[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Dalton 5-8-2006; amended 10-2-2006. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Conclusive evidence exists that woodburning devices emit particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and other pollutants known to be detrimental to the health of the public; exposure to these pollutants can cause short-term health harms such as eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, coughing as well as shortness of breath; and long-term exposure to these pollutants can cause asthma, heart and lung disease, as well as cancer.
Outdoor woodburning furnaces/boilers have been proven to emit a far greater amount of pollutants such as fine particulate matter and a variety of toxic chemicals than conventional indoor woodburning devices.
Emissions from outdoor woodburning furnaces/boilers are not currently regulated by state or federal standards.
The Dalton Board of Health recognizes the need to protect the public from detrimental effects from pollutants produced by outdoor woodburning furnaces/boilers and hereby enacts the following regulations.
The Dalton Board of Health, pursuant to the authority granted under MGL c. 111, § 31, hereby adopts the following regulation to protect the public health of the community.
As used in this regulation, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- OUTDOOR WOODBURNING FURNACE/BOILER
- An accessory structure or appliance designed to be located outside space ordinarily used for residential, business or industrial purposes which is designed to provide heat, via liquid or other means, through the burning of wood, for heating spaces other than where such structure or appliance is located, or for heating domestic, swimming pool, hot tub or jacuzzi water. "Outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler" does not include a fire pit, wood-fired barbecue or chiminea.
No person shall install, establish, modify, operate or use an outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler, unless the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler complies with the following:
The installation of the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler shall not be less than 500 feet from a building not serviced by the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler.
The installation of the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler shall not be less than 300 feet from any property line of a vacant lot (a lot which does not contain any building or structure) zoned for residential, business or industrial use.
The height of the chimney of the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler shall exceed the height of the roof peaks of buildings located within 500 feet of the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler, which buildings are not served by the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler; provided, further, that in no event shall the height of the chimney be less than 16 feet, nor shall the chimney height exceed 35 feet from the ground level.
The chimney of an outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler must be equipped with a properly functioning spark arrestor system.
The material burned in the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler is only wood that has not been chemically treated, painted or stained.
The installation of the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler is in accordance with the manufacturer's written instructions, provided that such instructions do not conflict with the provisions of this regulation.
The operation of the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler is only between the dates of September 1 and May 31 of each calendar year.
The operation of the outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler does not create a nuisance or public health hazard.
The Dalton Board of Health and the health agent are authorized to enforce this regulation.
Any person may apply for a waiver to the Dalton Board of Health from one or more of the provisions of this regulation. Every waiver request shall be made in writing and shall be subject to a public hearing before the Board of Health. The requesting party, at their sole expense, must notify all property owners within 300 feet of their property boundary by certified mail at least 10 days prior to the public hearing.
Any person who operates an outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler in violation of this regulation shall be deemed to have committed an infraction and shall be fined not more than $300 per day or be subject to noncriminal disposition of the offense pursuant to Chapter 1. Each day of operation of such outdoor woodburning furnace/boiler in violation of this regulation shall be a separate violation.
If any part, paragraph, provision or section of this regulation is determined by any court to be invalid, against public policy, or unconstitutional, said finding shall not affect the legality of any remaining part(s), paragraph(s), provision(s) or section(s) of this regulation which shall continue in full force and effect.
This regulation shall take effect upon its passage.