Township of Peters, PA
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of Peters Township 4-24-1989 by Ord. No. 411 (Ch. 7, Part 1B, of the 1981 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 165.
Fire insurance claims — See Ch. 212.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 299.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 315.
Solid waste — See Ch. 363.
Zoning — See Ch. 440.
This chapter shall be known as the "Peters Township Fire and Burning Regulations" and is intended to regulate the outdoor burning of trash, leaves, paper and other organic materials. However, these regulations shall not apply to fires used for or in connection with camping, cooking, picnicking or recreational activities.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
LEAF WASTE
Leaves, garden residues, shrubbery and tree trimmings and similar materials, but not including grass clippings.
LEAVES
Leaves that have fallen from trees that are normally gathered by raking, vacuum/blowers or other methods; leaves shall not include branches, brush twigs, leaves still on branches.
TREE TRIMMINGS
Compostable materials that are removed from trees in normal care and maintenance.
[Amended 4-19-1999 by Ord. No. 568; 5-15-2000 by Ord. No. 583; 5-14-2001 by Ord. No. 601]
Burning shall be permitted only Wednesday through Saturday during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., prevailing time. Burning incidental to land development shall be permitted Monday through Friday during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., prevailing time.
[Amended 4-19-1999 by Ord. No. 568]
Burning as part of or incidental to any commercial or industrial use is prohibited. On sites which are utilized for both commercial and residential uses, burning shall not be permitted regardless of the source of the material burned.
[Amended 4-19-1999 by Ord. No. 568]
No fires shall be maintained within 50 feet from any structure.
[Amended 4-19-1999 by Ord. No. 568; ; 5-15-2000 by Ord. No. 583; 2-12-2001 by Ord. No. 598; 10-22-2001 by Ord. No. 606]
No fire shall contain any garbage, leaves, leaf waste, grass clippings, any material made of or coated with rubber, plastic, or petroleum-based materials and shall not contain any flammable or combustible liquids.
[Amended 4-19-1999 by Ord. No. 568]
Fires must be constantly attended by a competent person until such fire is extinguished.
[Amended 4-19-1999 by Ord. No. 568; 5-14-2001 by Ord. No. 601]
Burning of trees and brush incidental to the development of land or the construction of a home is permitted. A permit is required for burning of this type and will be issued by the Peters Township Fire Marshal.
A. 
All burning under this section shall be done with the use of an air curtain destructor.
B. 
The air curtain destructor burn pit shall be located on a site giving maximum distance from occupied premises and shall be located no closer than 300 feet to an occupied dwelling. Said pit location shall be approved in the field by the Fire Marshal. The Fire Marshal may require the pit to be located further from occupied homes dependent on the size of the pit.
C. 
The pit shall be extinguished no later than 4:30 p.m. each burning day, so that excess smoke does not occur when the blower is shut down or when the fire/blower is restarted the next day.
D. 
Fires shall be started only with clean fuels, such as kerosene; grubbing and clearing wastes to be burned in the pit shall be limited to brush and trees (no building material). Dirt-laden stumps and roots must be cleared of dirt prior to discharge into the pit. No other materials shall be burning at any time.
E. 
Materials shall be added to the pit in regular increments so that the pit does not become overcrowded. The burning level must remain below the air curtain at all times.
F. 
Should the Township receive and verify citizen complaint of excessive smoke, the permit may be revoked or penalties assessed.
G. 
The air curtain destructor/burn pit must be tended by a responsible person at all times during its operation.
H. 
Should adverse weather conditions result in excessive smoke build-up or impact adjacent occupied properties, the operator shall immediately suspend operations for the duration of the conditions.
I. 
Should mechanical failure interrupt the air curtain in any way, the charging of the pit shall be immediately suspended until the air curtain is operational.
J. 
No more than one air curtain destructor shall be operated at any time on a single site.
[Amended 4-19-1999 by Ord. No. 568]
A. 
A burning permit must be obtained from the Peters Township Fire Marshal for all burning undertaken pursuant to § 147-8. A separate burning permit shall be required for each burning site and shall be valid for a fourteen-day period. If the site to be cleared is greater than 10 acres, the Fire Marshal may issue a burning permit for a period greater than 14 days. Upon submittal of a burning permit application, the Fire Marshal shall have seven days to award or deny the permit. Prior to the issuance of the permit, the applicant and the Fire Marshal together shall inspect the proposed burning site. Based upon a reasonable concern for public safety, it shall be the sole discretion of the Fire Marshal whether or not to issue a permit. The Fire Marshal shall have the authority to place reasonable restrictions on the burning permit. The permit shall be posted so as to be visible from the roadway or in a manner prescribed by the Fire Marshal.
B. 
The following schedule of fees shall be charged for the issuance of a burning permit based upon the area of land under development:[1]
Area
Fee
Less than 1 acre
$100
Greater than 1 acre and less than 10 acres
$100, plus $35 an acre for each acre greater than 1
For 10 acres or greater
$450, plus $20 an acre for each acre greater than 10, not to exceed $1,000
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
For purposes of computing the permit fee, the applicable site size shall be the area stipulated on the approved site plan, subdivision or building permit.
[Amended 4-19-1999 by Ord. No. 568]
A. 
Any person, partnership, firm or corporation covered under § 147-8 of this chapter, who is for the first time convicted of violating any provision of this chapter, shall be guilty of a summary offense and sentenced to a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $1,000 and the cost of prosecution; and in default of payment of such fines and costs, to undergo imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 15 days. For each subsequent conviction, the minimum fine shall be not less than $500 and not more than $1,000 and the cost of prosecution; and in default of payment of such fines and costs, to undergo imprisonment in the county jail for not more than five days.
B. 
Any person, partnership, firm or corporation, who is convicted of violating §§ 147-3 through 147-7 of this chapter shall be guilty of a summary offense and sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $1,000 and costs of prosecution; and in default of payment of such fines and costs, to undergo imprisonment in the county jail for not more than five days.