City of Warren, PA
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Warren 10-20-2008 by Ord. No. 1770. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 195.
This chapter shall be known as "The City of Warren Wood-Fired Boiler Ordinance."
Residences and commercial and industrial establishments located within the City of Warren are entitled to clean air and environmental conditions free of unreasonable dust, smoke, odors, fumes and smells as well as an environment which is free of stored debris and combustible fuels in outdoor areas within the densely populated City. Research indicates that outdoor wood-fired boilers generate emissions which cross property lines, and because these emissions, including but not limited to smoke, stay close to the ground, they readily infiltrate neighboring residences and buildings and can easily come into contact with people and animals both indoors and outdoors. These emissions have been observed to cause poor visibility, including upon streets, highways and alleys within the City. These emissions can aggravate cardiovascular and respiratory health problems, such as angina and asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, as well as irritate the eyes and lungs of healthy persons. It is the purpose of this chapter to impose reasonable restrictions and regulations upon the installation and maintenance of new outdoor wood-fired boilers and the maintenance of existing boilers to prevent and control air pollution therefrom to protect the public health, safety and general welfare.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CHIMNEY
Any vertical structure enclosing a flue or flues that carry off smoke or exhaust from an outdoor furnace.
OUTDOOR WOOD-FIRED BOILER
Any fuel-burning device designed:
A. 
To burn clean wood or other approved solid fuels;
B. 
By the manufacturer specifically for outdoor installation; and
C. 
To heat building space and/or water via distribution, typically through pipes, of a fluid heated in the device, typically water or a water/antifreeze mixture. These appliances are also referred to as "outdoor wood boilers," "outdoor furnaces," "outdoor wood-burning appliances," "outdoor hydronic heaters" and other names.
PERSON
Any individual, agent, independent contractor, business, partnership, limited liability company, corporation or other legal entity.
SMOKE
Any by-product, whether visible or not visible, produced by the combustion or burning of any material when operating an outdoor wood-fired boiler.
A. 
Every outdoor wood-fired boiler shall be placed at least 25 feet from the structure it is heating or serving.
B. 
Every outdoor wood-fired boiler must be located only upon the same lot as the structure it serves and shall not be placed in any alley, street, highway or trail.
C. 
Every outdoor wood-fired boiler shall be placed at least 50 feet from any property line of the property on which it is located.
D. 
In no event shall an outdoor wood-fired boiler be located within 300 feet of any church, school, day-care center, hospital, medical facility, including an office of a member of the healing arts, pharmacy, nursing home, playground, public park, recreation area, restaurant or sports field.
Outdoor wood-fired boilers shall only be operated between September 15 and May 15.
A. 
Every outdoor wood-fired boiler shall be installed, operated and maintained at all times in accordance with the manufacturer's installation and operation instructions and recommendations and all City, county, state and federal codes, laws, ordinances, regulations and rules. In the event of a conflict among any of these, the stricter shall apply. The owner of the outdoor wood-fired boiler shall provide a copy of the manufacturer's installation, operation and maintenance instructions to the City and shall maintain a copy at the boiler location for inspection by the City.
B. 
All outdoor wood-fired boilers shall meet the current emission standards and other regulations for such appliances promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. These standards, and all amendments thereto, are adopted in total by the City of Warren by reference thereto.
A. 
Every outdoor wood-fired boiler shall have a chimney extending no less than three feet higher than the highest point of the tallest building or buildings on the properties which border the property on which the furnace is located. Irrespective of this requirement, in no event shall smoke or fumes from any outdoor wood-fired boiler be permitted to enter the buildings or property which borders the property on which the boiler is located. In no circumstances shall a chimney extend less than 20 feet from the ground.
B. 
Every outdoor wood-fired boiler system shall have a "scrubber" or filter-type system attached to the chimney.
C. 
Every outdoor wood-fired boiler must have a fan or blower attached to the unit or chimney to increase the efficiency of the furnace.
A. 
No "homemade" outdoor wood-fired boilers may be installed, operated or maintained within the City.
B. 
No outdoor wood-fired boiler, designed and/or recommended for outdoor installation, may be installed, operated or maintained in the interior of the structure to be heated or served thereby, including, but not limited to, homes, offices, buildings and attached garages.
A. 
