Township of Pocono, PA
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors (now Board of Commissioners) of the Township of Pocono 4-6-2009 by Ord. No. 139. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Outdoor furnaces — See Ch. 212.
Solid waste — See Ch. 356.
Zoning — See Ch. 470.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Pocono Township Burning Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Pocono Township and the public at large by regulating open burning to minimize its public health effect and environmental impacts, and to abate public nuisances associated with open burning.
This chapter is ordained and enacted under the authority granted by the First Class Township Code in 53 P.S. § 56566.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
Any open burning which does not comply with the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
B. 
It shall be the responsibility of the property owner of the premises upon which any open burning is being conducted, jointly with the person conducting such violation, to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Any open burning which does not comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed to be in violation of this chapter. The property owner of the premises upon which any such violation is occurring, as well as the person engaging in such violation, shall be subject to the penalties and remedies prescribed herein.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BONFIRE
A large outdoor fire of a size larger than necessary for cooking and which is conducted for a special event or celebration by a government, school district, community-based organization or other person.
FIRE
The phenomenon of rapid self-sustaining chemical reaction (oxidation) usually accompanied by the evolution of light and heat.
FIRE COMPANY
The Pocono Township Volunteer Fire Company or any fire company that has a mutual aid agreement with the Pocono Township Volunteer Fire Company.
LEAF WASTE
Leaves, garden residue, shrubbery and tree trimmings and similar materials, but not including grass clippings.
[Added 9-30-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
NATURAL WOOD
Wood, which has not been painted, varnished or coated with a similar material, has not been pressure-treated with preservatives and does not contain resins or glues as in plywood or other composite wood products.
OPEN BURNING
Any outdoor fire wherein the products of combustion are emitted to the open air which is not exempted by § 129-6B(1) or permitted by § 129-6B(2) of this chapter.
OWNER
The person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, is the owner of record of the premises as filed with the Monroe County Recorder of Deeds. In the case where an owner is represented by an agent, including but not limited to a manager, executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, or guardian of the estate of the owner, such person thus representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter and with rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, to the same extent as if he were the owner.
PERSON
An individual, trustee, executor, other fiduciary, corporation, firm, partnership, association, organization or other legal entity.
POLICE OFFICER
A duly appointed police officer of the Pocono Township Police Department, any police department that has a mutual aid agreement with the Pocono Township Police Department, or the Pennsylvania State Police.
PROPERTY
A piece, parcel, lot or tract of land.
RECYCLING MATERIALS
Materials generated by a person or entity which can be separated from other municipal waste and returned to commerce to be reused as a resource in the development of useful products. Materials which may be recycled include, but are not limited to, glass (clear, brown or green), aluminum, steel and bimetal cans, high-grade office paper, mixed paper, newspaper (including newspaper inserts), telephone books, corrugated paper, magazines and other periodicals, plastic containers and other materials as may be designated by the Township from time to time as recyclable materials.
[Added 9-30-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Pocono, Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
ZONING OFFICER
The individual(s), agency or firm appointed by the Pocono Township Board of Commissioners to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
Prohibition; hours for open burning; extinguishment.
(1) 
Prohibition. It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally burn, ignite, incinerate, or allow to burn, ignite, or incinerate, any and all materials, the burning of which shall emit noxious fumes, smoke, ash or other material, or to cause and allow an open fire to be maintained, except in strict conformity with this chapter. Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties herein provided.
(2) 
Hours for open burning. Open burning shall only be permitted on Saturdays between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and on Wednesdays between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., and such fires shall be fully extinguished no later than 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. Bonfires may be conducted at other hours in accord with the permit issued by the Township in accord with § 129-6B(2).
(3) 
Extinguishment. Any fire permitted to burn in an unsafe manner, under adverse weather conditions, unsupervised, or otherwise in violation of this chapter, or determined unsafe or a nuisance by the Zoning Officer, a police officer, or an official of the Fire Company shall be extinguished immediately upon demand by such officer or official, or may be extinguished as necessary by the Township or any fire company.
B. 
Exemptions; bonfires.
(1) 
Exemptions. Nothing herein shall prohibit:
(a) 
Cooking and heating. Any burning conducted wholly within the confines of a permanent structure intended for the habitation of human beings, and said fire or burning is used for cooking purposes or for heating said structure.
(b) 
Outdoor cooking. Any burning, the sole purpose of which is to cook or prepare food, provided that said fire is confined in a fireplace, cooking grill or other container designed for outdoor cooking.
(c) 
Firefighting training. Any burning conducted solely for the purpose of firefighter and/or rescue personnel training by the Fire Company.
(d) 
Outdoor furnace. The use of an outdoor furnace as defined by and in compliance with Chapter 212, Furnaces, Outdoor, of the Code of the Township of Pocono.
(2) 
Bonfires. Bonfires conducted by a government, school district, community-based organization or other person shall be permitted, provided such bonfire is conducted in accord with this chapter and a permit has been issued by the Township. The bonfire shall be fully extinguished at the time specified on the permit.
C. 
Standards applicable to all burning. The following standards shall apply to all fires, burning, and incineration in the Township.
(1) 
Prohibited materials. All waste products shall be disposed of in accord with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Rules and Regulation, the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Plan, the Monroe County Municipal Waste Management Ordinance, and the Township's Recycling Ordinance;[1] and the intentional burning of the following materials shall be prohibited in the Township:
[Amended 9-30-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
(a) 
Any materials designated as recyclables under the state, county or Township regulations or ordinances.
