§ 94-3Compliance required; permitted burning; prohibited acts.
§ 94-4Extinguishing unsafe fires.
§ 94-5Enforcement; violations and penalties.
It is against public policy to permit uncontrolled, unrestricted outdoor burning. The purpose of this chapter is to prevent needless public damage to life and property because of public and private nuisances caused by outdoor fires deliberately or carelessly set and improperly maintained.
For purposes of this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them herein:
- The act of consuming by fire; to flame, char, scorch, or blaze. As used in this chapter, "smoldering" shall have the same meaning as "burning," and any smoldering shall be deemed a burning.
- CONTAINED FIRE
- Any fire contained in an incinerator, fireplace, cooking grill or other contained enclosure designed for outdoor cooking or a fireproof container.
- DOMESTIC REFUSE
- Waste that is generated from the normal occupancy of a structure occupied solely as a dwelling by two families or less. The term does not include recyclables, appliances, carpets, demolition waste (insulation, shingles, siding, etc.), furniture, mattresses or box springs, paint, putrescible waste, solvents, tires, treated wood or similar materials, or any materials that would produce toxic fumes when consumed by fire.
- GRUBBING WASTES
- Trees, shrubs, and other native vegetation that are cleared from land during or prior to the process of construction. The term does not include demolition wastes and dirt-laden roots.
- OPEN BURNING
- A fire, the air contaminants from which are emitted directly into the outdoor atmosphere and not directed thereto through a flue.
- Glass, aluminum cans, newspaper, recyclable plastics, tires or similar recyclable materials.
- RESPONSIBLE ADULT
- An individual 18 years or older who is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol or suffering from any other disability which would impair his or her ability to properly supervise a fire.
- YARD WASTE
- Leaves, grass clippings, garden residue, tree trimmings, clipped shrubbery, and other vegetative material.
Compliance with chapter. It shall be unlawful to burn, ignite, incinerate, maintain or permit to burn any materials whatsoever, of whatever nature, without complying with this chapter.
Permitting open burning. The following types of open burning are permitted so long as such burning is in compliance with the general prohibitions listed below:
A fire set to prevent or abate a fire hazard, when approved by the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Air Quality Program office and set by or under the supervision of a public officer.
Any fire set for the purpose of instructing personnel in firefighting, when approved by the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Air Quality Program office.
A fire set for the prevention and control of disease or pests, when approved by the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Air Quality Program office.
A fire set for the purpose of burning grubbing waste. An air curtain destructor must be used and must be approved by the Department of Environmental Protection Regional Air Quality Program office.
A contained fire set for the purpose of burning that amount of domestic refuse generated from one dwelling, when the fire is on the premises of a structure occupied solely as a dwelling by two families or less and when the refuse results from the normal occupancy of said structure.
A fire set for the purpose of burning that amount of yard waste generated from the premises of a structure occupied solely as a dwelling by two families or less when the fire is on the premises of said structure.
A fire set solely for cooking food.
General prohibitions. The below-listed prohibitions shall apply throughout the Borough:
Public roads and public properties. No person shall set, start, feed, permit to burn, or maintain any fire upon any of the streets and/or rights-of-way, sidewalks, alleys, or public grounds in Duncannon Borough, except where a designated area has been set aside and reserved for this purpose by the Borough.
Control of burning and unattended fires. No fire shall be allowed to burn unattended without a responsible adult being present at all times and without readily available fire-extinguishing apparatus. No fire shall be set that results in uncontrolled burning of vegetation (field fires).
Drought/extreme weather. No fire shall be permitted to burn whenever drought or extreme weather conditions exist or when a ban on open burning has been placed into effect by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or other competent governmental body. The Borough may prohibit any and all outdoor fires when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.
Recyclables. Burning of recyclables, including garbage, recyclable plastics, glass, newspaper, aluminum cans, tires or similar recyclable materials, is prohibited.
Hours. No person shall burn or cause to be burned any material of any kind outdoors, anywhere in the Borough, between sunset and sunrise, excepting fires set solely for cooking food.
Any fire set or allowed to burn in violation of this chapter may be extinguished by the Duncannon Fire Company or other authorized body, without prior notice to the landowner. In the event that a fire company is required to respond to a fire that violates this chapter, a service fee may be levied by the responding fire company.
Prevention. Duncannon Borough may issue such orders as are necessary to aid in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. An order issued under this section shall take effect upon notice.
Criminal penalties. Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or any order of Duncannon Borough issued pursuant to this chapter commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each separate offense and, in default of the payment of such fine, may be sentenced to imprisonment for 30 days for each separate offense. Employees of Duncannon Borough authorized to conduct inspections or investigations are hereby declared to be lawful enforcement officers authorized to issue or file citations for summary violations under this chapter, and the Duncannon Borough Council is hereby authorized to prosecute these offenses. For purposes of this section, a summary offense may be prosecuted before any Magisterial District Judge.
Civil penalties. In addition to proceeding under any other remedy available at law or in equity for a violation of a provision of this chapter or any order issued pursuant to this chapter, Duncannon Borough may assess a civil penalty for the violation. The penalty may be assessed whether or not the violation was willful. The civil penalty so assessed shall not exceed $8,000 per day for each violation. In determining the amount of the penalty. Duncannon Borough shall consider the willfulness of the violation; damage to air, soil, water, or other natural resources of Duncannon Borough or their uses; financial benefit to the person in consequence of the violation; deterrence of future violations; cost to Duncannon Borough to enforce this chapter or orders of the Duncannon Borough Council; the size of the source; the compliance history of the source; the severity and duration of the violation; degree of cooperation in resolving the violation; the speed with which compliance is ultimately achieved; whether the violation was voluntarily reported; other factors unique to the owners or operators of the source or facility; and other relevant factors. In any case where a civil penalty for violation has not been timely paid and the person upon whom the penalty was imposed is found to have been liable therefor in civil proceedings, the violator shall be liable for the penalty imposed, including additional daily penalties for continuing violations, plus court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Borough in the enforcement proceedings.
Equitable and other remedies. No penalties herein shall prevent the Borough from enforcing this chapter by equitable, injunctive and other remedies.
Liability. Duncannon Borough 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 provisions of this chapter, or by reason of the conduct of any burning activity in compliance with the terms and provisions of this chapter. The individual person or party responsible for any such fire shall bear sole liability for any damages caused as a result thereof.