Borough of Lehighton, PA
Carbon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Lehighton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire Department — See Ch. 11.
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 58.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 109.
Parks — See Ch. 159.
[Adopted 8-10-1992 by Ord. No. 424]
This article is enacted in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Borough of Lehighton for the prevention of fires and to eliminate nuisances caused by smoke, cinders and ashes.
No person or persons shall set or maintain any fire upon any of the streets, public alleys, sidewalks or public grounds in the Borough of Lehighton, except that nothing herein shall prohibit the use of fireplaces and other cooking facilities placed in any public park by the borough for the purposes for which such facilities are intended.
Outdoor fires shall be permitted upon private property within the borough, provided that the following regulations and restrictions are strictly adhered to:
A. 
Every such outdoor fire shall be built in and confined to a noncombustible container covered with a screen of one-half-inch, or smaller, mesh or with other noncombustible covering.
B. 
No such fire shall be closer than 15 feet to any building or structure or 10 feet to any property line.
C. 
No fires shall be kindled or maintained on Sunday or legal holidays, but shall be permitted on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday of each week between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. All fires must be tended at all times until the fire is out.
D. 
The burning of garbage, vegetable waste, rubber, plastics, furniture, glass, metals, crocking, car products or any other materials which will create nauseous or noxious fumes, smoke, toxic chemicals or excessive fly ash is specifically prohibited.
E. 
No "leaf waste," as that phrase is defined by the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, 53 P.S. § 4000.101 et seq., and as defined by § 118-23 of the Lehighton Borough Code, may be burned anywhere within the Borough. Any "leaf waste", as that phrase is defined by the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, supra, and by § 118-23 of the Lehighton Borough Code, shall be disposed of in strict accordance with the provisions of the Lehighton Borough Recycling Ordinance, Ordinance No. 408-1991, as codified in Article IV of Chapter 118 of the Lehighton Borough Code.
[Amended 11-19-2001 by Ord. No. 511]
F. 
No newspaper or other material which is required to be recycled by the Lehighton Borough Recycling Ordinance, Ordinance No. 408-1991, as codified in Article V of Chapter 118 of the Lehighton Borough Code, may be burned anywhere within the Borough.
[Amended 11-19-2001 by Ord. No. 511]
G. 
Charcoal or gas grills or wood fires kindled for the purpose of outside barbecues shall be permitted.
H. 
Fireplaces within a private residence are permitted for the purpose of providing heat or for use as a barbecue, but in no event shall garbage, rubbish or trash be burned in a fireplace.
I. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection I, regarding the burning of large brush piles or grass areas for the purpose of clearing land, was repealed 11-19-2001 by Ord. No. 511.
J. 
All controlled burns must be reported to the Carbon County Telecommunications Center prior thereto.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof before any District Magistrate, be subject to a fine of not Tess than $10 nor more than $300 and costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 30 days.
[Adopted 3-28-2011 by Ord. No. 594-2011[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Art. II, Wood-Fired Boilers, adopted 4-27-2009 by Ord. No. 570-2009.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Borough of Lehighton Outdoor Wood-Fired Boiler Ordinance."
The Borough Council of the Borough of Lehighton, under and by virtue of and pursuant to the authority granted by § 1202(16) of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Borough Code (Act of 1965, No. 581 as amended)[1] do hereby enact and ordain this article.
[1]
Editor's Note: The reference is to 53 P.S. 46202(16), which has been renumbered by Act 43 of 2012, effective July 16, 2012; see now 53 P.S. 46202(11).
This article applies to the installation and use of all outdoor wood-fired boilers within the Borough of Lehighton.
A. 
This article does not apply to grilling or cooking using charcoal, wood, propane, or natural gas in cooking and grilling appliances.
B. 
This article does not apply to burning in a stove, furnace, fireplace, or other heating device within a building used for human or animal habitation.
C. 
This article does not apply to the use of propane, acetylene, natural gas, gasoline, or kerosene in a device intended for heating, construction, or maintenance activities.
