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Township of Plainfield, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 291, 4/13/2005]
This Part shall be known and cited as the "Plainfield Township Burning Ordinance."
[Ord. 291, 4/13/2005, Art. 1]
It is against public policy to permit uncontrolled and unrestricted outdoor burning. The purpose of this Part is to prevent needless public damage to life and property because of public and private nuisances caused by outdoor fires deliberately or carelessly set and maintained.
[Ord. 291, 4/13/2005, Art. 2]
For the purposes of this Part, the following words and terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them herein:
CONTAINED FIRE
Any fire contained in an incinerator, burn barrel, fireplace or cooking grill or other contained enclosure designed for outdoor cooking, or a fireproof container.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Fire Chief of the Plainfield Township Volunteer Fire Company, any member of the Slate Belt Regional Police Department, the Plainfield Township Manager, Plainfield Township Zoning Officer and the Plainfield Township Code Enforcement Officer shall be designated Enforcement Officers under this Ordinance. Any citation must be issued by an officer of the Slate Belt Regional Police Department.
[Amended by Ord. 374, 6/10/2015]
FIRE
Any fire set or maintained outside of a building at any stage, including, but not limited to, smoldering or open flame.
GARBAGE
All putrescible animal and vegetable matter resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, organization, association, agency, firm, estate, or corporation and any other legal or commercial entity.
RECREATIONAL FIRE (CAMPFIRE)
Any fire using natural, untreated wood and containing a fuel source of not more than 10 cubic feet.
RECYCLABLES
As defined in § 20-202.
[Added by A.O.]
REFUSE
Garbage, rubbish and trade waste.
RESPONSIBLE ADULT
An individual 18 years or older who is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol or suffering from any other disability which would impair his or her ability to properly supervise a fire.
RUBBISH
Solid waste, including, but not limited to, rags, old clothes, leather, rubber, carpets, excelsior, ashes, furniture, tin cans, glass, crockery, masonry, grease, oil, petroleum products, chemicals, plastic, tires, railroad ties, asphalt shingles, asphalt siding, polystyrene and vinyl.
TRADE WASTE
Refuse from the operation of a business.
UNCONTAINED FIRE
Any fire not included in the definition of a "contained fire" or a "recreational fire."
[Ord. 291, 4/13/2005, Art. 3; as amended by Ord. 319, 2/15/2007, § 1]
1. 
Compliance with Part.
A. 
It shall be unlawful to burn, ignite, incinerate, maintain or permit to burn any materials whatsoever, of whatever nature, without complying with this Part.
B. 
Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent firefighting training by Township-designated firefighting organizations.
2. 
Public Roads and Public Properties. No person shall set, start, feed, permit to burn or maintain any fire upon any of the street rights-of-way, sidewalks, alleys, easements or public grounds in Plainfield Township, except where a designated area has been set aside or reserved for this purpose and an appropriate container has been provided to contain such fire.
3. 
Safe Distances.
A. 
It shall be unlawful to allow any fire, including cooking, within an unsafe distance from any building.
B. 
No fire shall be set, started, fed, permitted to burn or maintained where such fire may endanger any building or property, except where such building or property is used by the Fire Department for training purposes.
C. 
Out-of-door fires shall be permitted only upon private property and shall take place at least 20 feet from any building, street right-of-way, easements and property lines. Only one fire shall be permitted to burn at one time.
D. 
Nothing herein shall be deemed to prohibit indoor cooking activities providing that reasonable safeguards are maintained.
E. 
Cooking grills may be less than 20 feet from a building, providing that reasonable safeguards are maintained.
4. 
Control of Burning and Unattended Fires.
A. 
No fire shall be allowed to burn unattended without a responsible adult being present at all times and without readily available fire-extinguishing apparatus, such as rakes, shovels, fire extinguishers, and readily available on-site water.
B. 
No fire shall be permitted to burn whenever drought, high winds, or extreme weather conditions exist or when a ban on burning has been placed into effect by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the County of Northampton, the Board of Supervisors or the local police or fire departments. The Board of Supervisors and/or the Slate Belt Regional Police Department/Plainfield Township Fire Department may prohibit any and all outdoor fires when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.
[Amended by Ord. 374, 6/10/2015]
C. 
No fire shall be set that results in uncontrolled burning of vegetation, grass, brush, forest or leaves.
D. 
Out-of-door fires shall be confined in a noncombustible container, covered with a wire screen of 1/2 inch or smaller mesh, except for fires of brush, and/or natural, untreated wood which need not be confined to or covered by a noncombustible container. No brush burning is permitted within 150 feet from any wooded area. Leaves shall be burned in a noncombustible container covered with a wire mesh screen.
E. 
Prior to the start of an outdoor fire, the property owner upon whose land the fire will be located, shall notify the Plainfield Township Fire Company dispatcher of the burn, the name and address of the property owner, and the materials to be burned. The dispatcher shall also be notified by the property owner when the burn is completed.
5. 
Extinguishing Unsafe Fires. It is a violation of this Part for any person to allow any fire to burn under adverse weather conditions or unsupervised, or otherwise in an unsafe manner. Any such fire may be extinguished by an official of the Township-designated fire company or the Slate Belt Regional Police Department or the Enforcement Officer or shall be extinguished immediately upon request of such official by the property owner or his or her authorized representative.
[Amended by Ord. 374, 6/10/2015]
6. 
Hours.
A. 
No person shall set or maintain any contained or uncontained fire of any substance or material of any kind, out-or-doors, anywhere in the Township of Plainfield between sunset to sunrise.
B. 
