DUBOIS – Sandy Township released a new draft of the outdoor wood furnace ordinance at their Monday meeting. It outlines allowable chimney height, what is allowed to be burned, set backs, burn dates and permit application.
Once in effect the ordinance, as it is written, will require outdoor furnace owners to have a permit to operate their outdoor furnaces. Existing furnaces have less requirements than new furnaces installed, but require contacting the Sandy Township Code Enforcement Office.
Before a new furnace can be installed owners have to turn over their manuals to make sure the furnace is installed according to instructions. If guidelines in the manual are stricter than those of the ordinance, the manual has to be followed before the ordinance.
Existing furnace owners are also required to turn over their manuals if a code enforcement officer asks to see it to make sure it was properly installed.
All furnaces will have to follow or exceed EPA OFF Phase 2 Program standards if they wish to burn year round in all zones. Several residential zones will limit furnaces that don’t meet these standards to only be usable between Sept. 15 and May 15 for building heating. If used to heat water then an exception is made for the hours between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. between those two dates.
Burn materials have to be neatly stacked and kept covered up, and is limited to: untreated wood, wood pellets, corn products, biomass pellets and other items if listed as burnable in the manual. Some forbidden materials include wood with pain or varnish, newspapers, cardboard, rubber, food and garbage.
“We tried to make accommodations for both sides, and I’m still open for recommendations,” said Sandy Township Manager Dick Castonguay.
Castonguay estimated that the public hearing would be around May 18 if things keep up at their current pace.