Whereas the Borough Council of the Borough of Lehighton has determined that air pollution from outdoor wood-fired boilers may be detrimental to the health, comfort, living conditions, welfare, and safety of the citizens of the Borough of Lehighton, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Borough of Lehighton to safeguard the citizens of the Borough of Lehighton from such air pollution.
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:
CHIMNEY
Any vertical structure enclosing a flue or flues that carry off smoke or exhaust from a furnace, especially the part of a structure extending above a roof.
CLEAN WOOD
Natural wood that has no paint, stains, or other types of coatings, and natural wood that has not been treated with, including, but not limited to, copper chromium arsenate, creosote, or pentachlorophenol.
COUNCIL
The Borough Council of the Borough of Lehighton, Carbon County, Pennsylvania.
MUNICIPALITY
A city, incorporated town, township, borough, county, municipal authority, or other public body created under commonwealth law having jurisdiction over the disposal of sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes.
A. 
A fuel-burning device that:
(1) 
Is designated to burn, or is capable of burning, clean wood or other fuels listed under § 69-10A (relating to outdoor wood-fired boilers).
(2) 
Has a rated thermal output of less than 350,000 Btu per hour.
(3) 
The manufacture 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.
PERSON
Any individual, public or private corporation, for profit or not for profit, association, partnership, firm, trust, estate, department, board, bureau or agency of the commonwealth of the federal government, political subdivision, municipality, district, authority, or any other legal entity whatsoever, which is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
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 it's labeled accordingly.
RESPONSIBLE OFFICIAL
Person designated by the Borough Council to be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this article. Unless another person is designated by the Borough Council by resolution, the Code Enforcement Officer shall be the responsible official.
YARD WASTE
Leaves, grass clippings, garden residue, tree trimmings, clipped shrubbery, and other vegetative material.
After the effective date of this article an outdoor wood-fired boiler may be installed or used in the Borough of Lehighton only in accordance with the following provisions:
A. 
A person that owns, leases, uses, or operates an outdoor wood-fired boiler in the Borough shall use only one or more of the following fuels:
(1) 
Clean wood.
(2) 
Wood pellets made from clean wood.
(3) 
Home heating oil, natural gas or propane that:
(a) 
Complies with all applicable sulfur limits.
(b) 
Is used as a starter or supplements fuel for dual-fired outdoor wood-fired boilers.
B. 
The outdoor wood-fired boiler shall not be used to burn any fuels other then those identified in § 69-10A above. Specifically, and without limitation, the outdoor wood-fired boiler shall not be used to burn any of the following prohibited materials.
(1) 
Any material that does not meet the definition of clean wood.
(2) 
Furniture.
(3) 
Garbage.
(4) 
Tires.
(5) 
Lawn clippings or yard waste.
(6) 
Material containing plastic.
(7) 
Material containing rubber.
(8) 
Waste petroleum products.
(9) 
Paints and paint thinners.
(10) 
Chemicals.
(11) 
Any hazardous waste.
(12) 
Coal.
(13) 
Glossy colored paper.
(14) 
Construction and demolition debris.
(15) 
Plywood.
(16) 
Particleboard.
(17) 
Saltwater driftwood.
(18) 
Manure.
(19) 
Animal carcasses.
(20) 
Asphalt products.
C. 
Setback requirements.
(1) 
A Non-phase 2 outdoor wood-fired boiler must be installed at least 100 feet from the nearest building that is not located on the same property as the outdoor wood-fired boiler. Further, the Non-phase 2 outdoor wood-fired boiler shall be located at least 150 feet from the nearest property line.
(2) 
A Phase 2 outdoor wood-fired boiler shall be located 100 feet from the nearest building that is not located on the same property as the outdoor wood-fired boiler. The Phase 2 outdoor wood-fired boiler shall be located at least 50 feet from the nearest property line.
D. 
The outdoor wood-fired boiler shall have a permanent chimney that extends at least 15 feet. If there are any residences within 500 feet of the wood-fired outdoor boiler, the chimney shall also extend at least five feet above the ridgeline of the roofs of all such residences.
