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Outdoor wood burners spark new ordinance

Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 6:43 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 6:49 p.m. CDT

MANLIUS – The Manlius Village Board was in the process this week of writing up an ordinance that will better regulate outdoor wood stove burners.

A resident approached the board earlier this year with concerns about his neighbor’s homemade outdoor wood stove burner, which was apparently producing a large quantity of thick, blue smoke. The resident provided the board with literature explaining the dangers and health hazards of outdoor burners, and he explained how the smoke was blowing into his home and affecting his family’s health.

The board agreed the outdoor wood stove burner causing issues was a “disaster” and “hazard.”

While the concerned resident has asked the board to ban all outdoor wood stove burners, the board on Tuesday was hesitant about banishing all burners. Village President Rob Hewitt said the board had to think about everybody’s situation in the matter.

“Instead, we have to establish guidelines to have one,” he said. “We can’t can get rid of them completely.”

Village engineer Jack Kusek recommended the board reference the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air standards in their ordinance and give notice to the owner of the outdoor wood stove burner, stating if they don’t provide certified testing of the discharge that meets the requirements, they will be forced to take out the burner.

While Hewitt had discussed earlier that the village should make every wood stove burner be Universal Laboratories (UL) approved, Kusek said the UL guidelines provide a lot of grey areas, and some people pay to have a UL sticker put on burners, which ultimately makes it no better than any other.

The board discussed having an annual inspection of all outdoor burners to assure they met the guidelines. The inspection date would be set once a year, and a resident would have to present a report to the board stating their outdoor burner was tested and met the EPA air guidelines.

For those that didn’t meet the guidelines, their burner would be shut down, and the resident could be subject to paying a fine.

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