(b) 
Any paper products.
(c) 
Solid or liquid household waste.
(d) 
Construction and demolition waste, insulation, shingles, or treated wood.
(e) 
Paint, or painted or stained objects.
(f) 
Furniture, mattresses, or box springs.
(g) 
Plastic, Styrofoam, rubber, fiberglass, insulating coating on wire, or PVC products.
(h) 
Metal, television sets and appliances, vehicles and vehicle parts.
(i) 
Batteries.
(j) 
Waste oil or other petroleum products, or excessive amounts of accelerants.
(k) 
Tires.
(l) 
Animal matter or offal, by-products or waste materials generated by any production process.
(m) 
Diapers.
(n) 
Any other material the burning of which can produce noxious or hazardous smoke or fumes.
(o) 
Any municipal waste.
(p) 
Any leaf waste or recycling materials in any public or private place outside of a building.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 356, Solid Waste, and Art. II, Recycling, of said chapter.
(2) 
Permitted materials. Natural wood may be burned within the Township only if such items are generated on the property on which the burning is conducted.
[Amended 9-30-2014 by Ord. No. 2014-12]
(3) 
Local, state, and federal regulations. All burning, including, but not limited to, burning associated with any production, manufacturing, salvage or reclamation process, shall be conducted only in accord with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations, including but not limited to, Chapter 470, Zoning; the Air Pollution Control Act of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, P.L. 2119 and the provisions thereof,[2] as well as the regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as pertaining to said Act; and the United States Environmental Protection Agency regulations; all of which are incorporated in this chapter by reference.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 4001 et seq.
(4) 
Unattended burning. No fire shall be set or maintained without a responsible adult being present at all times.
(5) 
Public property. No fire shall be set or maintained on any public road except for municipal or state purposes.
(6) 
Endangerment. No fire shall be set or maintained that may endanger any building or property.
(7) 
Fire control equipment. When any open burning is conducted in accord with this chapter, the person responsible for said burning shall maintain at the site any and all equipment appropriate and adequate to contain and control the burning being conducted. Such equipment may, for example, include a charged hose, fire extinguisher, Indian tanks, shovels or rakes.
(8) 
Lot clearing. Any trees, branches, brush or other vegetation associated with the clearing of a lot shall be removed from the site, or may be chipped and be deposited on the lot.
D. 
Open burning. In addition to the standards contained in § 129-6C, the following additional standards shall apply to all outdoor fires.
(1) 
Burning ban. No open burning shall be permitted when drought, weather or other conditions present an unusual fire risk or when a ban on burning has been instituted by the Township or an agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Township Board of Commissioners, in consultation with the Fire Chief, shall have the right to institute a ban on all open burning in the Township when such unusual fire risk warrants a ban. Notice of such restriction shall be given by notice in a paper of general circulation and by posting a notice at the Township office, or by giving such other notice as the Township shall deem appropriate.
(2) 
Setbacks. All open burning shall be conducted within the confines of the lot and no open burning shall be permitted within 20 feet of any building, or on any public or private road or road shoulder except as conducted by Township employees.
A permit issued by the Township shall be required for the all open burning allowed by this chapter, except that a permit shall not be required for the burning of leaves. Nevertheless, the burning of leaves shall comply with the hours for open burning in § 129-6A(2) and all other requirements of this chapter. Any person proposing to set an open fire which requires a permit shall obtain the permit prior to setting the fire. The permit fee, if any, shall be set by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
A. 
Zoning Officer. The Board of Commissioners shall appoint an individual, agency or firm to serve as the Zoning Officer, who shall be responsible for enforcing the terms of this chapter. The terms of the chapter may also be enforced by a police officer or an official of the Fire Company.
B. 
Compliance. Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter, and/or failure to comply with an order to abate a nuisance, shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
C. 
Violations and penalties. This chapter shall be enforced by action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. Any person, partnership, corporation or other entity who or which violates or permits a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus the costs of prosecution, and, in default of the payment of the fine and costs of prosecution, shall be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 30 days. All fines, penalties, costs and reasonable attorney's fees collected for the violation of this chapter shall be paid to Pocono Township for its general use.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
Other remedies. In addition to the fines, judgments, and/or imprisonment remedies of Subsection C, the Board reserves the right to pursue independent and cumulative remedies at law or equity including a demand for reimbursement of all court costs and reasonable attorney fees.
E. 
Abatement by Township and recovery of costs. In addition, if the owner or person in control of any premises, at which an act or condition constituting a violation of this chapter is occurring, fails to respond to an order of compliance, the Zoning Officer and/or the police officer and/or Fire Company Official shall be empowered to cause such compliance to be commenced and/or completed by the Township, and the Township may enter a municipal lien upon the premises to recover the cost and expense thereof.
Pocono Township, and its agents, officials and representatives shall not under any circumstances be liable or legally responsible for activities or conditions which constitute a nuisance under the terms of this chapter. Any liability or damages resulting from activities or conditions constituting a nuisance are the sole responsibility of the owner of the property, and/or the person or persons responsible for said activity or condition. The failure to enforce the terms of this chapter shall not constitute a cause of action against Pocono Township or its agents, officials or representatives.