[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Shaler 7-8-2014 by Ord. No. 1925. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is intended to promote the public health, safety and welfare and to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Township of Shaler, Pennsylvania, by regulating the air pollution and fire hazards of outdoor open burning.
This chapter applies to all open burning within the Township of Shaler, Pennsylvania.
This chapter does not apply to grilling or cooking food using charcoal, clean wood, propane or natural gas in cooking or grilling appliances.
This chapter does not apply to burning for the purpose of generating heat in a stove, furnace, fireplace or other heating device within a building used for human or animal habitation.
This chapter does not apply to the use of propane, acetylene, natural gas, gasoline or kerosene in a device intended for heating, construction or maintenance activities.
It shall be unlawful for a person, firm or corporation to burn or cause to be burned any papers, leaves, wood or other combustible materials upon any lot, yard, sidewalk, street or alley in any portion of the Township of Shaler designated as a residential, commercial or industrial district except in accordance with this chapter.
Open burning in the Township shall be permitted without a permit, if and only if:
For recreational fires, ceremonial fires, camping and cookouts:
Only dry clean wood products or other clean-burning fuels are burned;
Only smokeless fuels, if any, are used to start the fire;
The pile of material being burned is no larger than nine square feet by two feet high;
The fire is at least 15 feet from the nearest structure, inhabited area, roadway, property line or utility; and
The fire is attended at all times and completely extinguished when not attended.
For warmth of work crews and if:
All open burning shall be constantly attended and supervised by a competent person until the fire is extinguished and is cold. The supervising person shall:
Be a competent person of at least 18 years of age;
Have fire-extinguishing equipment readily available for use as may be necessary for the total control of the fire;
Be in supervision of only one fire at any given time; and
Be free from the effects of alcohol and/or illegally used controlled substances and/or over-the-counter medicines and/or prescribed medications that may impair proper judgment.
Open burning shall not create a visibility hazard on roadways, railroads or airfields;
Open burning shall be conducted in conformance with all local and state fire protection regulations;
Open burning creating an air pollution problem, a nuisance or a fire hazard, as deemed by the Township Code Enforcement Officer, Fire Marshal or other law enforcement officer, shall be extinguished;
Hot ashes, cinders or smoldering coals subject to spontaneous ignition shall be deposited in a noncombustible container and placed at least two feet from any combustible material, floor or ground surface;
No open burning shall be conducted during unfavorable weather conditions such as high winds or extremely dry conditions; and
One portable fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 4-A or other on-site fire-extinguishing equipment such as a connected garden hose shall be immediately available at a maximum distance of 25 feet from the open burning.
Except for barbecue, gas and charcoal grills, no open burning shall be undertaken during periods when a burning ban applicable to Shaler Township has been issued by any state or county official.
The Board of Commissioners has the authority to implement a temporary burning ban due to environmental conditions, including but not limited to high winds or extreme dry conditions.
Any person utilizing or maintaining an outdoor fire shall be responsible for any and all fire-suppression costs and any other liability resulting from damage caused by the fire.
Upon probable cause of a possible violation of this chapter, the Township Code Enforcement Officer, Fire Marshal or any other law enforcement officer of the Township of Shaler may inspect any property for the purpose of ascertaining compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
This chapter shall not be construed to prevent the burning of other combustible materials, such as brush, tree limbs and demolition materials, in open fires under permit from the Bureau of Air Pollution Control of the Allegheny County Health Department, as provided for in the Allegheny County Health Department Rules and Regulations, Article XIII, Section 1309.4(b)3 and/or Article XXI, Section 2105.50, as amended, or to permit a violation of any Allegheny County Health Department Rules and Regulations.
Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or group of individuals violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof before any Magisterial District Judge, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more $1,000 and may be sentenced to a period of incarceration not exceeding 90 days, or both. Each incident in violation of this chapter shall be considered a separate offense and may be punishable as such.