E. 
The owner or operator of the outdoor wood-fired boiler shall obtain a permit for installation and operation of an outdoor wood-fired boiler from the Lehighton Borough responsible official.
(1) 
Each owner of an outdoor wood-fired boiler must obtain a permit for installation and operation prior to installation of the device.
(2) 
The cost of said permit shall be $50. This permit fee may be amended from time to time by resolution by the Borough Council.
(3) 
The penalty for not obtaining the required permit shall be $500.
(4) 
Any violation of the conditions of the permit to install and operate an outdoor wood-fired boiler shall constitute a violation of this article.
F. 
The outdoor wood-fired boiler (Non-phase 2) shall have an orange hang-tag that signifies that it meets the EPA's standards for Phase I air emission levels of 0.60 pounds of fine particulates per million Btu heat input, and qualifies for the EPA's voluntary program.
A. 
The responsible official of the Borough of Lehighton shall have the power and duty to enforce the provisions of this article.
B. 
The Borough of Lehighton may issue such orders as are necessary to aid in the enforcement of the provisions of this article. These orders shall include, but not be limited to: orders requiring persons to cease unlawful use of outdoor wood-fired boilers, which is in violation of any provision of this article; orders to take corrective action or to abate a public nuisance; or orders requiring production of information.
C. 
The Borough of Lehighton may, in its order, require compliance with this article.
Whenever the responsible official finds that illegal operation of an outdoor wood-fired boiler is occurring within the Borough of Lehighton, in contravention to the requirements of § 69-10 above, the responsible official may order the owner or operator to take corrective action in a manner satisfactory to the Borough of Lehighton, or the responsible official may order the owner or operator to allow access to the land by the responsible official or a third party to take such action.
A. 
Any person directly affected by a decision of the Borough Code Enforcement Officer, Borough employee or designee who makes a determination pursuant to the terms of this article, shall have the right to appeal to the Borough Council, provided that a written application for appeal is filed within 20 days after the day the decision is made, notice or order was served. An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of this article or the rules legally adopted hereunder have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of this article do not fully apply, or the requirements of this article are adequately satisfied by other means. The Borough Council will be permitted to grant a modification or variance from the terms of this article, provided that the person filing the appeal can prove that the true intent of this article will be followed by granting the modification or variance. Any person filing an appeal must pay an appeal fee to the Borough Council as set by the Borough Council. If no fee is set by resolution, the fee shall be the same as the fee for applying to the Zoning Hearing Board of the Borough for a variance.
B. 
Criteria for variances. In making this determination the Borough Council shall take into consideration the benefit to the applicant if the variance is granted, as weighted against the detriment of the neighborhood or community by such grant. In making such determination, the Board shall also consider:
(1) 
Whether an undesirable change will be produced in the character of the neighborhood or a detriment to nearby properties will be created by the granting of the variance;
(2) 
Whether the benefit sought by the applicant can be achieved by some method, feasible for the applicant to pursue, other than a variance;
(3) 
Whether the requested variance is substantial;
(4) 
Whether the alleged difficulty was self-created, which consideration shall be relevant to the decision of the Borough Council, but shall not necessarily preclude the granting of the variance.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article shall upon conviction thereof be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, plus cost of prosecution. Cost of prosecution shall include, but not be limited to, oversite, moderating, sampling, testing and investigation related to any corrective action as well as attorney fees and court costs.
A violation of this article or of any order issued by the Borough of Lehighton under this article shall constitute a public nuisance. The Borough of Lehighton shall have the authority to order any person causing a public nuisance to abate the public nuisance. In addition, when abating a public nuisance, the Borough of Lehighton may recover the expenses for abatement following the process for assessment and collection of a civil penalty contained in § 69-14. Whenever the nuisance is maintained or continued contrary to this article or any order issued pursuant to this article, the nuisance may be abatable in the manner provided in this article. Any person who causes the public nuisance shall be liable for the cost of abatement.