The MPCA developed in 2016 two model nuisance and zoning ordinances to address solid fuel-fired heating devices such as wood boilers or outdoor furnaces to assist local governments in addressing wood smoke complaints.
A number of urbanized cities have placed a ban on use of outdoor wood boilers (Savage, Burnsville, Stillwater). Other cities have adopted performance standards - such as the U.S. EPA's Step 1 certification, part of the EPA New Source Performance Standards of 2015 - moratoriums, restrictions on warm season usage, and/or permitting, setback and stack height requirements. See certified hydronic heaters / outdoor wood boilers on the EPA site.
Though an outdoor wood burning permit may be issued by the MN DNR (or its delegate), the anticipated quantity of EAB wood waste calls for consideration of no/limited burning and better/higher value management options. For actions and resources related to community-scale biomass energy plants, see GreenStep best practice #26 (Renewable Energy).
Regulate outdoor wood burning using nuisance ordinance language, referencing the MN Fire Code. Note that burning household garbage, such as in a burn barrel, is generally against the law in MN.
Regulate outdoor wood boilers using the MPCA model zoning language.
Ban (on a permanent or interim basis) or enforce performance standards for specific types of burning.
Who's doing it
Golden Valley - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2014
Golden Valley has a City ordinance that regulates recreational fires (Section 12-24 of City Code) and provides guidance for recreational burning on the City website. Section 10-4 of the City Code prohibits the installation, use, and maintenance of outdoor wood boilers.
The City of Inver Grove Heights adopted an Outdoor Wood Burning Ordinance in 2010 which prohibits the use and operation of outdoor burners/boilers existing before October 2010. The Ordinance also prohibits installation of new outdoor wood burners/boilers. Permits are issued by the Fire Department for recreation burning.
Chapter 14, Article II of the City Code addresses open burning in the City of Newport. Permits are required for open burning and there are certain materials that are prohibited from being burned. Additionally, the City requires that only untreated wood, coal or charcol be used for recreational fires. Finally, outdoor furnaces are prohibited within the City.
Regulation of outdoor wood stoves and furnaces by only permitting untreated fuel and wood to be burned. While all stoves must be EPA approved and follow property line and structure setbacks. The new ordinance states that no outdoor stoves may be used between April 15th and September 15th of each year. If the wood stove ordinance is violated, the person committing the violation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
AN ORDINANCE REGULATING AND CONTROLLING THE USE OF OUTDOOR ACCESSORY BOILERS WITHIN THE CITY OF ROYALTON.
THE CITY COUNCIL OF ROYALTON HEREBY ORDAINS:
SECTION 1. Accessory Boilers.
A. An "Accessory Boiler" is defined as an accessory structure or an addition to the exterior of an existing structure which contains a firebox and is designed to heat a structure or provide hot water through conveyance of heated fluids or gasses.
B. The only Accessory Boilers allowed in the City of Royalton shall burn corn or the fuel must be documented to meet an EPA limit of 3.75 grams per hour or less.
C. To further protect emission standards these fuels can not be burned in accessory boilers:
1. Household garbage and cardboard.
2. Plastics, colored ink on magazines, boxes and wrappers.
3. Coated, painted or pressure treated wood.
4. Driftwood, plywood, particle board, or any wood product containing glue.
5. Wet, rotted, diseased or moldy wood.
SECTION 2. Non-Conforming Use.
A. The lawful use of any existing wood burning accessory boiler unit existing at the time of the effective date of this ordinance may be continued.
B. No pre-existing, non-conforming wood burning accessory boiler unit shall hereafter be extended, enlarged, expanded, or replaced.
SECTION 3. Set backs
A. All outdoor accessory boilers shall be set back from buildings and property lines in accordance with the state building code.
SECTION 4. Fees and permits
A. Any person installing an accessory boiler shall first show documentation meeting the requirements of this ordinance and pay a verification fee to the City Clerk. Fee to be set by the City Council and may be changed from time to time by resolution by the Royalton City Council.
