Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lock Haven Bans Outdoor Furnaces

Lock Haven bans all new outdoor burning devices

By WENDY STIVER wstiver@lockhaven.com

LOCK HAVEN — City Council had no good news for residents trying to save money on heating fuel bills.

Council voted Monday night to ban all new outdoor fuel burning appliances. Anyone thinking about installing such an appliance, which can be used to heat a house, will have to change plans.

Opponents of outdoor burners pointed out their flues usually are lower to the ground than that of a traditional indoor burner, and the smoke the burners emit can stay low, making the neighborhood unpleasant and causing a health hazard for any neighbors who suffer from asthma. The burners, which aren’t regulated by the EPA, also tend to put out more smoke than in-home burners.

Their owners may be tempted to use the burners to incinerate garbage and anything else they can get away with because the smell won’t be inside their house, some council members said.

Bellefonte already has banned the burners.

Coudersport, however, has not, reported Councilman William E. Baney. That borough chose to pass an ordinance regulating the burners instead, he said. Those regulations require the flue to stand 25 feet tall and have a scrubber and a fan or blower. The burner must be EPA-certified, used to burn only wood and stand 25 feet from the property line.

Baney voted against the ban as did Councilmen Alan D. Black and Richard L. Conklin.

Black said he voted against it because he believes council did not receive enough information from enough different sources to make a decision.

Any existing outdoor burners may stay in place, according to the city ordinance, but must have a flue that is 20 feet high.

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