Requirements for OWB Owners
What fuels may be burned in OWBs?
The approved fuels for OWBs are listed in Section 247.4:
- Seasoned clean wood;
- Wood pellets made from clean wood;
- Heating oil in compliance with Subpart 225-1, LP gas or natural gas may be used as starter fuels;
- Non-glossy, non-colored papers (including newspaper) may be used only to start an OWB; and
- Other fuels approved by the DEC for a certified OWB model.
What fuels may NOT be burned in OWBs?
A list of prohibited fuels is presented in Section 247.3 and includes, but not limited to the following:
- Unseasoned wood;
- Wood containing preservatives or other coatings;
- Household chemicals;
- Yard waste (including lawn clippings);
- Plywood; and
- Animal carcasses.
What conditions constitute a nuisance under Part 247?
Examples of nuisance conditions include:
- Activating smoke detectors in neighboring structures;
- Impairing visibility on a public highway; or
- Causing a visible plume migrating from an OWB and contacting a building on an adjacent property.
The above list is non-exhaustive and other conditions may also constitute a nuisance.
What penalties could be imposed if it is determined that my operation of an OWB created a nuisance condition?
If found to have created a nuisance condition, the DEC will try to work with the OWB owner to address the nuisance. The owner may need to take measures to eliminate the nuisance, such as increasing the height of the stack or by implementing good burn practices. In some case, the owner may be required to replace the OWB with a newer certified model or a different type of furnace. In addition, the operation of an OWB resulting in a nuisance condition under Part 247.3 is a violation, which may result in the imposition of civil penalties, fines, and/or imprisonment under Article 71 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
What are the Part 247 requirements regarding the purchase and siting of a new OWB?
All OWBs sold on or after April 15, 2011 must be certified for sale in New York by the DEC. Manufacturers must apply for certification for each model they want to sell in New York. A list of models that may be sold in New York is maintained on the DEC's website. Notice to Buyer forms must be provided to prospective buyers by distributors (sellers) of OWBs.
All new OWBs must be equipped with a permanent stack extending a minimum of 18 feet above ground level. If a new OWB is subject to a valid nuisance complaint, the DEC may require that the permanent stack extend up to two feet above the peak of any roof structure within 150 feet of the OWB.
All new OWBs must meet minimum setback requirements. Residential-size new OWBs (thermal output ratings of 250,000 British thermal units per hour (Btu/h) or less) must be sited 100 feet or more from the nearest property boundary line. Commercial-size new OWBs (thermal output ratings greater than 250,000 Btu/h) must be sited 200 feet or more from the nearest property boundary line, 300 feet from the nearest property boundary line of a residentially-zoned property and 1,000 feet or more from a school.
The setback requirements for a new OWB sited on contiguous agricultural lands larger than five acres are based on the distance to the nearest residence not served by the OWB. Therefore, in such a case, a residential-size new OWB must be sited 100 feet or more from the nearest residence not served by the OWB and a commercial-size new OWB must be sited 300 feet or more from the nearest residence not served by the OWB and 1,000 feet or more from a school.