State-Level Control of Residential Wood-Burning

Open-burning and residential wood-burning regulations tend to be controlled at the local level, which is evidenced by the varying restrictions imposed by municipalities.  Certain aspects of residential wood-burning, however, are controlled at the state and local level.  Pennsylvania has state regulations in place addressing outdoor wood-fired boilers (“OWBs”).[i]  This regulation imposes purchase, setback, and stack requirements for OWBs.  Specifically, older models, known as non-Phase 2 OWBs, purchased between October 2, 2010 and May 31, 2011 must be 150 feet from the nearest property line, must have a minimum stack height of 10 feet above ground, and must be installed pursuant to the manufacturer’s specifications.[ii]  New OWB models, known as Phase-2 OWBs, have minimum setback requirements of 50 feet from the nearest property line and a minimum stack height of 10 feet above the ground.[iii]  Additionally, Pennsylvania state regulations mandate that clean wood, wood pellets made from clean wood, and home heating oil, natural gas or propane are the only fuels allowed to be burned by OWBs.[iv]  Municipalities may impose stricter restrictions on OWBs, but 25 Pa. Code § 123.14 serves as the applicable regulation when localities do not enact their own ordinances.[v]

[i] 25 Pa. Code § 123.14.

[ii] § 123.14(b).

[iii] § 123.14(d), (e).

[iv] § 123.14(f).

[v] 35 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 4012 (1995).

State and Federal Laws Applicable to Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers

Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers are predominately regulated at the federal level.  PA DEP does issue permits for these facilities, and Clean Air Council monitors on PA DEP permitting action relating to ICIs that use biomass as fuel. Where it deems necessary, the Council comments on these permitting actions to ensure that PA DEP issued permits are up-to-date and contain the correct requirements and emissions controls set forth in EPA’s regulations.

[1] 78 Fed. Reg. 7488 (2013); 78 Fed. Reg. 7138 (2013); 76 Fed. Reg. 15608 (2011); 76 Fed. Reg. 15554 (2011).

[2] 42 U.S.C. § 7412.

[3] 78 Fed. Reg. 7488 (2013) (area boilers); 76 Fed. Reg. 15554 (2011) (area boilers); 78 Fed. Reg. 7138 (2013) (major boilers); 76 Fed. Reg. 15608 (2013) (major boilers).

[4] 42 U.S.C. § 7412(a)(1), (2).

[5] § 7412(a)(2), (d)(5).

[6] 78 Fed. Reg. 7488 (2013)

[7] 42 U.S.C. §§ 7410(a), 7412(l).

[8] 35 P.S. §§ 4004(1), 4006.6.

[9] 76 Fed. Reg. at 15559-63 (2011).

[10] Id.

[11] Id.

[12] Id.

[13] 76 Fed. Reg. 15608.

[14] Id.

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The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Clean Air Council and the user or browser.

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