Contained fires shall not be permitted to burn or smolder between the hours of sunset to sunrise.
C. 
Recreational fires using natural, untreated wood and containing a fuel source of no more than 10 cubic feet are permitted at any time so long as they comply with all other provisions of this Part.
D. 
No fires of any kind shall be permitted on Sundays or nationally recognized holidays.
7. 
Unlawful Substances.
A. 
Burning of construction debris, pressure treated wood or wood products, plastics, by-products of manufacturing and processing operations, and wastes from commercial operations is strictly prohibited.
B. 
Nothing herein shall be construed to permit or encourage the burning of any substance determined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States Environmental Protection Agency to be a hazardous substance; nor shall any fire be permitted to burn by any person if such burning is in violation of the Air Pollution Control Act, 35 P.S. § 4001 et seq., or other legislation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States of America or any other competent public agency.
C. 
No garbage, recyclables, rubbish or refuse may be burned at any time either indoors or out-of-doors.
[Amended by A.O.]
D. 
Fires shall be used only to burn readily combustible materials.
8. 
Special Circumstances.
A. 
In the event that it is necessary to have an uncontained fire of a size and/or at times other than permitted under this Part, special permission must be obtained in advance from the Fire Chief of the Plainfield Township Volunteer Fire company or his designee. In the event any fire company is required to respond to a fire which violates the provisions of this Part, a service fee may be levied by the responding fire company.
B. 
Any fire exceeding 10 cubic feet must be given special permission by calling the Township or the Fire Department five days prior to the burn.
C. 
Any commercial entity having a state permit must still comply with this Part in regards to weather conditions and announced burning ban.
[Ord. 291, 4/13/2005, Art. 4; as amended by Ord. 374, 6/10/2015; and by A.O.]
1. 
Criminal Prosecution of Ordinance Violators, Fines, Penalties and Costs.
A. 
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
All citations shall be issued by the Slate Belt Regional Police Department.
2. 
Equitable and Other Remedies. No penalty herein shall prevent the Township from enforcing this Part by equitable, injunctive and other remedies.
3. 
Liability. The Township of Plainfield and its agents, officials, and representatives, shall not, under any circumstances, be liable or responsible for damages caused to any person or property by reason of the provisions of this Part, or by reason of conduct of any burning activity in compliance with the terms and provisions of this Part. The individual person or party responsible for any such fire shall bear sole liability for any damages caused as a result thereof.
[Ord. 334, 5/14/2008, § 1]
This Part shall be known as the "Plainfield Township Outdoor Solid-Fuel-Burning Appliance Ordinance."
[Ord. 334, 5/14/2008, § 2]
CHIMNEY
Any vertical structure enclosing a flue or flues that carry off smoke or exhaust from a solid-fuel-fired outdoor heating appliance.
OUTDOOR SOLID-FUEL-BURNING APPLIANCE
Any equipment, device or apparatus which is installed, affixed or situated outdoors, and not situated within a building intended for habitation by humans or domestic animals, which is used for the primary purpose of combustion of fuel to produce heat for energy as a heating system, or component thereof, which provides heat or hot water to the principal structure, to a structure used for human or animal habitation, or to any accessory uses or structures, including, but not limited to, greenhouses and conservatories.
[Ord. 334, 5/14/2008, § 3]
1. 
No person, owner and/or contractor shall hereafter install, or allow the installation or initiation of any work towards the installation of an outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliance without first obtaining a permit issued by Plainfield Township.
2. 
The application and plan shall be accompanied by such fee as the Board of Supervisors may prescribe from time to time by resolution.
[Ord. 334, 5/14/2008, § 4]
1. 
Rubbish or garbage including, but not limited to, food wastes or wraps, packaging, animal carcasses, paint or painted materials, furniture, composite shingles, demolition debris or other household or business wastes.
2. 
Waste oil or other oily wastes except used oil burned in a heating device for energy recovery per applicable DEP regulations.
3. 
Asphalt and products containing asphalt, any treated or painted wood products that are painted, varnished or treated with preservatives.
4. 
Any type of plastics or plastic materials.
5. 
Rubber, including tires and synthetic rubber-like products.
6. 
Any material that is not recommended by the manufacturer of the appliance.
[Ord. 334, 5/14/2008, § 5]
1. 
Any outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliance shall be located on a lot of not less than three acres and shall not be less than 200 feet from any lot line.
2. 
Any appliance shall have a minimum height of 10 feet or the maximum height allowable by the manufacturer. If less than 20 feet, applicant must provide the Township with documentation from the manufacturer confirming the restriction.
3. 
All appliances shall comply with emissions standards as promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All emission standards currently required by the EPA are hereby adopted by reference as well as any amendments made to them hereafter.
4. 
All appliances shall be installed, operated and maintained in strict compliance with manufacturers' instructions and guidelines. In the event of a conflict between the manufacturers' instructions and regulations and the regulations contained in this Part, the most stringent regulations shall apply.
5. 
All appliances shall be used for the sole purpose of furnishing heat and/or hot water to a dwelling or other structure.
6. 
In the event the appliance is damaged more than 50%, or is physically deteriorated or decayed, the appliance shall be removed and/or replaced with a new unit within 60 days of the date that notice is received from Plainfield Township.
7. 
Outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliances on lots less than 20 acres shall not be operated from June 1 to August 30.
[Ord. 334, 5/14/2008, § 6]
A person utilizing or maintaining an outdoor solid-fuel-burning appliance shall be responsible for all fire-suppression costs and any other liability resulting from damage caused by a fire.
[Ord. 334, 5/14/2008, § 7; as amended by A.O.]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.