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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 5. State Air Pollution Control Board
Chapter 130. Regulation for Open Burning
11/22/2019

9VAC5-130-100. Local Ordinances on Open Burning.

Part IV
Local Ordinances

A. General.

1. If the governing body of any locality wishes to adopt an ordinance relating to air pollution and governing open burning within its jurisdiction, the ordinance must first be approved by the board (see § 10.1-1321 B of the Code of Virginia).

2. In order to assist local governments in a VOC control area with the development of ordinances acceptable to the board, the ordinance in subsection C of this section is offered as a model. For local governments located outside of a VOC control area, an ordinance must contain, at a minimum, the provisions in the title, purpose, definitions, and exemptions sections of the model ordinance in subsection C of this section.

3. If a local government wishes to adopt the language of the model ordinance without changing any wording except that enclosed by parentheses, that government's ordinance shall be deemed to be approved by the board on the date of local adoption provided that a copy of the ordinance is filed with the department upon its adoption by the local government.

4. If a local government wishes to change any wording of the model ordinance aside from that enclosed by parentheses in order to construct a local ordinance, that government shall request the approval of the board prior to adoption of the ordinance by the local jurisdiction. A copy of the ordinance shall be filed with the department upon its adoption by the local government.

5. Local ordinances that have been approved by the board prior to April 1, 1996, remain in full force and effect as specified by their promulgating authorities.

B. Establishment and approval of local ordinances varying from the model.

1. Any local governing body proposing to adopt or amend an ordinance relating to open burning that differs from the model local ordinance in subsection C of this section shall first obtain the approval of the board for the ordinance or amendment as specified in subdivision A 4 of this section. The board in approving local ordinances will consider, but will not be limited to, the following criteria:

a. The local ordinance shall provide for intergovernmental cooperation and exchange of information.

b. Adequate local resources will be committed to enforcing the proposed local ordinance.

c. The provisions of the local ordinance shall be as strict as state regulations, except as provided for leaf burning in § 10.1-1308 of the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law.

2. Approval of any local ordinance may be withdrawn if the board determines that the local ordinance is less strict than state regulations or if the locality fails to enforce the ordinance.

3. If a local ordinance must be amended to conform to an amendment to state regulations, such local amendment will be made within six months of the effective date of the amended state regulations.

4. Local ordinances are a supplement to state regulations. Any provisions of local ordinances that have been approved by the board and are more strict than state regulations shall take precedence over state regulations within the respective locality. If a locality fails to enforce its own ordinance, the board reserves the right to enforce state regulations.

5. A local governing body may grant a variance to any provision of its air pollution control ordinance(s) provided that:

a. A public hearing is held prior to granting the variance;

b. The public is notified of the application for a variance by notice in at least one major newspaper of general circulation in the affected locality at least 30 days prior to the date of the hearing; and

c. The variance does not permit any owner or other person to take action that would result in a violation of any provision of state regulations unless a variance is granted by the board. The public hearings required for the variances to the local ordinance and state regulations may be conducted jointly as one proceeding.

6. 9VAC5-170-150 shall not apply to local ordinances concerned solely with open burning.

C. Model ordinance.

ORDINANCE NO. (000)

Section (000-1). Title.

This ordinance shall be known as the (local jurisdiction) Ordinance for the Regulation of Open Burning.

Section (000-2). Purpose.

The purpose of this ordinance is to protect public health, safety, and welfare by regulating open burning within (local jurisdiction) to achieve and maintain, to the greatest extent practicable, a level of air quality that will provide comfort and convenience while promoting economic and social development. This ordinance is intended to supplement the applicable regulations promulgated by the State Air Pollution Control Board and other applicable regulations and laws.

Section (000-3). Definitions.

For the purpose of this ordinance and subsequent amendments or any orders issued by (local jurisdiction), the words or phrases shall have the meanings given them in this section.

"Automobile graveyard" means any lot or place that is exposed to the weather and upon which more than five motor vehicles of any kind, incapable of being operated, and that it would not be economically practical to make operative, are placed, located or found.

"Built-up area" means any area with a substantial portion covered by industrial, commercial or residential buildings.

"Clean burning waste" means waste that is not prohibited to be burned under this ordinance and that consists only of (i) 100% wood waste, (ii) 100% clean lumber or clean wood, (iii) 100% yard waste, or (iv) 100% mixture of only any combination of wood waste, clean lumber, clean wood or yard waste.

"Clean lumber" means wood or wood products that have been cut or shaped and include wet, air-dried, and kiln-dried wood products. Clean lumber does not include wood products that have been painted, pigment-stained, or pressure-treated by compounds such as chromate copper arsenate, pentachlorophenol, and creosote.

