[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Frederick as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-12-1984 as Ch. 3 of the 1984 Frederick County Code]
Pursuant to § 10.1-1321 of the Code of Virginia of 1950, as amended, there is hereby established an air pollution control program for the purpose of preserving and improving the air resources of the County of Frederick so as to promote health, safety and welfare and to prevent injury to human, plant and animal life or to property.
In the administration and enforcement of this article, due regard shall be taken for all of the facts and circumstances bearing upon the reasonableness of the activity involved and the regulations proposed to control it, including:
The character and degree of injury to or interference with safety, health or the reasonable use of property which is caused or threatened to be caused.
The social and economic value of the activity involved.
The suitability or unsuitability of such activity to the area in which it is located.
The practicability, both scientific and economic, of reducing or eliminating the discharge resulting from such activity.
Nothing in this article shall be in any manner so construed as authorizing or permitting the creation or maintenance of a nuisance.
Nothing in this article shall be so construed as to abridge, limit or otherwise impair the right of any person to damages or other relief on account of injuries to persons or property and to maintain any action or other appropriate proceeding therefor.
All provisions of this article are intended to be a reemphasis or more restrictive local application of rules adopted by the State Air Pollution Control Board pursuant to the Air Pollution Control Law of Virginia, Title 10.1, Chapter 13, §§ 10.1-1300 through 10.1-1326, of the Code of Virginia of 1950, as amended. All prohibitions in the state rules and any amendments thereto against other air pollutants not covered in this article shall also be applicable and enforceable under the provisions of this article.
In addition to any other powers vested in it by the law, the local department or office to be designated shall act as Air Pollution Control Office (Agency) for the County of Frederick. In this capacity it shall:
Conduct studies and investigations relating to air pollution and its prevention, abatement and control.
Issue such orders as may be necessary to the purpose of this article and enforce the same by all appropriate administrative and judicial proceedings.
Encourage voluntary cooperation by owners or other persons to achieve the purposes of this article.
Advise, consult and cooperate with other local governmental units or agencies of the state and federal governments in matters relating to air pollution.
Except as noted below, no owner shall kindle an open fire in any public or private place outside any building. Such exceptions shall not allow the burning of rubber tires, asphaltic materials, used crankcase oil or similar materials which produce dense smoke. During the existence of an air pollution alert, as may be declared by appropriate authority, all exceptions are void and no open fires shall be kindled.
No owner shall conduct salvage operations by open burning.
The foregoing prohibitions against open burning are not intended to apply to the following:
Burning of material, such as household rubbish and garbage, leaves or lawn and garden clippings, originating on the premises of a landowner, but only where service for the removal of refuse is not available.
Recognized practices of agriculture for the clearing of land and disposal of scrubby trees, brush, weeds or other plant life.
Open burning by the order of any public official in the performance of his duties for the prevention of an irregular or nonrecurring hazard which cannot be reasonably abated by other means or for the instruction of fire-fighting personnel.
Open burning for the cooking of food or recreational purposes, such as campfires.
Open burning for heating by construction or other workmen.
Open burning for the purpose of right-of-way clearing by the State Highway Department or by any public service corporation or by any contractor pursuant to the terms of his contract and under the direction of a representative of such Department or public service corporation may be authorized by the Air Pollution Control Officer or Agency.
Open burning for reforestation, when undertaken in compliance with the practices recommended by the State Division of Forestry, Department of Conservation and Economic Development, may be authorized by the Air Pollution Control Officer or Agency.
Open burning by a railroad company of combustible material on its right-of-way as a forest fire preventive measure under the direction of the State Division of Forestry, Department of Conservation and Economic Development, may be authorized by the Air Pollution Control Officer or Agency.
No owner shall allow the operation of any combustion installation so as to discharge into the outdoor atmosphere any smoke or other visible emissions of particulate matter either:
Darker in shade than that designated as No. 2 on the Ringelmann Smoke Chart published by the United States Bureau of Mines (Information Circular 8333 dated May 1967 or later revision).
Of such opacity as to obscure an observer's view to a degree greater than does smoke designated as No. 2 on the Ringelmann Smoke Chart (when used as a measure of opacity).
The foregoing restrictions are not intended to apply in the following circumstances:
When building a new fire, cleaning a fire box, blowing soot from a boiler or when operational requirements occur which make it evident that the emission was not reasonably preventable, smoke which is darker than No. 2 on the Ringelmann Smoke Chart may be emitted for a reasonable length of time.
When the owner can show to the satisfaction of the Air Pollution Control Officer or Agency that the opacity of the visible emissions is due to the presence of water vapor.
When the owner can show that the emissions comply with emissions standards contained in rules promulgated by the State Air Pollution Control Board.
When emergency equipment to prevent frost damage is used in agricultural operation, except that smudge pots are not included in this exception.
When a breakdown of equipment or other unavoidable malfunction or condition beyond the owner's control occurs, emissions darker than No. 2 on the Ringelmann Smoke Chart may be permitted by the Air Pollution Control Officer or Agency. The owner shall not be deemed in violation if he gives notification within 24 hours of the circumstances and outlines a corrective and preventive program acceptable to the Air Pollution Control Officer or Agency.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this article or any other provision of law, if the Air Pollution Control Officer or Agency finds that any owner is causing or contributing to air pollution and that such pollution creates an emergency which requires immediate action to protect the public health or safety, he shall order such owner to reduce or discontinue immediately the air pollution and such order shall be complied with immediately.
Each violation of any section of this article shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500. Each day of continued violation of this article shall constitute a distinct and separate offense.
[Adopted 9-12-1984 as Ch. 10, Art. I, of 1984 Frederick County Code.]
Editor's Note: For statutory provisions relating to fire protection generally, see Code of Virginia, Title 27.
[Amended 8-24-1988; 1-24-1990]
The burning of brush, leaves, grass, debris or other flammable material on the premises of privately owned land may be burned on these properties, provided that:
During the period from May 16 to the last day of February each year, such burning is done between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight.
During the period from March 1 to May 15, inclusive each year, such burning is done between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight.
The location of the burning shall not be less than 500 feet from any occupied building unless the occupant thereof has given prior written permission or within 500 feet of any woodland or brushland.
At no time shall any such fire be unattended.
All burning of woods, brush, logs, leaves, grass, debris or other flammable material permitted under this section shall not be commenced and shall be immediately terminated upon declaration of an alert warning or an emergency state when proclaimed by either the Executive Director of the State Air Pollution Control Board or its designated representative or by proclamation by the Board of Supervisors or by emergency action by the County Administrator which would have to be ratified by the Board of Supervisors at their next meeting following such action.
Section 10.1-1142 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, is hereby approved and made effective.
The penalties set forth in § 10.1-1142 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, shall be effective for violations as applicable.
The provisions of this article shall be enforceable by the Frederick County Sheriff's Department and the Frederick County Fire Marshal.