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Township of Lower Frederick, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Lower Frederick Township as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 50.
Junkyards and junk dealers — See Ch. 86.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 103.
[Adopted 1-4-1993 by Ord. No. 93-1]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Lower Frederick Township Air Pollution Control Ordinance of 1993."
Whereas pollution of the air is detrimental to the health, comfort, living conditions, welfare, and safety of the citizens of Lower Frederick Township, Montgomery County, it is declared to be the policy of the Township to safeguard the citizens form air pollution.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, shall have the meanings set forth below:
BOARD
Board of Supervisors of Lower Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
FLUE
Any duct, passage, stack, chimney or conduit, attached to a building, permitting air contaminants to be emitted into the open air which would otherwise be emitted indoors.
[Amended 4-1-2008 by Ord. No. 08-01]
GARBAGE
All putrescible animal and vegetable matter resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
[Amended 4-1-2008 by Ord. No. 08-01]
ODOR
That property of a substance which affects the sense of smell.
OPEN BURNING
Any fire wherein air contaminants, including smoke and/or odor, are emitted to the open air and are not directed thereto through a flue.
[Amended 4-1-2008 by Ord. No. 08-01]
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, association, syndicate, company, firm, trust, corporation, or other entity recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties, including any governmental agency.
SALVAGE OPERATIONS
Salvaging or reclaiming of any product or material, including but not limited to metals, chemicals, shipping containers or drums.
SMOKE
Extremely small solid particles produced by incomplete combustion of organic substances and includes, but is not limited to, fly ash, cinders, tarry matter, unburned gases, soot or carbon and gaseous combustion products.
TRADE WASTE
All solid or liquid material or rubbish resulting from construction, building operations, or the operation of any business, trade or industry including, but not limited to, plastic products, cartons, paint, grease, oil and other petroleum products, chemicals, cinders and other forms of solid or liquid waste materials; provided, however, that trade waste shall not include any coal refuse associated with the mining or preparation of coal.
A. 
The Air Pollution Control Officer shall be the Lower Frederick Township Chief of Police.
B. 
Duties. The Air Pollution Control Officer shall have the powers and duties to:
(1) 
Enforce the provisions of this article and the rules and regulations contained therein.
(2) 
Receive and initiate complaints or violations of the regulations of this article.
(3) 
Enter and inspect any building, property, premises or place for the purpose of investigating an actual or suspected source of open burning or for the purpose of ascertaining the compliance or noncompliance with any regulation of this article.
(4) 
Have access to and require information pertinent to any matter under investigation.
(5) 
Send written notice of any violation of this article to the person responsible for the violation.
(6) 
Attend meetings of the Board when requested and file a written report of violation of any regulation of this article.
(7) 
Institute prosecution for violation of the regulations of this article.
A. 
Open burning is prohibited in Lower Frederick Township except as hereinafter provided.
(1) 
Exceptions:
(a) 
Burning to prevent or abate a fire hazard, when approved by the Air Pollution Control Officer.
(b) 
Burning for the purpose of instructing personnel in fire fighting, when approved by the Air Pollution Control Officer.
(c) 
Burning for the prevention and control of disease or pests, when approved by the Air Pollution Control Officer.
(d) 
Burning in conjunction with the production of agricultural commodities in their unmanufactured state on the premises of the farm operation.
(e) 
Burning of trees, shrubs, and other native vegetation which are cleared from land during or prior to the process of construction when done in accordance with Rules and Regulations of the Department of Environmental Protection as set forth in Section 129.14, Chapter 129, of Title 25 of the Pennsylvania Code. The term does not include demolition wastes and dirt-laden roots.
(f) 
Burning for the purpose of destroying domestic refuse, when the fire is on the premises of any structure occupied solely as a dwelling by two families or less and when such refuse results from the normal occupancy of said structure.
(g) 
Open burning of dry twigs, dry branches and other native vegetation; provided, however, that open burning of dry twigs and dry branches and native vegetation on piles larger than five feet by five feet by five feet shall be permitted only when approved by the Air Pollution Control Officer.
(h) 
Open burning for recreational or ceremonial purposes.
