Northfield Center still considering rules on outdoor wood-burners
by Jeff Saunders
— Township residents who may want to heat their homes with an outdoor wood-burning furnace will have to wait a while longer.
The Board of Trustees Feb. 15 rejected proposed rules to regulate the furnaces recommended by the zoning commission. The rejection leaves in place a moratorium Trustees approved nearly two years ago.
The regulations would control such things as construction and the kind of fuels that can be used in such furnaces.
Trustee Richard Reville said Trustees believe additional research on the matter needs to be done, including consultations with an air quality expert employed by Summit County.
Zoning Inspector Don Saunders said the U.S. and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies are also working on developing regulations that the township regulations would need to conform to.
Saunders said that as far as township officials know, no such furnaces exist anywhere in the township.
Trustee Paul Buescher said the township decided to develop regulations because Trustees believe such furnaces, when not regulated, have been known to cause pollution problems and safety issues.
"We just want to get something on the books before it gets out of control," said Buescher.
Saunders said it is not enough to address furnace construction because although the furnaces are meant to burn wood, in reality a wide variety of organic fuels can be used. He said unregulated burning has caused air pollution in areas where regulations did not exist or where rules were violated.
"You cannot just burn garbage," he said. "We want clean burning wood so it doesn’t create a lot of smoke."
Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3169