"Clean wood" means uncontaminated natural or untreated wood. Clean wood includes, but is not limited to, byproducts of harvesting activities conducted for forest management or commercial logging, or mill residues consisting of bark, chips, edgings, sawdust, shavings or slabs. It does not include wood that has been treated, adulterated, or chemically changed in some way; treated with glues, binders or resins; or painted, stained or coated.

"Construction waste" means solid waste that is produced or generated during construction remodeling, or repair of pavements, houses, commercial buildings and other structures. Construction waste consists of lumber, wire, sheetrock, broken brick, shingles, glass, pipes, concrete, and metal and plastics if the metal or plastics are a part of the materials of construction or empty containers for such materials. Paints, coatings, solvents, asbestos, any liquid, compressed gases or semi-liquids, and garbage are not construction wastes and the disposal of such materials must be in accordance with the regulations of the Virginia Waste Management Board.

"Debris waste" means wastes resulting from land clearing operations. Debris wastes include but are not limited to stumps, wood, brush, leaves, soil and road spoils.

"Demolition waste" means that solid waste that is produced by the destruction of structures, or their foundations, or both, and includes the same materials as construction waste.

"Garbage" means readily putrescible discarded materials composed of animal, vegetable or other organic matter.

"Hazardous waste" means a "hazardous waste" as described in 9VAC20-60 (Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations).

"Household waste" means any waste material, including garbage, trash and refuse derived from households. For purposes of this regulation, households include single and multiple residences, hotels and motels, bunkhouses, ranger stations, crew quarters, campgrounds, picnic grounds and day-use recreation areas. Household wastes do not include sanitary waste in septic tanks (septage) that is regulated by state agencies.

"Industrial waste" means any solid waste generated by manufacturing or industrial process that is not a regulated hazardous waste. Such waste may include but is not limited to waste resulting from the following manufacturing processes: electric power generation; fertilizer/agricultural chemicals; food and related products/byproducts; inorganic chemicals; iron and steel manufacturing; leather and leather products; nonferrous metals manufacturing/foundries; organic chemicals; plastics and resins manufacturing; pulp and paper industry; rubber and miscellaneous plastic products; stone, glass, clay and concrete products; textile manufacturing; transportation equipment; and water treatment. This term does not include mining waste or oil and gas waste.

"Junkyard" means an establishment or place of business that is maintained, operated, or used for storing, keeping, buying, or selling junk, or for the maintenance or operation of an automobile graveyard, and the term shall include garbage dumps and sanitary landfills.

"Landfill" means a sanitary landfill, an industrial waste landfill, or a construction/demolition/debris landfill. See 9VAC20-81 (Solid Waste Management Regulations) for further definitions of these terms.

"Local landfill" means any landfill located within the jurisdiction of a local government.

"Open burning" means the combustion of solid waste without:

1. Control of combustion air to maintain adequate temperature for efficient combustion;

2. Containment of the combustion reaction in an enclosed device to provide sufficient residence time and mixing for complete combustion; and

3. Control of the combustion products' emission.

"Open pit incinerator" means a device used to burn waste for the primary purpose of reducing the volume by removing combustible matter. Such devices function by directing a curtain of air at an angle across the top of a trench or similarly enclosed space, thus reducing the amount of combustion byproducts emitted into the atmosphere. The term also includes trench burners, air curtain incinerators and over draft incinerators.

"Refuse" means all solid waste products having the characteristics of solids rather than liquids and that are composed wholly or partially of materials such as garbage, trash, rubbish, litter, residues from clean up of spills or contamination or other discarded materials.

"Salvage operation" means any operation consisting of a business, trade or industry participating in salvaging or reclaiming any product or material, such as, but not limited to, reprocessing of used motor oils, metals, chemicals, shipping containers or drums, and specifically including automobile graveyards and junkyards.

"Sanitary landfill" means an engineered land burial facility for the disposal of household waste that is so located, designed, constructed, and operated to contain and isolate the waste so that it does not pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment. A sanitary landfill also may receive other types of solid wastes, such as commercial solid waste, nonhazardous sludge, hazardous waste from conditionally exempt small quantity generators, construction, demolition, or debris waste and nonhazardous industrial solid waste. See 9VAC20-81 (Solid Waste Management Regulations) for further definitions of these terms.

"Smoke" means small gas-borne particulate matter consisting mostly, but not exclusively, of carbon, ash and other material in concentrations sufficient to form a visible plume.

"Special incineration device" means an open pit incinerator, conical or teepee burner, or any other device specifically designed to provide good combustion performance.