(i) 
Open burning, under the continuous supervision of an adult, for cooking food upon a grill with a properly fitting lid which is kept closed and covered at all times when the user is not tending food.
[Amended 4-1-2008 by Ord. No. 08-01]
B. 
No person shall cause, suffer or permit any open burning operation whatsoever if said open burning operation is contrary to Section 129.14, Chapter 129, of Title 25, Rules and Regulations of the Department of Environmental Protection.
C. 
No person shall in any manner hinder, delay, obstruct, resist, prevent, or in any way interfere with the Air Pollution Control Officer or his assistants in the performance of their duty hereunder, or refuse such personnel, after proper identification, entrance at reasonable hours to any premises.
D. 
No person shall fail, neglect, or refuse to comply with any written abatement notice served on such person, either personally or by registered or certified mail, issued by the Air Pollution Control Officer of the Township. Such notice shall set forth the violation of this article and a time within which the violation is to be abated. Any person receiving such abatement notice may obtain an extension of time to comply therewith by making application to, and obtaining the approval of, the Board.
E. 
No person shall cause, suffer or permit any open burning operation whatsoever, except as described in § 50-5A(1)(a),(b),(c) or (i), within 50 feet of any structure and within 25 feet of any fence, line, trees, bushes, et cetera.
[Added 4-1-2008 by Ord. No. 08-01]
The following regulations shall apply to burning domestic refuse:
A. 
Outdoor burning of domestic refuse shall be in an approved burning barrel or other approved incinerator. An approved burning barrel is a solid, sturdy, steel cylindrical container with a sealed steel bottom with ventilation holes and an open top which, during outdoor burning, is covered firmly and completely by a steel, spark-arresting screen. Other approved incinerators are containers approved in writing by the Township Police Chief after review and inspection, with a volume no greater than a fifty-five-gallon drum with containment, ventilation and spark-arresting features similar to those of an approved burning barrel.
B. 
Outdoor burning of domestic waste shall be attended at all times by a competent adult. Outdoor burning of domestic waste shall not be conducted within 50 feet of any building or other structure, or on any road, alley, or public walkway, or in any area specifically disapproved by the Air Pollution Control Officer.
[Amended 4-1-2008 by Ord. No. 08-01]
C. 
The area within five feet of any burning barrel or other incinerator shall be completely clear of any combustible material during outdoor burning.
D. 
Fire extinguishing equipment shall be readily available for use during any outdoor burning.
E. 
Every outdoor fire shall be started and completely extinguished after sunrise and before sunset. No outdoor fire shall be started within an hour of sunset. The Air Pollution Control Officer shall have the right to inspect outdoor burning.
F. 
No outdoor burning shall be conducted during periods of high winds, declared draught, or weather inversion or other situations deemed hazardous by the Air Pollution Control Officer.
G. 
All ventilation holes in the burning barrel or other incinerator shall be kept open and free of clogging material. A spark-arresting screen mesh shall be kept in place during outdoor burning.
H. 
No burning of plastic, rubber, garbage, diapers or animal waste shall be permitted.
I. 
A burning permit shall be required for § 50-5A(1)(e), (f), (g) and (h).
A. 
Prosecutions under this article shall be instituted by the Air Pollution Control Officer and shall be prosecuted in the name of Lower Frederick Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Any person who violates or permits a violation of this article shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a District Justice 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 30 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.
[Amended 10-4-2005 by Ord. No. 05-09]
B. 
The Air Pollution Control Officer may institute an action in equity for an injunction to restrain continuous violations of this article in the event the Air Pollution Control Officer has issued an abatement notice which is being violated and which is not then the subject of judicial review.
[Adopted 8-2-2011 by Ord. No. 11-05]
This article shall be known as the Lower Frederick Township "Outdoor Wood-Fired Boiler Ordinance."
Although outdoor wood-fired boilers may provide an economical alternative to conventional heating systems, concerns have been raised regarding the safety and environmental impacts of these heating devices, particularly the production of offensive odors and potential health effects of uncontrolled emissions. This article is intended to ensure that outdoor wood-fired boilers are utilized in a manner that does not create a nuisance and is not detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of Lower Frederick Township.