Only natural wood or other solid fuels specifically permitted by the manufacturer in writing may be burned in outdoor wood-fired boilers. The burning in outdoor wood-fired boilers of processed wood products and non-wood products, household or other garbage, recyclable material, rubber tires, railroad ties, leaves, laminated wood, wet or soggy wood, painted or treated wood and any and all other items not specifically and in writing permitted by the manufacturer is prohibited.
B. 
All wood or other approved fuel to be burned in an outdoor wood-fired boiler shall be neatly stacked or stored under cover and shall be kept at all times free of insects and rodents.
C. 
All ashes or other waste by-products of fuel burned in any outdoor wood-fired boiler cannot be accumulated by the owner. The ashes and other waste by-products must be disposed of on a monthly basis.
A. 
Any person desiring to install or operate an outdoor wood-fired boiler shall first obtain a permit from the City of Warren Code Enforcement Officer. The fee and application for this permit shall be promulgated and revised from time to time by the Council of the City of Warren. No outdoor wood-fired boiler shall be installed or operated without a valid permit. A permit may be suspended or revoked by the Code Enforcement Officer in the event the permittee fails to comply with any provision of this chapter, including amendments hereto, or any other code, law or regulation. A permit may be reinstated by the Code Enforcement Officer if the violations of this chapter have been remedied.
B. 
The permit required hereunder shall be in addition to permit provisions of any other ordinance of the City of Warren, including, but not limited to, any permit required under City building code ordinances. In addition to any other requirements that City Council may impose from time to time, the application for the permit required hereunder shall include the following:
(1) 
A drawing providing and identifying all information required to ensure compliance with this chapter, including property lines and setbacks and the height of neighboring buildings.
(2) 
A copy of the manufacturer's specifications, instructions and recommendations for the outdoor furnace.
(3) 
Documentation establishing compliance with all applicable state and federal statutes, including, but not limited to, those promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, as well as any and all standards adopted by the Underwriter's Laboratory or similar entity.
C. 
In addition to suspension or revocation of a permit hereunder for failure to comply with the other requirements of this chapter, a permit issued under this chapter may be suspended or revoked upon the occurrence of one of the following:
(1) 
Emissions from an outdoor wood-fired boiler are detectable on property other than the property for which the permit has been issued;
(2) 
Emissions from an outdoor wood-fired boiler interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of life or property;
(3) 
Emissions from an outdoor wood-fired boiler cause damage to property; or
(4) 
Emissions from an outdoor wood-fired boiler irritate or harm the health of a human or animal.
The standards and regulations set forth in this chapter, with the exception of those standards and regulations set forth in § 466-4 hereof, shall apply to all outdoor wood-fired boilers already being operated within the City of Warren on the date this chapter is enacted, at the effective date set below. An application for a permit meeting all requirements of this chapter, with the exception of those standards and regulations set forth in § 466-4 hereof, must be submitted within six months of the effective date of this chapter for any existing outdoor wood-fired boilers. If the owner of an existing outdoor wood-fired boiler does not submit an application within six months of the effective date of this chapter, or if a timely application is made but no permit is issued due to failure to comply with this chapter, the outdoor wood-fired boiler shall be removed and no further installation of an outdoor wood-fired boiler may occur without obtaining a permit based upon an application showing compliance with all of the provisions of this chapter.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 and, in default of payment, to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense. A second conviction for violation of this chapter shall result in the permanent revocation of the permit issued for the offending outdoor wood-fired boiler.
Any outdoor wood-fired boiler discovered to be operating in violation of any provision of this chapter shall be extinguished immediately. Any police officer, code enforcement officer, fire official or other designated official of the City may order the immediate extinguishment of any fire in any outdoor wood-fired boiler being operated in violation of the provisions of this chapter. Said official or agent may take any reasonably prudent action to extinguish or cause the extinguishment of any fire in any outdoor wood-fired boiler believed to be operated in a manner which violates the provisions of this chapter. Failure to follow the directives of such official or agent shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall authorize an installation or operation that is a public or private nuisance, regardless of compliance herewith. In addition, this chapter or compliance herewith shall not be a defense to any civil claims.
The City of Warren, 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 chapter or by reason of the conduct of any burning activity in compliance with the terms and provisions of this chapter. The person responsible for any such burning activity shall bear sole liability for any damages caused as a result thereof.