B. All accessory boilers need a mechanical permit from the building inspector for the City of Royalton.
SECTION 5. Violation.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this ordinance shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor. Each day that a violation is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense.
THIS ORDINANCE SHALL SUPERSEDE AND REPEAL ALL PRIOR AND CONSISTENT ORDINANCES. THIS ORDINANCE SHALL BE EFFECTIVE UPON PASSAGE AND PUBLICATION REQUIRED BY LAW.
CLERK: Carol Madsen
MAYOR: Andrea Lauer
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The goal of this ordinance is to set EPA limits on the emission standards for accessory boilers within the city of Royalton
City Code 26-32 Sub 11 prohibits the use of outdoor woodburning furnaces, defined as a fuel burning device designed to burn primarily wood by hand firing and that is not located inside a structure ordinarily occupied by humans.
City Code 26-32 sub. 12 prohibits outdoor biomass burners, defined as a burning device designed to burn fine particular cellulose materials such as sawdust, dried wood chips, charcoal, coal, corn and thermapolastics and that is not located inside a structure ordinarily occupied by humans.
City Code 26-34 sub. 19 states throwing, placing, depositing, or burning leaves, trash, or lawn clippings, weeds, grass or other material in streets, alley, or gutters is punishable as a misdemeanor.
As per municipal code Section 8-3, Burning Regulations, recreational burning is limited in size and permitted only with the approval of the fire marshal. In this section the City has also adopted Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) rules 7005.0070—7005.0820, Air Pollution Control and Regulations.
In the city, outdoor wood boilers are considered a nuisance and are therefore not allowed. Municipal Code, Chapter 15 Article I.
The City of Coon Rapids has had a recreational, outdoor wood burning ordinance in effect for many years. The ordinance is in place to protect the safety of the residents, households, and the City's natural landscape. Size, duration and location of the fire are specified in the ordinance and must be followed. Such things as climactic conditions, extreme dryness, nuisance problems, or violations of the guidelines will be left up to the discretion of any police or fire officer, and all burning privileges may be withdrawn.
Recreational fires in Hopkins do not require a permit (except during a burning ban) if they meet the requirements set forth by the Department of Natural Resources, the State of Minnesota, and the City of Hopkins. The regulations are accessible from our website. The City does require a permit for recreational burning if it does not meet regulations.
The city ordinance 228, which was amended by ordinance 263, regulates outdoor wood burning within the city of Lake Crystal. The city explicitly prohibits open burning or use of burn barrels. The ordinances are attached for your reference.
Section 9-9 of the City Code states that open burning shall be allowed for recreational purposes without a permit, including campfires, ceremonial fires, and cooking fires. Recreational fires shall not be used for disposal of yard waste, construction materials, or common household trash. Fuel for recreational fires shall only be aged, dry firewood. Section 9-12 of the City Code adopts the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency air pollution regulations and states that "no person shall dispose of refuse by open burning or cause, suffer, allow or permit open burning of refuse."
601.11 of code states "Air pollution controls and regulations pursuant to Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7005 (M.P.C.A.), are hereby adopted by reference." 921.05 of the city code states, "No person may cause, allow, or permit open burning within the City except as provided in this section." with a list of exceptions following.
Definition of recreational fire: The burning of materials, other than rubbish, contained in an outdoor fireplace, barbecue grill, or pit and with a fuel area 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height, for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking or similar purpose. Recreational fires shall be conducted in accordance with the following:
The purpose of the fire must be recreational and not to dispose of refuse, household waste, leaves, brush, trees, or construction materials. The fuel may only be charcoal or fire wood cut for that purpose. RCO 141.12
The fire must not be greater than 3 feet in diameter and shall not be conducted within 25 feet of structures, and combustible materials or 15 feet if contained within an *approved barbecue pit or grill. Conditions, which could cause the fire to spread to within 25 feet of a structure, shall be eliminated prior to ignition. RFC 307.4.2
*An approved barbecue grill or outdoor fireplace must be designed, built and marketed specifically for outdoor cooking or burning. These appliances must be used in accordance with the manufacture's recommendations.