This article applies to the installation and use of all outdoor wood-fired boilers within Lower Frederick Township. This article does not apply to burning which does not create a nuisance or a fire hazard and which is attended by a responsible person at all times until completely extinguished and is done for the following purposes:
A. 
Outdoor grilling or cooking using charcoal, wood, propane or natural gas in cooking or grilling appliances;
B. 
Burning in a stove, fireplace and those furnaces not regulated herein, unless the material being burned includes refuse as defined herein;
C. 
The use of propane, acetylene, natural gas, heating oil, gasoline or kerosene in a device intended for heating, construction, manufacturing or maintenance activities.
The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, shall have the following meanings ascribed to them:
BTU or BRITISH THERMAL UNIT
The amount of thermal energy necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of pure liquid water by 1°F at the temperature at which water has its greatest density (39°F).
CLEAN WOOD
The term includes the following:
A. 
Wood that contains no paint, stains or other types of coatings.
B. 
Wood that has not been treated with preservatives or chemicals, including copper, chromium arsenate, creosote and pentachlorophenol.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Zoning Officer or other person appointed by Lower Frederick Township to administer and enforce this article whose duties shall include responding to resident questions and complaints and performing other tasks as Township Supervisors may assign.
EXISTING OUTDOOR WOOD-FIRED BOILER
An outdoor wood-fired boiler that was purchased and installed prior to the effective date of this article.
NEW OUTDOOR WOOD-FIRED BOILER
An outdoor wood-fired boiler that is first installed, established or constructed after the effective date of this article.
NEW PHASE 2 OUTDOOR WOOD-FIRED BOILER
A Phase 2 outdoor wood-fired boiler that is installed on or after October 2, 2010.
NON-PHASE 2 OUTDOOR WOOD-FIRED BOILER
An outdoor wood-fired boiler that has not been certified or qualified by the EPA as meeting a particulate matter emission limit of 0.32 pounds per million Btu output or lower and is labeled accordingly.
NUISANCE
Nuisance shall be defined as conduct tending to cause danger, discomfort or undue annoyance or undue unpleasantness to persons.
A. 
A fuel-burning device that:
(1) 
Is designed to burn, or is capable of burning, clean wood or other fuels (relating to outdoor wood-fired boilers) listed under § 50-15G of this article.
(2) 
Has a rated thermal output of less than 350,000 Btu per hour.
(3) 
The manufacturer designs or specifies for outdoor installation or installation in structures not normally intended for habitation by humans or domestic animals, including structures like garages and sheds.
(4) 
Heats building space or fluid, or both, through the distribution, typically through pipes, of a fluid heated in the device, typically water or a mixture of water and antifreeze.
B. 
The fuel burning device may also be known as an:
(1) 
Outdoor wood-fired furnace.
(2) 
Outdoor wood-burning appliance.
(3) 
Outdoor hydronic heater.
PHASE 2 OUTDOOR WOOD-FIRED BOILER
An outdoor wood-fired boiler that has been certified or qualified by the EPA as meeting a particulate matter emission limit of 0.32 pounds per million BTU output or lower and is labeled accordingly.
SERVICE
The date a notice is delivered; also "served." This date is the date the property is posted or the date notice is handed to an owner, or three days after the notice is mailed to the owner(s) of record.
STACK or CHIMNEY
Any vertical structure enclosing a flue or flues that carry off smoke or exhaust from a solid-fuel-fired heating device or structure, including that part of the structure extending above a roof.
Any person desiring to install an outdoor wood-fired boiler within Lower Frederick Township shall obtain a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer and shall pay a permit fee set by Lower Frederick Township by resolution.
An outdoor wood-fired boiler that was purchased and installed prior to the effective date of this article shall only burn allowed fuels listed in § 50-15G of this article. If an existing outdoor wood-fired boiler is determined to be a public safety hazard by a Township official, the Township may take reasonable steps to make sure the boiler will not be a nuisance.
A. 
No person shall, from the effective date of this article, construct, install, establish, operate or maintain an outdoor wood-fired boiler other than in compliance with the applicable sections of this article.
B. 
No person shall, from the effective date of this article, operate an outdoor wood-fired boiler unless such operation and the requirements of this article regarding fuels that may be burned in an outdoor wood-fired boiler as set forth in § 50-15G of this article and chimney height as set forth in § 50-15H of this article.