"Wood waste" means untreated wood and untreated wood products, including tree stumps (whole or chipped), trees, tree limbs (whole or chipped), bark, sawdust, chips, scraps, slabs, millings, and shavings. Wood waste does not include:

1. Grass, grass clippings, bushes, shrubs, and clippings from bushes and shrubs from residential, commercial/retail, institutional, or industrial sources as part of maintaining yards or other private or public lands.

2. Construction, renovation, or demolition wastes.

3. Clean lumber.

"Yard waste" means grass, grass clippings, bushes, shrubs, and clippings from bushes and shrubs that come from residential, commercial/retail, institutional, or industrial sources as part of maintaining yards or other private or public lands. Yard waste does not include (i) construction, renovation, and demolition wastes or (ii) clean wood.

Section (000-4). Prohibitions on open burning.

A. No owner or other person shall cause or permit open burning or the use of a special incineration device for the destruction of refuse except as provided in this ordinance.

B. No owner or other person shall cause or permit open burning or the use of a special incineration device for the destruction of rubber tires, asphaltic materials, crankcase oil, impregnated wood or other rubber or petroleum based materials except when conducting bona fide firefighting instruction at firefighting training schools having permanent facilities.

C. No owner or other person shall cause or permit open burning or the use of a special incineration device for the destruction of hazardous waste or containers for such materials.

D. No owner or other person shall cause or permit open burning or the use of a special incineration device for the purpose of a salvage operation or for the destruction of commercial/industrial waste.

E. Open burning or the use of special incineration devices permitted under the provisions of this ordinance does not exempt or excuse any owner or other person from the consequences, liability, damages or injuries that may result from such conduct; nor does it excuse or exempt any owner or other person from complying with other applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and orders of the governmental entities having jurisdiction, even though the open burning is conducted in compliance with this ordinance. In this regard special attention should be directed to § 10.1-1142 of the Forest Fire Law of Virginia, the regulations of the Virginia Waste Management Board, and the State Air Pollution Control Board's Regulations for the Control and Abatement of Air Pollution.

F. Upon declaration of an alert, warning or emergency stage of an air pollution episode as described in 9VAC5-70 (Air Pollution Episode Prevention) or when deemed advisable by the State Air Pollution Control Board to prevent a hazard to, or an unreasonable burden upon, public health or welfare, no owner or other person shall cause or permit open burning or use of a special incineration device; and any in process burning or use of special incineration devices shall be immediately terminated in the designated air quality control region.

Section (000-5). Exemptions.

The following activities are exempted to the extent covered by the State Air Pollution Control Board's Regulations for the Control and Abatement of Air Pollution:

A. Open burning for training and instruction of government and public firefighters under the supervision of the designated official and industrial in-house firefighting personnel;

B. Open burning for camp fires or other fires that are used solely for recreational purposes, for ceremonial occasions, for outdoor noncommercial preparation of food, and for warming of outdoor workers;

C. Open burning for the destruction of any combustible liquid or gaseous material by burning in a flare or flare stack;

D. Open burning for forest management, agricultural practices, and highway construction and maintenance programs approved by the State Air Pollution Control Board; and

E. Open burning for the destruction of classified military documents.

Section (000-6). Permissible open burning.

A. Open burning is permitted on site for the destruction of leaves and tree, yard and garden trimmings located on the premises of private property, provided that the following conditions are met:

1. The burning takes place on the premises of the private property; (and)

2. The location of the burning is not less than 300 feet from any occupied building unless the occupants have given prior permission, other than a building located on the property on which the burning is conducted (; and

3. No regularly scheduled collection service for such trimmings is available at the adjacent street or public road).

B. Open burning is permitted on site for the destruction of household waste by homeowners or tenants, provided that the following conditions are met:

1. The burning takes place on the premises of the dwelling;

2. Animal carcasses or animal wastes are not burned;

3. Garbage is not burned; (and)

4. The location of the burning is not less than 300 feet from any occupied building unless the occupants have given prior permission, other than a building located on the property on which the burning is conducted (; and

5. No regularly scheduled collection service for such refuse is available at the adjacent street or public road).

C. Open burning is permitted on site for destruction of debris waste resulting from property maintenance, from the development or modification of roads and highways, parking areas, railroad tracks, pipelines, power and communication lines, buildings or building areas, sanitary landfills, or from any other clearing operations that may be approved by (designated local official), provided the following conditions are met:

1. All reasonable effort shall be made to minimize the amount of material burned, with the number and size of the debris piles approved by (designated local official);

2. The material to be burned shall consist of brush, stumps and similar debris waste and shall not include demolition material;

