City of Schenectady, NY
Schenectady County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Schenectady 2-9-1970 by Ord. No. 15274.[1] Section 121-7A amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention and protection — See Ch. 156.
[1]:
Editor's Note: The provisions of this chapter are derived from Ch. 4 of the former Revised Ordinances, adopted 2-9-1970 by Ord. No. 15274.

§ 121-1 Policy and purpose.

A. 
It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the city to preserve, protect and improve the air resources of the city so as to promote health, safety and welfare; prevent injury to human health, plant and animal life and property; foster the comfort and convenience of its inhabitants; and, to the greatest degree practicable, facilitate the enjoyment of the natural attractions of the city.
B. 
It is the purpose of this chapter to safeguard the air resources of the city from air pollution.

§ 121-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMBUSTION INSTALLATION
A plant, equipment or device in which fuel is burned for the purpose of generating heat, steam or hot water.
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS
Particulate and gaseous contaminants created by the burning of any kind of material.
COMMISSIONER
The Commissioner of Health of the city, or his duly appointed representatives.
DEPARTMENT
The Department of Health of the city.
FUEL
Solid, liquid or gaseous combustible materials used primarily either to kindle or sustain fire or produce heat, including refuse to be consumed in refuse-burning equipment.
GARBAGE
Waste resulting from distribution, preparation and serving of foods.
OPEN FIRE
Any fire wherein the combustion products are directly emitted into the outer air without passing through a stack.
REFUSE
Garbage, rubbish and trade wastes.
RINGELMANN CHART
The chart published and described in the United States Bureau of Mines Information Circular 7718, on which are illustrated graduated shades of gray to black for use in estimating the light obscuring density of smoke.
RUBBISH
Solid waste material, including but not limited to rags, ashes, leaves, tree branches, yard trimmings, furniture, tin cans, glass, crockery, demolition materials, discarded automobiles and automotive parts, paints and oils.
SMOKE
Small gasborne particles, consisting essentially of black carbonaceous material from the burning of fuel, in sufficient number to be observable.
STACK
Any conduit, chimney, duct, vent or flue arranged to conduct any gaseous or gasborne products to the outer air.
TRADE WASTES
Flammable or combustible solid or liquid material resulting from construction or any business, trade or industry operations, including but not limited to the following materials: plastics, cartons, chemicals, paints, greases, oils and other petroleum products, sawdust, dead animals and dead fowl.

§ 121-3 Powers and duties of Commissioner.

The Commissioner shall have the following powers and duties:
A. 
To investigate complaints, make observations of smoke and other air-polluting conditions and air-pollution nuisances and require the necessary and proper steps to minimize the effect, hazard or nuisance therefrom.
B. 
To inspect, from time to time, any installation, equipment, devices and appurtenances thereto that may, can or do cause air pollution or an air-pollution nuisance.
C. 
To enforce the provisions of this chapter and to commence and prosecute any legal or equitable action to enforce the penalties provided for violation of this chapter.
D. 
To disseminate information to the public on air-pollution reduction or control.
E. 
To enlist the cooperation of civic, trade, technical, scientific, educational, governmental and other organizations in the control and reduction of air pollution.

§ 121-4 Open fires.

No person shall burn any refuse in any open fire, except that:
A. 
Outdoor grills and fireplaces may be used for the purpose of preparing food.
B. 
Recreational fires, such as campfires, are permitted, provided that no smoke violation or nuisance is created.

§ 121-5 Fuel-burning equipment; contaminants.

A. 
No person shall operate any fuel-burning equipment or other combustion installation so as to produce, emit or permit the escape of smoke, regardless of how produced or discharged, of a shade-of-gray density darker than No. 1 on the Ringelmann Chart or equivalent standard, except that:
(1) 
Fuel-burning equipment or other installations which were in operation on or before February 1, 1967, may emit or permit the escape of smoke of a shade-of-gray density not darker than No. 2 on the Ringelmann Chart or equivalent standard.
(2) 
When building a new fire, tube blowing or when a breakdown of equipment occurs such as to make it evident that the emission was not reasonably preventable, smoke not darker than No. 3 on the Ringelmann Chart or equivalent standard may be emitted for a period or periods aggregating three minutes in any thirty-minute period.
(3) 
Smoke may be emitted for the purpose of training or research when approved by the Commissioner of Health.
B. 
No person shall discharge from any source whatsoever such quantities of air contaminants or other material which cause injury, detriment, nuisance or annoyance to any considerable numbers of persons or to the public or which endanger the comfort, repose, health or safety of any such persons or the public or which cause, or have a natural tendency to cause, injury or damage to business or property.
C. 
No person shall undertake to construct a new installation which will, or might reasonably be expected to, contribute to air pollution, or make modifications to an existing installation which will, or might reasonably be expected to, increase the amount or change the effects or the characteristics of the air contaminants discharged, or install an air-cleaning device without first submitting plans and specifications to the Commissioner for approval of the initiation of construction. These plans and specifications will be reviewed in accordance with the Rules to Prevent New Air Pollution, adopted by the New York Air Pollution Control Board, as authorized by Public Health Law, Article 12-A.

§ 121-6 Interfering with enforcement.

No person shall interfere or attempt to interfere with the personnel of the Department in the performance of any duty hereunder or refuse to permit the inspection or examination of any premises by authorized persons for purposes of investigating compliance.

§ 121-7 Penalties for offenses; additional remedies.

A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or any state rule of air pollution control shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $150 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 150 days, or both, or by a penalty not exceeding $500, to be recovered in a civil action. Each day a violation of this chapter shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Action pursuant to Subsection A of this section shall not be a bar to enforcement of this chapter in force pursuant thereto, and orders made pursuant to this chapter, by injunction or other appropriate remedy, and the Department shall have the power to institute and maintain in the name of the city any and all such enforcement proceedings.
C. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed 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.