[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 3-20-2007 by L.L. No. 8-2007 (Ch. 308 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
Carbon dioxide emissions — See Ch. 357.
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that outdoor wood-burning furnaces can provide an alternative to conventional heating systems, generating hot-water heat through the use of on-site wood fires rather than oil or gas heat.
This Legislature also finds and determines that smoke from these outdoor furnaces often contains unhealthy levels of particulate matter, dioxins, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde and other toxic air pollutants.
This Legislature further finds and determines that exposure to smoke from these furnaces can cause adverse effects to respiratory and cardiovascular systems, asthmatic sensitivity and lung illness, especially among children and the elderly.
This Legislature finds that outdoor furnaces are intended to burn only natural wood, but homeowners sometimes add other materials which, when burned, can produce toxic air pollutants.
Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to ensure that outdoor wood-burning furnaces are utilized in a manner that does not create a nuisance and which is not detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of Suffolk County.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- NATURAL DISASTER
- A hurricane, fire, tornado, flood, blizzard, explosion, airplane crash, earthquake, nuclear war, radiological emergency, war, civil unrest or disobedience, act of God or comparable event.
- OUTDOOR WOOD-BURNING FURNACE
- Any equipment, device or apparatus located outside the primary residential or commercial dwelling it serves, which is designed to transfer heat, via liquid, through the burning of wood to heat indoor spaces. The term "outdoor wood-burning furnace" shall not include fire pits, outdoor fireplaces or wood-fired barbecues.
No person shall sell, purchase, construct or install a new outdoor wood-burning furnace after the effective date of this chapter.
No person shall operate or use an outdoor wood-burning furnace that has been constructed prior to the effective date of this chapter unless such operation or use is in accordance with the following requirements:
Outdoor wood-burning furnaces shall only be operated between October 1 and May 1.
Outdoor wood-burning furnaces shall not be operated within 200 feet of a hospital, school, day-care center or nursing home or within 200 feet of the boundary of a federal, County, state, town or village park.
Only seasoned cord wood that has not been painted, stained, chemically treated, laminated or glued may be burned in an outdoor wood-burning furnace.
A chimney shall be installed on all outdoor wood-burning furnaces, the height of which shall extend no less than two feet higher than the eave line of any residential structure located within 200 feet of the outdoor wood-burning furnace, but in no event shall the height of said chimney be less than 15 feet.
The operation of an outdoor wood-burning furnace must be in accordance with the manufacturer's written instructions and in compliance with any local ordinances that are more strict than those outlined in this section.
No person shall operate or use any outdoor wood-burning furnace on or after January 1, 2010, except as permitted by Subsection B of this section.
Any person who owns or operates an outdoor wood-burning furnace in conformity with the requirements of § 490-4 of this chapter prior to January 1, 2010, may only operate said outdoor wood-burning furnace after January 1, 2010, in the case of an emergency or natural disaster which makes utilization of a heating system other than an outdoor wood-burning furnace impossible, impracticable or detrimental to the health or safety of the owner of said outdoor wood-burning furnace. Once utilization of a heating system other than an outdoor wood-burning furnace becomes possible or practicable, use of said outdoor wood-burning furnace shall cease.
Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to authorize the operation or use of any outdoor wood-burning furnace which is otherwise prohibited by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and/or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be deemed to prohibit any town or village within Suffolk County from prohibiting or regulating the operation or use of outdoor wood-burning furnaces within its jurisdiction.
Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter shall be a violation, subject to a fine not to exceed $250 for each day that the violation continues.
The Office of Consumer Affairs is hereby authorized to enforce the ban on the purchase, sale, construction, or installation of new outdoor wood-burning furnaces under § 490-3 of this chapter.
This chapter shall apply to the purchase, sale, construction, installation, use and operation of any outdoor wood-burning furnace after the effective date of this chapter; however, any outdoor wood-burning furnace in existence on or before the effective date of this chapter shall be permitted to remain and operate for 180 days subsequent to the effective date of this chapter.