*An approved barbecue pit or ring is not larger than 36 inches in diameter or 9 square feet constructed of noncombustible materials and provides a 12" minimum enclosure depth above materials to be burned.
Fire extinguishing equipment such as buckets, shovels, garden hose or fire extinguisher, having a 4A rating, must be available to extinguish and control the fire. RFC 307.5 A person knowledgeable in fire safety and extinguishment shall be in attendance at all times, until the fire is completely extinguished. When extinguished, the fire must not be allowed to smolder. RFC 307.5
The City of St. Cloud has regulated recreational fires by establishing a policy that requires property owners to obtain a Recreational Burning Permit from the Fire Department. These annual permits require the permit holder attest to holding recreational fires in accordance with the setback requirements established by the policy and the Land Development Code. All recreational fires must be located outside of the front, street and interior side yard setbacks and must be located a minimum of 25 feet from all buildings or combustible materials. Treated lumber may not be burned in a recreational fire. The Fire Chief, or designee, may require the recreational fire extinguished if it creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation. In addition, all recreational burning permits are considered temporarily void during declared burning bans and may be reinstated upon such time that the burning ban is lifted.
Fire Pits/Recreational Fires - City of St. James Ordinance 10.25
Fire Pits/Recreational fires not permitted in the front yard setback area
Fire Pits/recreational fires maximum size is 3' in diameter and 3' high
Only sticks, twigs, and unsawn materials may be burned in fire pits in the City(no garbage, leaves, treated lumber, etc.)
Keep fires at least 25' away from any structure
Burning of Leaves - City of St. James Ordinance 10.26
Burning permit required
Burning permits available during the month of May and from October 15- December 1
Prohibited on City streets, boulevards, lake shores or any public property
25' setback from any structure, wood fence, hedge or bush and no less than 5' from any property line
Burning allowed between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Burning trash, rubbish, or other materials is strictly prohibited
The city has guidelines for Recreational Fires. The city follows the MN Uniform Fire Code and MN State Statutes. Regulations include: fire pit must be 25 feet from any structure or combustible material, all combustible materials must be cleared away from the area before starting the fire, fire pits must be constructed of non-combustible material and the fire ring or pit must be at least 8 inches deep for a recreational fire.
The city also has ordinances on storage of firewood, barbecues and deck fires.
Ordinance 2012-01, passed on June 18, 2012, added Section 804 to Sherburn City Code, to define recreational burning and place exceptions and conditions for them. The code also explains the duties to extinguish, the penalties and also the recreational fires that are prohibited.
All residents intending to have a recreational fire are responsible for abiding by the following regulations:
Fire size can be no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, and no higher than 3 feet.
Wind speed must be below 10 miles per hour.
Fire must be constructed in a "fire ring" or pit at least 25 feet away from any combustible material or structure.
Flammable liquids or accelerants cannot be used to start any recreational fire.
If planning to have a recreational fire, be aware of any local burning bans in effect.
Recreational fires are prohibited during all burning bans.
Only clean wood can be burned. No grass or leave clippings are allowed.
Open burning is restricted to vegetative, non-polluting material, which cannot be practically composted or chipped.
Buckets, shovels, garden hoses or a fire extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating must be present for use at recreational fires.
A knowledgeable person in the use of fire extinguisher equipment must constantly attend the fire. An attendant must supervise the fire until it has been extinguished.
The fire department is authorized to require that open burning be immediately discontinued if smoke emissions are offensive to occupants of surrounding property or if the fire is determined to constitute a hazardous condition. Variations of any of the above rules will result in the immediate extinguishments of the fire. These and any other violations of the open burning laws could result in loss of the right to have recreational fires and also may cause a citation, with fines up to $150 or more, to be written.
As temperature gets warmer, more residents become interested in spending time outdoors during the evening hours with recreational fires on personal property. The city then made it a point of duty to ensure that residents review the standard guidelines for having a recreational fire.