surrounded by water, which then is pumped from the boiler into the premises. Such boilers require independent smoke stacks and independent loading outside the premises, for a number of reasons, including inadequacy of space within the structure, the cost of installing such appliances within the structure or the facility and the speed with which such outdoor wood boilers can be installed versus dramatic modifications of the structure.
Such wood boilers, however, have been found, in various studies, to produce smoke, in varying amounts, which is not easily dissipated. Further, such smoke has been shown to contain particulate matter, carbon monoxide and other pollutants, as such are defined in Part 40 of the Code of Federal Rules and Regulations, Section 60.530 through Section 60.539(b). Such emissions may dramatically affect the health of people living in proximity to the boilers and similarly may affect the appearance of the neighborhoods within which such boilers may be located. Depending upon the type of materials being burned, the emissions vary in severity of density of the smoke and pollutants contained.
A regulated use of outdoor wood boilers, therefore, is considered to be essential to the health and wellbeing of any person within the Village who may reside on or near a premises upon which an Outdoor Wood Boiler may be located and used. It is the purpose of this chapter to provide a reasonable framework within which owners may consider whether an Outdoor Wood Boiler is appropriate to their property, while still assuring a reasonable effort to avoid harmful impact upon the health and wellbeing of other members of the surrounding area.
While the industry providing such Outdoor Wood Boilers is attempting to make the same more efficient and/or reduce the emissions that are byproducts of use of the Outdoor Wood Boilers, the results are not uniform and the assertions concerning potential economic savings over long-term use cannot currently be verified. The emplacement and utilization of Outdoor Wood Boilers, therefore, may not ultimately produce the types of efficiency and cost savings which might otherwise induce owners of real property to emplace and use such wood boilers, notwithstanding the potential for injury to persons and property in the vicinity.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Chimney, smoke stack, flue duct, or other solid physical conveyor through which products of combustion or incomplete combustion, smoke, dust and/or odors are conveyed from a fire source into the open air.
- That item which is present, installed and operable as prescribed by the manufacturer as of the specified date.
- Not being an original component of that which is described.
- That property of a substance which affects the sense of smell.
- OPEN AIR
- All space outside of buildings, fully enclosed areas and chimneys.
- OUTDOOR WOOD BOILERS (OWB)
- Any equipment, device or apparatus, or any part thereof, which is installed, affixed or situated outdoors, for the primary purpose of combustion of fuel to produce heat or energy used as a component of a heating system providing heat to any interior space. "Outdoor Wood Boilers" are also called outdoor wood furnaces or hydronic heaters.
- SEASONED FIREWOOD
- Dry tree trunks and dry wooden branches.
- Emission containing particulates from a chimney, stack or open fire or from the combustion or heating of fuel or refuse.
- UNTREATED LUMBER
- Wood which has been milled and dried but which has not been treated or combined with any petroleum product, chemical, preservative, glue, adhesive, stain, paint or other nonintegral substance.
- UNTREATED WOOD PELLETS
- Wood pellets which have been milled and dried but which have not been treated or combined with any petroleum product, chemical, preservative, glue, adhesive, stain, paint or other substance.
No person shall commence any work which is part of the installation or operation of an Outdoor Wood Boiler without first having obtained a building permit from the Code Enforcement Officer.
Only Outdoor Wood Boilers that are listed and meet the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) Phase I (orange tag) and II (white tag) emissions limits will be permitted in the Village of Chittenango.
OWB must be installed, operated and maintained per manufacturers' instructions and specifications.
OWB shall be laboratory-tested and indicate compliance with appropriate safety standards, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 2523, CAN/CSA (Canada National Standards/Canadian Standard Association) B366.186 B140.7.2 or ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) E251509 standards or other appropriate standards.
All plumbing, electrical and mechanical requirements outside of and into the residence or principal structure must conform to manufacturers' instructions and must conform to the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (NYSUFP&BC).
OWB shall be permitted only on lots of three acres or more.
OWB must be located with due consideration to the prevailing wind direction.
OWB must be located to the rear of the front building line (as defined in the NYSUFP&BC) of the principal building.