3. The burning shall be at least 500 feet from any occupied building unless the occupants have given prior permission, other than a building located on the property on which the burning is conducted;

4. The burning shall be conducted at the greatest distance practicable from highways and air fields;

5. The burning shall be attended at all times and conducted to ensure the best possible combustion with a minimum of smoke being produced;

6. The burning shall not be allowed to smolder beyond the minimum period of time necessary for the destruction of the materials; and

7. The burning shall be conducted only when the prevailing winds are away from any city, town or built-up area.

D. Open burning is permitted for destruction of debris on the site of local landfills provided that the burning does not take place on land that has been filled and covered so as to present an underground fire hazard due to the presence of methane gas, provided that the following conditions are met:

1. The burning shall take place on the premises of a local sanitary landfill that meets the provisions of the regulations of the Virginia Waste Management Board;

2. The burning shall be attended at all times;

3. The material to be burned shall consist only of brush, tree trimmings, yard and garden trimmings, clean burning waste, clean burning debris waste, or clean burning demolition waste;

4. All reasonable effort shall be made to minimize the amount of material that is burned;

5. No materials may be burned in violation of the regulations of the Virginia Waste Management Board or the State Air Pollution Control Board. The exact site of the burning on a local landfill shall be established in coordination with the regional director and (designated local official); no other site shall be used without the approval of these officials. (Designated local official) shall be notified of the days during which the burning will occur.

(E. Sections 000-6 A through D notwithstanding, no owner or other person shall cause or permit open burning or the use of a special incineration device May 1 through September 30.1)

Section (000-7). Permits.

A. When open burning of debris waste (Section 000-6 C) or open burning of debris on the site of a local landfill (Section 000-6 D) is to occur within (local jurisdiction), the person responsible for the burning shall obtain a permit from (designated local official) prior to the burning. Such a permit may be granted only after confirmation by (designated local official) that the burning can and will comply with the provisions of this ordinance and any other conditions that are deemed necessary to ensure that the burning will not endanger the public health and welfare or to ensure compliance with any applicable provisions of the State Air Pollution Control Board's Regulations for the Control and Abatement of Air Pollution. The permit may be issued for each occasion of burning or for a specific period of time deemed appropriate by (designated local official).

B. Prior to the initial installation (or reinstallation, in cases of relocation) and operation of special incineration devices, the person responsible for the burning shall obtain a permit from (designated local official), such permits to be granted only after confirmation by (designated local official) that the burning can and will comply with the applicable provisions in Regulations for the Control and Abatement of Air Pollution and that any conditions are met that are deemed necessary by (designated local official) to ensure that the operation of the devices will not endanger the public health and welfare. Permits granted for the use of special incineration devices shall at a minimum contain the following conditions:

1. All reasonable effort shall be made to minimize the amount of material that is burned. Such efforts shall include, but are not limited to, the removal of pulpwood, sawlogs and firewood.

2. The material to be burned shall consist of brush, stumps and similar debris waste and shall not include demolition material.

3. The burning shall be at least 300 feet from any occupied building unless the occupants have given prior permission, other than a building located on the property on which the burning is conducted; burning shall be conducted at the greatest distance practicable from highways and air fields. If (designated local official) determines that it is necessary to protect public health and welfare, he may direct that any of the above cited distances be increased.

4. The burning shall be attended at all times and conducted to ensure the best possible combustion with a minimum of smoke being produced. Under no circumstances should the burning be allowed to smolder beyond the minimum period of time necessary for the destruction of the materials.

5. The burning shall be conducted only when the prevailing winds are away from any city, town or built-up area.

6. The use of special incineration devices shall be allowed only for the destruction of debris waste, clean burning construction waste, and clean burning demolition waste.

7. Permits issued under this subsection shall be limited to a specific period of time deemed appropriate by (designated local official).

(C. An application for a permit under Section 000-7 A or 000-7 B shall be accompanied by a processing fee of $____.2)

Section (000-8). Penalties for violation.

A. Any violation of this ordinance is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. (See § 15.2-1429 of the Code of Virginia.)

B. Each separate incident may be considered a new violation.

________________________

1 This provision shall be included in ordinances for jurisdictions within volatile organic compound emissions control areas. It may be included in ordinances for jurisdictions outside these areas.

2The fee stipulation in this section is optional at the discretion of the jurisdiction.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1308 of the Code of Virginia; §§ 110, 111, 123, 129, 171, 172, and 182 of the Clean Air Act; 40 CFR Parts 51 and 60.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 25, Issue 12, eff. March 18, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 23, eff. August 17, 2011; Volume 31, Issue 21, eff. July 15, 2015.

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