[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Washington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-4-2002 by Ord. No. 159]
This article shall be known as the "Washington Township Open Burning Ban Ordinance."
The purpose of this article is to provide guidance and limitations on open burning within Washington Township during periods of dry weather conditions when such burning may be hazardous to the health, welfare, safety and property of the citizens of Washington Township.
Unless the context specifically and clearly indicates to the contrary, the meaning of the terms used in this article shall be as follows:
- The Board of Supervisors of Washington Township.
- Shall have reference to any enclosed device specifically designed for the burning of any material for the production of heat.
- Shall have reference to any device specifically designed for the destruction of burning of refuse, sewage sludge or any other combustible material within an enclosed container.
- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR
- The Emergency Management Coordinator or assistant Emergency Management Coordinator (in the Emergency Management Coordinator's absence) appointed by the Washington Township Supervisors for Washington Township.
- FIRE CHIEFS
- The Fire Chief of the Blue Ridge Mountain Fire & Rescue Squad and the Waynesboro Fire Department.
- OPEN BURNING or OPEN FIRE
- Ignition and subsequent burning of any combustible material out-of-doors in either a burn barrel (screened or unscreened), fire rings, or on the ground. The use of propane or gas stoves, charcoal grills, burning in a furnace or incinerator, or use of tobacco in any form is not covered under this definition.
- Any individual, partnership, association, syndicate, company, firm, trust, corporation, department, bureau, agency or other entity recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- TOWNSHIP MANAGER
- The Manager of Washington Township appointed by the Washington Township Supervisors at their reorganization meeting annually.
During dry weather conditions in which open burning could be hazardous to the health, welfare and safety of the citizens of Washington Township and their property, the Township Manager, or the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in his absence, after consulting with the Fire Chiefs or their representative and receiving a favorable recommendation for an open burning ban from the Township's Emergency Management Coordinator, may declare an open burning ban in Washington Township effective 24 hours after public notice is provided in a newspaper of general circulation within Washington Township and by posting notice of the decision at the Washington Township Municipal office building. When a ban on open burning is declared, all open burning within the Township shall be prohibited until such time as the open burning ban is terminated.
When it is determined that the dry weather condition no longer exists, the Township Manager, or the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in his absence, shall publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation within Washington Township and shall post notice at the Washington Township Municipal office building that the ban on open burning has been terminated.
The Township Manager, or the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in his absence, shall notify the Washington Township Board of Supervisors of the decision to declare an open burning ban and when the ban is terminated at their next regular scheduled meeting.
During periods when the open burning ban is in effect, no person shall start or maintain an open fire for any purpose without the approval of the Township. Approval of the Township may be obtained by written application to the Township setting forth what is to be burned, the location of the proposed open burning, safeguards to insure that the burning will be properly contained and the availability of usable water supply in the vicinity of the burn to terminate the burn and to prevent its unintended spread. In the event permission is granted in response to any such application, the applicant shall be solely responsible for any damage that might be caused as a result of the burning activity.
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this article shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this article that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense. The minimum fine to be imposed is $50 per day or portion thereof for a first offense; $100 per day or portion thereof for a second offense and $500 per day or portion thereof for each subsequent offense. The Magisterial District Judge may impose a fine of more than the minimum amounts set forth above.
In addition to any other remedies provided in this article, any violation hereof shall constitute a nuisance and may be abated by Washington Township either by seeking mitigation of the nuisance or appropriate equitable or legal relief from a court of common jurisdiction.