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South Whitehall Bans Outdoor Wood-Fired Boilers

Commissioners vote unanimously to ban wood-fired boilers and clarify ambiguous language included a previous version of the ordinance.


South Whitehall commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday evening to adopt an amended ordinance that bans outdoor wood-fired boilers and includes specific language distinguishing them from indoor versions.

During an Oct. 3 public hearing to discuss the ordinance, resident Doug Snyder told commissioners his application for an indoor boiler was denied and commissioners decided to table a vote so township administrators could investigate Snyder's situation.

Although language in the Oct. 3 version of the ordinance specifically identified outdoor boilers, Solicitor Joseph Zator said rules would apply to indoor units if the manufacturer deems they can also be used outside.

The amended ordinance adopted Nov. 7 includes language that closes this loophole and allows for indoor units like the one Snyder installed.

The ban was originally proposed in March 2011 in response to nuisance concerns like smoke and odor. It was considered by township planners as a way to restrict boilers to large-lot zoning areas in low-density areas. The planning commission ultimately decided to recommend a total ban instead.

Dennis Smith November 08, 2012 at 11:59 AM
So in this economy where people are struggling to pay outrageous oil and gas bills, and where there is no relief in sight in the near future, the board makes a decision to disallow a economic and environmentally sound way to help out? I'm sorry but that is a poor decision and does not make any real sense. The odor and smoke from one of these units is no more than an indoor fireplace could and would generate. Sorry I don't get this decision!
Chris November 08, 2012 at 12:21 PM
What's the difference between a indoor fireplace and an out door boiler? What's next ban on indoor fireplaces? Makes me glad I moved out of this rediculos township.
SWT Resident November 08, 2012 at 01:58 PM
As a manufacturer myself...it would make no sense what-so-ever...especially with what it costs to meet UL Laboratory testing, compliance, and label approval...to design and manufacturer two separate wood-fired boilers...one for indoor and one for outdoor use. It only makes sense to design for the outdoor use which requires more rigorous standards across the states, and then make small changes to bring the same unit into indoor compliance. But given "Lord Attorney" Zator's recommendation that a unit approved for BOTH indoor and outdoor use can not be used indoor....what an idiot. What is the reason for this decision? Is this man now a wood-fired appliance design engineer too? This man has no idea the investment in UL requirements alone to be a manufacture. I see NO problem what-so-ever with a combination unit UL approved for both indoor AND outdoor use...being used inside. We seem to really be running into a larger and larger conflict between approval agencies anymore where SWT consistently sets standards higher for the township...and more expensive to comply...than an internationally accepted professional agency approves. What's next?...is SWT going to require all cords on products used indoor in the township to be #12 gauge minimum? Good luck picking up your iron or coffee pot. This is the reason people do things in SWT at 2AM and more and more neighbors are looking the other way. They are all starting to think the same thing: when did we move back under King and Queen rule?
me November 08, 2012 at 02:40 PM
It has no impact on me as I don't live in this township but it makes no sense at all. The boilers would be vented to the outside of the residence so how is it any different? Someone please for the sake of America figure out how to teach (not so) common sense.
tamarya November 08, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Okay lets all get this straight. Tons of people were without power and heat a week ago, thanks to the trees, however people could use those trees to heat their homes or build a fire outside and keep warm, trees which are natural resource, however people are complaining about the smoke from them. All I got to say to those residents are never come to longswamp because every home around you has an outdoor trash burner and indoor fireplace. And for the residents that do not want trees burning, just remember that when your electric goes out before you complain about ppl, just remember ppl is only cleaning the trees you wanted saved.
SWT Resident November 08, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Tamarya...part of the problem in SWT any more is many of those that have moved into million dollar homes sprinkled among the $150,000 long lived in homes in SWT with sticks up their asses and think they live on Park Ave West and have MONEY to burn forget we are STILL a suburban community with wood lands, wild deer and turkeys, hunting, fishing, grass to cut, and trees that fall. Its too bad those uppity uppers become buddy-buddy with and call the shots with the township board and we have stupid laws like this one passed. As I said...you'll still see out door wood-fired boilers go in. It will be at 2AM behind a garage in areas that are off the beaten path in the township where the neighbors have lived for generations and stick together with one another and look out for one another. I thank God everyday for my neighbors who aren't 'rats' to the township. AND that we are built up where those with their nose in the air can't squeeze in-between us.
tamarya November 08, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I wouldn't want to live around them either. Personally if these were being banned because of fires starting and people not containing the fire properly then it might be understandle, however because of the smoke, they should have some of that smoke blown up their nose and with hope it may blow the sticks out of their arses lol.

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