C. 
All outdoor wood-fired boilers shall be constructed, established, installed, operated and maintained in conformance with the manufacturer's instructions and the requirements of this article. In the event of a conflict, the requirements of this article shall apply unless the manufacturer's instructions are stricter, in which case the manufacturer's instructions shall apply.
D. 
All outdoor wood-fired boilers shall be laboratory tested and listed to appropriate safety standards, such as UL, CAN/CSA, ANSI or other applicable safety standards.
E. 
If a new outdoor wood-fired boiler is determined to be a public safety hazard by a Township official, the Township may take reasonable steps to make sure the boiler will not be a nuisance.
Any person desiring to install an outdoor wood-fired boiler within the municipality shall obtain a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer. The applicant for such a permit shall meet the following conditions:
A. 
Present a plan showing all property lines, the locations and distances of all dwellings or occupied building on adjoining properties, and the proposed location of the outdoor wood-fired boiler.
B. 
Applicant must obtain all permits associated with the installation of the boiler in accordance with the International Plumbing, Electrical, and Mechanical Code in affect at the time of installation.
C. 
Provide a copy of the manufacturer's specification and instructions, which the applicant agrees to comply with and not alter at any time.
D. 
Demonstrate that the outdoor wood-fired boiler has been laboratory tested and listed to comply with appropriate safety standards, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards.
E. 
All outdoor wood-fired boilers shall be equipped with properly functioning spark arrestors.
F. 
The application shall be signed by all owners of the lot on which the outdoor wood-fired boiler will be located and the contractor installing the outdoor wood-fired boiler.
G. 
Allowed fuels. A person that owns, leases, uses or operates an outdoor wood-fired boiler shall use only one or more of the following fuels:
(1) 
Clean wood;
(2) 
Wood pellets made from clean wood; or
(3) 
Home heating oil, natural gas or propane that:
(a) 
Complies with all applicable sulfur limits; and
(b) 
Is used as a starter or supplemental fuel for dual-fired outdoor wood-fired boilers.
H. 
Height and setback requirements for all new outdoor wood-fired boilers:
(1) 
All outdoor wood-fired boilers shall have a chimney that extends at least 10 feet above the ground level of the boiler. The chimney heights of new outdoor wood-fired boilers shall be determined by the distance from the nearest residence. It is further recommended that the outdoor wood-fired boiler be located with due consideration to the prevailing wind direction.
(2) 
A person may not install a new Phase 2 outdoor wood-fired boiler unless the boiler is installed a minimum of 50 feet from the nearest property line.
(3) 
For all outdoor wood-fired boilers located at or beyond 50 feet but no more than 100 feet from any residence, the stack of the boiler shall be at least 75% of the building height of that residence, plus an additional two feet, but no less than 10 feet.
(4) 
For all outdoor wood-fired boilers located more than 100 feet but no more than 150 feet from any residence, the stack of the boiler shall be at least 50% of the building height of that residence, plus an additional two feet, but no less than 10 feet.
(5) 
For all outdoor wood-fired boilers located more than 150 feet but no more than 200 feet from any residence, the stack of the boiler shall be at least 25% of the building of height of that residence, plus an additional two feet, but no less than 10 feet.
If an outdoor wood-fired boiler is replaced or upgraded, a permit shall be required pursuant to § 50-14 of this article and shall comply with all sections of this article.
A. 
Outdoor wood-fired boilers shall at all times be operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
B. 
Outdoor wood-fired boilers shall be maintained and operated in compliance with all emissions and air quality standards promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection or other relevant state or federal agency.
C. 
Any ash or other by-products from the operation of the outdoor wood-fired boilers shall be disposed of in accordance with all applicable laws.
Outdoor wood-fired boilers shall be operated only between October 1 and June 1, except that any outdoor wood-fired boilers located on lots of 20 acres or more may be operated throughout the calendar year.
A. 
Enforcement Officer. The Township Code Enforcement Officer shall be responsible for enforcing the terms of this article.
B. 
Duties of Enforcement Officer.
(1) 
Inspection. The Enforcement Officer, and any other individual representing the Township whose presence is necessary to complete the inspection, may inspect any premises, building or structure in accordance with § 50-19C of this article to determine whether or not a violation of this article exists.
