[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors (now Board of Commissioners) of the Township of Pocono 4-6-2009 by Ord. No. 140. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Pocono Township Outdoor Furnace 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 outdoor furnaces to minimize their public health effect and environmental impacts, and to abate public nuisances associated with the same.
This chapter is ordained and enacted under the authority granted by the First Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 55101 et seq.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A flue (or flues) that carries off exhaust from an outdoor furnace firebox or burn chamber.
- CHIMNEY HEIGHT
- The distance between the top of the chimney and the bottommost part of the furnace to which it is attached.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The individual(s), agency or firm appointed by the Pocono Township Board of Commissioners to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- EPA OWHH PHASE 1 PROGRAM
- EPA OWHH (Wood-fired Hydronic Heater Program) Phase 1 Program administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
- EPA OWHH PHASE 1 PROGRAM QUALIFIED MODEL
- An outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater that has been EPA OWHH Phase 1 Program qualified. The model has met the EPA OWHH Phase 1 emission level and has the proper qualifying label and hang tag.
- EXISTING OUTDOOR FURNACE
- An outdoor furnace that was purchased and installed prior to the effective date of this chapter.
- 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.
- NEW OUTDOOR FURNACE
- An outdoor furnace that is installed, established or constructed after the effective date of this chapter.
- OUTDOOR FURNACE
- Any equipment, device, appliance 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 for any interior space or water source. An outdoor furnace may also be referred to as an "outdoor wood boiler" or "outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater."
Applicability. No person shall, from the effective date of this chapter, construct, install, replace, establish, operate or maintain an outdoor furnace other than in compliance with the applicable sections of this chapter.
Permit; fee. A permit shall be required for the installation, construction or replacement of an outdoor furnace, and application shall be made to the Enforcement Officer in the form prescribed by the Township. The application shall be accompanied by the proper fee amount as established by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
Registration of existing outdoor furnaces. Any outdoor furnace in existence on the effective date of this chapter shall be permitted to remain, provided that the owner registers the furnace with the Enforcement Officer within one year of the effective date of this chapter. No fee shall be charged for the registration.
Operation. No person shall, from the effective date of this chapter, operate an outdoor furnace unless such operation conforms with the manufacturer's instructions regarding such operation and the requirements of this chapter.
Manufacturer's standards. All new outdoor furnaces shall be constructed, established, installed, operated and maintained in conformance with the manufacturer's specifications and instructions and the requirements of this chapter. In the event of a conflict, the more restrictive shall apply.
Manufacturer's manual/instructions. The owner of any new outdoor furnace shall produce the manufacturer's owner's manual or installation instructions to the Enforcement Officer for review prior to installation.
Laboratory certification. All new outdoor furnaces shall be laboratory tested and listed to appropriate safety standards such as UL, CAN/CSA, ANSI or other applicable safety standards.
UCC compliance. The installation of all new outdoor furnaces shall comply with the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code.
Outdoor furnaces shall be constructed, established, installed, operated and maintained pursuant to the following conditions:
EPA qualified. All new outdoor furnaces shall be EPA OWHH Phase 1 Program qualified and carry the orange tag which states: This model has been tested by an accredited independent laboratory according to EPA Method 28 OWHH and meets the emissions level for U.S. EPA's Phase I Voluntary Program.
Fuels permitted. Fuel burned in any new or existing outdoor furnace shall be only natural wood, wood pellets, corn products, biomass pellets or other listed fuels specifically permitted by the manufacturer's instructions such as fuel oil, natural gas or propane backup.
Fuels prohibited. The following fuels are strictly prohibited in new or existing outdoor furnaces:
Wood that has been painted, varnished or coated with similar material and/or has been pressure-treated with preservatives and contains resins or glues as in plywood or other composite wood products.
Trash, rubbish or garbage, including, but not limited to, food wastes, food packaging, food wraps, grass clippings, lawn waste, or manure.
Any plastic materials, including but not limited to nylon, PVC, ABS, polystyrene or urethane foam, and synthetic fabrics, plastic films and plastic containers.
Rubber including tires or other synthetic rubber-like products.
Newspaper, cardboard, or any paper with ink or dye products.
Any other items not specifically allowed by the manufacturer or this provision.
Setbacks for new outdoor furnaces. New outdoor furnaces shall:
Be not less than 150 feet from property lines and road rights-of-way.
Be not less than 200 feet from any occupied building not located on the lot on which the outdoor furnace will be located.
Be located in compliance with manufacturer's recommendations and or testing and listing requirements for clearance to combustible materials but in no case less than 20 feet from any building.
Chimney height. Chimney height shall comply with each of the following subsections:
The chimney of any new outdoor furnace shall extend at least two feet above the peak of the building it serves and any occupied principal building not served by the outdoor furnace located within 300 feet of such outdoor furnace.
The height of the chimney shall not exceed the manufacturer's specification or 35 feet, whichever is less.
Spark arresters. All new outdoor furnaces shall be equipped with properly functioning spark arresters in accord with the manufacturer's specifications.
Concrete base. The outdoor furnace shall be placed on a solid concrete slab not less than four inches thick and extending not less than six inches on each side of the furnace. If manufacturer's specifications and instructions require more robust standards, such standards shall apply.
The Enforcement Officer may require the suspension of the operation and/or revoke the permit of any outdoor furnace as necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare if any of the following conditions occur. The suspension may be lifted by the Enforcement Officer once the condition which resulted in suspension/revocation is remedied and reasonable assurances are given that such condition will not recur. Recurrence of a condition which has previously resulted in suspension and/or revocation shall be considered a violation of this chapter subject to the penalties provided within this chapter.
Malodorous air contaminants are detectable outside the property on which the outdoor furnace is located;
The emission interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of life on neighboring property.
The emissions cause damage to vegetation on neighboring property.
The emissions are or may be harmful to human or animal health.
Any other condition which constitutes a public nuisance.
Enforcement Officer. The Board of Commissioners shall appoint an individual, agency or firm to serve as the Enforcement Officer, who shall be responsible for enforcing the terms of this chapter. The terms of this chapter may also be enforced by a Pocono Township police officer.
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.
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 less than $500 nor more than $1,000 per violation, plus all court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by Pocono Township in the enforcement proceedings, and/or be imprisoned to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses. Each day or portion thereof that a violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate violation. Each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate violation. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of Pocono Township are hereby authorized to seek equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance with this chapter. 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.
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.
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 Enforcement Officer and/or the police officer shall be empowered to cause such work of 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, 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.