OWB may only be operated from October 1 of one year to April 30 of the following year.
All OWB shall be equipped with properly functioning spark arrestors, chimneys and flues.
Only seasoned firewood, untreated lumber and untreated wood pellets are permitted to be burned in any OWB.
The following are prohibited to be burned in an OWB: trash, plastics, gasoline, rubber, naphtha, household garbage, materials treated with petroleum products (particle board, railroad ties and pressure-treated wood) leaves, paper products and card board.
Lighter fluids, gasoline and chemicals may not be used to start the OWB.
Yearly maintenance: OWB, chimneys and components shall be inspected and cleaned each year to keep them in a safe working condition. A copy of the report of such inspection and cleaning must be provided to the Village Code Enforcement Officer upon request.
Setbacks and chimneys.
OWB that meet EPA Phase I emission limits shall meet the following setback and chimney requirements:
Existing OWBs may continue. Any Outdoor Wood Boiler in existence on the effective date of this chapter shall be permitted to remain in operation, provided that the owners thereof apply for and receive a permit from the Village Code Enforcement Officer within 90 days of the effective date of this chapter; provided, however, that upon the effective date of this chapter, all the provisions hereof, except § 145-5N(1) and (2), shall immediately apply to existing Outdoor Wood Boilers. All of the provisions of this chapter shall continue to apply to existing Outdoor Wood Boilers which receive permits, except the provisions of Subsection N(1) and (2) of § 145-5. If the owner of an existing Outdoor Wood Boiler does not apply for a permit within 90 days of the effective date of this chapter, such shall be a violation of this chapter.
Abandonment/discontinuance. An OWB which has not been used for a period of 12 consecutive months shall not be permitted to be used until the OWB and all components are inspected and the inspector has certified, in writing, that said OWB is suitable for use. An OWB that is abandoned for a period of 24 months or more must be removed by the property owner from the premises, if inspection and certification are not provided to the Code Enforcement Officer within 30 days of notice by said officer.
Appeals from any administrative action, decision, or direction of the Code Enforcement Officer (i.e., suspensions, revocations, denial of permits), or for a variance from the strict application of the specific requirements of this chapter, shall be made to the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Inspection upon complaint: Anyone who secures a permit to install an OWB will be deemed to have agreed to permit the Village Code Enforcement Office, or any other person designated by the Village, to inspect the OWB if a complaint of violation of this Chapter is filed in writing.
The Code Enforcement Officer, or other authorized agent of the Village, shall be entitled to inspect all OWB upon appropriate notice to the occupant of the premises upon which an OWB is installed, or upon appropriate notice to the person who has obtained a permit for such OWB. The Code Enforcement Officer shall have discretion to determine the appropriate form and timing of notice, depending upon the degree of perceived harm alleged or evident upon visual observation from public property or from authorized private property.
The Village of Chittenango may suspend the right to operate an OWB, if necessary, to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Village of Chittenango. Such suspension may be imposed if any of the following conditions occur:
Malodorous emissions eminating from the OWB are detectable outside the boundaries of property of the person on whose land the OWB is located; or
The emissions from the OWB unreasonably interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of life or property of others; or
The emissions from the OWB cause demonstrable damage to vegetation or property; or
The emissions from the OWB appear to be harmful to humans or animals; or
The operation of the OWB results in the dissemination of noxious smoke, dust or odors into the air; or
Penalties. Failure to comply with this chapter shall be deemed a violation upon conviction. Punishment for conviction may include a fine not to exceed $250, or imprisonment for a period of no more than 15 days, or by both fine and imprisonment up to the limits specified. In addition, if suspension of a permit has been issued, such permit shall not be reinstated until full compliance with this chapter has been achieved. In addition to punishment by fines and incarceration as provided herein, if a second conviction for a violation of this Chapter occurs within any twenty-four-month period, the permit to operate an OWB may not be reinstated until at least eight months have lapsed from the date of suspension or conviction, whichever is earlier. Upon a third and/or subsequent conviction of the same owner for violations occurring within any thirty-six-month period, the OWB shall be removed from the premises at the sole expense of the owner of the premises.