Highlights from the new Big Run Burn Ordinance No. 220

BIG RUN - Big Run Borough Council passed a burn ordinance Monday in a 4-1 vote.

Here's the details:

The ordinance applies to all outdoor burning and open burning within the Borough of Big Run.

It does not apply to burning for the purpose of generating heat in a stove, furnace, fireplace or other heating device within a building used for human or animal habitation.

It also does not apply to the use of propane, acetylene, natural gas, gasoline or kerosene in a device intended for heating, construction or maintenance activities.

The ordinance does not apply to grilling, or cooking food using charcoal, wood, propane or natural gas in cooking or grilling appliances.

No fire shall be unattended at any time.

Open burning of refuse from a commercial or industrial establishment is prohibited.

Open burning of refuse from at least a one or two family dwellings is allowed if all of the following conditions are met:

• The burning does not create a nuisance; is conducted in a container or burn barrel constructed of metal or masonry that has a metal covering device or wire mesh or grate; is limited to dry paper goods; the burning of plastics and other materials is prohibited; and fire under this section may be conducted daily, during daylight hours, and shall be limited in duration of 30 minutes per day.

• The burning of garden refuse and grass clippings is prohibited.

• All allowed open burning shall be conducted in a safe, nuisance-free manner, when wind and weather conditions are such as to minimize adverse effects and not create a health or visibility hazard on roadways, railroads or airfields.

• Open burning of the following materials is prohibited: Construction and demolition waste; hazardous substances including but not limited to batteries, household chemicals, pesticides, used oil, gasoline, paints, varnishes and solvents; furniture and appliances; tires; any plastic materials including but not limited to to nylon, PVC, ABS, polystyrene or urethane foam, and synthetic fabrics, plastic films and plastic containers; treated or painted wood.

Enforcement and Penalties
• Even if a type of burning is otherwise permitted under the ordinance, it shall be a violation of this ordinance if the burning constitutes a nuisance in that burning exudes smoke, which may endanger the public, safety or health of the public, to disturb the comfort or repose of any person residing in the vicinity of the open burning, or which causes excessive or noxious odors, or when such open burning emits sparks, embers or smoke upon adjacent or nearby premises.

• Any person who violates any section of the ordinance shall, upon conviction before a district judge, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 and/or undergo imprisonment for a period not to exceed 30 days.

• Every day that a violation of this ordinance continues shall constitute a separate offense.

The ordinance may be viewed in its entirety at the Big Run Borough office in the War Memorial.

For a full story from the meeting, see Wednesday's print edition of The Punxsutawney Spirit.