(2) 
Action. Whenever an inspection discloses a violation of this article, the Enforcement Officer shall prepare a report detailing the violation and a recommendation regarding how the violation can be corrected. The Enforcement Officer shall issue a written notice to the owner and/or the occupant of the premises as set forth in § 50-19D along with a copy of the report.
(3) 
Hearing appearance. The Enforcement Officer shall appear at all hearings conducted in accordance with § 50-19F and testify as to the violation.
C. 
Inspections; permission. The Enforcement Officer, and any other agent so authorized by the Board of Supervisors, may inspect any premises to determine whether any violations of this article exist. Prior to entering upon any property to conduct an inspection, the Enforcement Officer shall obtain the permission of the owner or occupant of the property to conduct the inspection. If after due diligence, the Enforcement Officer is unable to obtain such permission, the Enforcement Officer shall have the authority to conduct the necessary inspection in accordance with this article and the applicable laws of the commonwealth, and, if necessary, petition a competent court with jurisdiction for a court order authorizing the inspection. If a court orders the inspection, the defendant named in the order shall reimburse the Township for the costs of filing the petition and reasonable attorney's fees.
D. 
Notice of violation. Whenever an inspection discloses that a violation of this article exists, the Enforcement Officer shall issue a notice of violation to the owner and/or occupant of the premises. The notice shall:
(1) 
Be in writing.
(2) 
Include a statement of the reasons why the notice is being issued.
(3) 
Contain an outline of the remedial action required to come into compliance with this article and state a reasonable time to rectify the violation.
(4) 
Inform the owner of the right to request a hearing before the Board of Supervisors as set forth in § 50-19F.
(5) 
Inform the owner/occupant that should there be a failure to comply with the notice or request a hearing, the individual(s) will be subject to the penalties set forth in § 50-19G of this article and the costs and expenses, including attorney's fees, of enforcing the terms of this article.
E. 
Emergency cases. Whenever the Enforcement Officer finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, safety and welfare, he/she may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as is necessary to correct the violation and eliminate the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this article, such order shall be effective immediately and the Township may proceed immediately to preserve life and/or property and/or in equity and/or with summary citation and the procedures and process that follow therefrom shall govern.
F. 
Hearings.
(1) 
Right to hearing. Any person affected by any notice which has been issued in accordance with the enforcement of any provision of this article, may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Board of Supervisors provided that such person file a written request for the hearing at the Township offices within 10 days after service of the notice. The request shall contain a brief statement regarding the reasons for the request and shall be signed by the owner(s) of the property.
(2) 
Scheduling and conduct of the hearing. Upon receipt of a request for a hearing, a time and place for the hearing shall be scheduled and advertised in accordance with applicable municipal requirements. All hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the Local Agency Act. The hearing shall be scheduled no later than 60 days after the day on which the request was received. At the hearing, the person requesting the hearing shall be given the opportunity to be heard and show cause why the violation described in the notice should not be abated. Failure to hold the hearing or issue a decision within 45 days of the last hearing is a deemed denial of the appeal thereby sustaining the notice.
(3) 
Board of Supervisors action. After such hearing, the Board of Supervisors shall issue a written decision sustaining the notice, modifying the notice and/or attaching conditions or withdrawing the notice. If the Board of Supervisors sustains the notice, it shall be deemed to be a final order effective immediately.
(4) 
Right to appeal. Any aggrieved party may appeal the final order to the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in accordance with the provisions of the Local Agency Law. Such appeal shall not constitute a stay from the requirements of the final order unless an order to that effect is obtained from the court.
(5) 
Fees. The person requesting the hearing shall pay the fee for such hearing as may be established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
G. 
Remedies and penalties.
(1) 
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a District Justice 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 30 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 chapter that is violated shall constitute a separate offense.
(2) 
This article may be enforced by the Township through an action in equity brought in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.
Lower Frederick Township, 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 issuance of any permit under the provisions of this article, or by reason of the conduct of any burning activity in compliance with the terms and provisions of this article. The person or party responsible for any such burning activity shall bear sole liability of any damages caused as a result thereof.