Outdoor wood furnaces to be regulated

PERU New regulations are now in place for outdoor wood boilers within the town of Peru. The Peru Town Council approved a local law regulating the units during the councils Sept. 22 meeting. The law was approved 3-1; councilmen Cortland B. Forrence, Peter Glushko and Thomas J. Powers voted in favor, while councilman Brandy L. McDonald against. Town Supervisor Donald E. Covel Jr. abstained. According to the local law, the installation and operation of outdoor wood boilers within the hamlet of Peru and within 750 feet of the hamlet, town parks or schools is now prohibited. The units are also prohibited in connection with any commercial enterprise unless such enterprise shall be carried on in the same location as the proprietors residence, such as a home-based business, or with any use other than in single- or two-family residences. Code enforcement officer Paul Blaine said the law further places restrictions on the areas within the town that units are allowed. There are only a few minor items to comply with, said Blaine. First and foremost, owners of outdoor wood boilers must obtain a building permit prior to installation and conduct a site plan review with the town planning board. The units must meet requirements for a permanent chimney stack height, which is dependent on the design of the model installed. Other regulations include the boilers must be installed no less than 150 feet from a property line and be sufficiently screened for aesthetic purposes. Only firewood, untreated lumber, wood pellets, corn and cherry pits are permitted sources of fuel for the units. Burning of any and all other materials in an outdoor wood boiler is prohibited. The regulations also apply to outdoor wood boilers in operation prior to the passing of the local law. Those with existing units must meet code requirements prior to applying for a required building permit and site plan review in order to continue legal use of their outdoor wood boilers. Blaine estimated there are at least 20 outdoor wood boilers within the town, two of which are within the hamlet. I believe both units are not being used and from what Ive heard will be removed, said Blaine. The operation of outdoor wood boilers in approved areas will still be prohibited during the months of June, July and August. According to the law, violations are punishable by a maximum $500 fine or maximum imprisonment of six months, or both for a first offense. The penalty also includes suspension of the permit if convicted. Penalties after that are stiffer, with a second offense potentially resulting in a maximum $750 fine and/or six months imprisonment. The reasoning for pursuing the adoption of the local law was cited as the devices ability to produce excessive smoke, which may have serious environmental and health impacts. The local law will take effect upon filing with the office of the Secretary of State. Questions regarding the law may be directed to Blaine at 643-2745, ext. 3.

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