Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Text of H 5783 The Rhode Island OWB Ban Bill

SECTION 1. Title 23 of the General Laws entitled "HEALTH AND SAFETY" is hereby
amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
23-23.7-1. Purpose. -- The general assembly hereby finds and declares that outdoor wood-fired hydronic heaters, also known as outdoor wood-burning boilers or outdoor wood boilers, are a recognized source of air pollution. Unregulated emissions from outdoor wood heaters are known to have adverse health effects on the heart and lungs. The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by reducing air pollution caused by outdoor wood-fired hydronic heaters.
23-23.7-2. Definitions. – The following words when used in this chapter shall have the following meaning:
(1) "Clean wood" means wood that has not been painted, stained, coated, preserved, or treated with chemicals, including, but not limited to, copper chromium arsenate, creosote, and pentachlorophenol.
(2) "Director" means the director of the department of environmental management. (3) "Outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater" means a device: (i) Designed to burn wood or other solid fuels;

2011 -- H 5783
JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2011 ____________

(ii) That the manufacturer specifies for outdoor installation or in structures not normally occupied by humans; and
(iii) That heats building space and/or water through distribution through pipes of a fluid, typically water or a mixture of water and antifreeze, heated by the device.
(4) "Phase II outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater" means an outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater that has been certified or qualified by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) as meeting a particulate matter emission limit of 0.32 pounds per million British Thermal Units (BTUs) output and is labeled accordingly, and does not on any individual test run exceed fifteen (15) grams per hour within each of the test rate categories.
23-23.7-3. Seasonal prohibition and nuisance conditions. -- (a) No person shall operate an outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater between the first (1s t )day of April and the fifteenth (15t h ) day of October, both inclusive, in any year.
(b) No person shall cause or allow emissions of air contaminants to the outdoor atmosphere of such quantity, characteristic or duration that are injurious to human, plant or animal life or to property, or that unreasonably interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property. Notwithstanding the existence of specific air quality standards or emission limits, this prohibition applies, but is not limited to, any particulate, fume, gas, mist, odor, smoke, vapor, toxic, or deleterious emission, either alone or in combination with others.
23-23.7-4. Installations prohibited. -- (a) Effective July 1, 2011, no person shall install an outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater that does not comply with the emission standards as defined in this chapter.
23-23.7-5. Manner of installation. -- (a) Effective July 1, 2011, no person shall install a Phase II outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater unless it is installed at least one hundred feet (100') from the nearest property line and has a permanent attached stack that is at least two feet (2') higher than the peak of the roof of the building served by the outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater and the peak of the roof of every other building within three hundred feet (300') of the outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater.
(b) Only persons registered with the contractors registration board and licensed to install an outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater may install an outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater.
(c) No outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater may be used as a primary heat source for any residence and/or commercial structure.
(d) All existing and installed outdoor wood-fired hydronic heaters that do not meet the emission standards as set forth above and shall have a set back of five hundred feet (500') from any property line along with a stack height of two feet (2') above the peak of the nearest structure. (e) A written application shall be submitted to the municipal building official before a building permit is issued. The application must show compliance with all applicable state and local building codes and local zoning ordinances, and must include a site plan prepared by a licensed land surveyor or professional engineer showing both the vertical and horizontal control measurements required by this chapter, indicating proposed boiler location in relation to all buildings on site and all neighboring residences on all abutting properties showing their structures and swimming pools together with distances to all roads adjacent to the proposed site, and distances from the boiler to woods, brush, and flammable structures. The plan must include the prevailing wind direction.
23-23.7-6. Permitted fuels. -- (a) No fuel except the following shall be burned in a outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater:
(1) Clean wood; (2) Wood pellets made from clean wood; (3) Home heating oil, natural gas, or propane that complies with all applicable sulfur limits and is used as a starter or supplemental fuel for a dual-fired outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater;
(4) Any other fuel approved by the director pursuant to duly-promulgated regulations.
(b) Outdoor wood-fired hydronic heaters specifically designed to burn wood pellet fuel with metered fuel and air feed and controlled combustion engineering that are operated according to manufacturer's specifications and that burn only wood pellet fuel shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter 23-23.7.
23-23.7-7. Municipal ordinances. -- (a) Cities and towns shall have the authority to enact and enforce ordinances that prohibit the installation or use of outdoor wood-fired hydronic heaters in one or more zoning districts. Such ordinances may incorporate, by reference, the city or town zoning map adopted pursuant to title 45, chapter 24. Such ordinances may establish setbacks and stack heights that are more restrictive than those established by this chapter.
(b) Cities and towns shall not have the authority to establish quantifiable emission limits, require testing, monitoring, or certification, or specify the types of fuels used; provided, that cities and towns may enact and enforce ordinances that address the use of permitted and/or prohibited fuels in a manner consistent with the provisions of this chapter 23-23.7.
(c) The provisions of this chapter shall be considered minimum provisions.
23-23.7-8. Local enforcement. -- (a) The local building official shall administer and enforce sections 23-23.7-3 through 23-23.7-7 of this chapter or any municipal ordinance enacted pursuant to this chapter. (b) The building official shall serve a notice of violation on the person responsible for the installation or use of an outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater in violation of sections 23-23.7-1 through 23-23.7-7 of this chapter or any municipal ordinance enacted pursuant to this chapter. The notice shall describe the violation and shall direct the discontinuance or abatement of the violation. The notice shall be in writing and shall be served by regular mail and certified mail, or by posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place on or about the premises in violation.
(c) If the violation is not corrected within thirty (30) days after service, the building official may ask legal counsel of the municipality to institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity in a court of competent jurisdiction, including municipal courts, to restrain, correct, or abate the violation or to require the removal of the outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater.
(d) Violations shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each violation. Each day during which any portion of a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. The imposition of a fine shall not preclude the building official from instituting appropriate action to prevent unlawful installation or use of an outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater.
23-23.7-9. Notice to buyers. -- (a) The distributor or seller of every new or used outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater shall provide each prospective buyer with a copy of this chapter and a notice containing the following:
(1) An acknowledgment that the buyer was provided with a copy of title 23, chapter 23.7; (2) A list of permitted and, if applicable prohibited fuels; and (3) A statement that the municipality where the outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater will
be installed may impose more stringent limitations on installation than those contained in this chapter.
(b) The buyer and the seller or distributor shall sign and date the notice when the sale is completed. The name and address of the buyer, name of the manufacturer, and model and date of manufacture of the outdoor wood-fired hydronic heater shall be included in the completed notice.
(c) The distributor or seller shall keep on file a copy of each signed notice for at least three (3) years from the date of sale. The distributor or seller shall make each notice available for inspection or copying by the municipal official responsible for administration of this chapter or his or her designee, or by the director or his or her designee.
23-23.7-10. State enforcement. -- (a) The director or his or her designee shall promulgate regulations to administer and enforce section 23-23.7-9 of this chapter.
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SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if it's different is as small a state as Rhode Island, but here in New York, the rural communities rely a lot on wood heat, particularly outdoor wood boilers, as their primary heat source. It's local, renewable, and far cheaper than oil. I can't believe the line in this bill about OWB's not being allowed to be the primary heating source for a home (that apparently applies even to EPA certified models based on my reading of the bill's text). Maybe it's not as big an issue for Rhode Island, but if something like that passed in NY (and they're talking about it!), there'd be a whole lot of rural, lower income residents having to go out and buy new fossil fuel heating systems. Well, it's good to know Rhode Island is doing its part to keep the oil companies in business. They obviously need the help. What a joke. http://rightwinggreen.blogspot.com