Public meeting to be set to discuss draft nuisance smoke bylaw


Town hallBy Ron Giofu


Town council has voted to have a public meeting on a proposed nuisance smoke bylaw although the date of the meeting has yet to be determined.

Council voted at its most recent meeting to hold a public meeting on the draft bylaw with little discussion on the issue. The matter stems in large part from civil action between neighbours on Simcoe St. with administration being asked in Oct. 2011 to look into how to regulate emissions from solid fuel appliances installed in buildings. Councillor Bart DiPasquale has long been an advocate for such a bylaw.

“A draft bylaw has been created to regulate smoke emissions originating from solid fuel fired appliances installed in buildings. Solid fuel burning appliances include wood stoves, fireplaces, fireplace inserts and wood stove derivatives such as pellet stoves,” said chief building official Steve Brown in his report to council.

Should the bylaw ever be passed, it would prohibit the use of over ten categories of products from being used as fuel in a solid fuel burning appliance. Prohibited items would include wet or unseasoned wood, garbage, treated wood, plastic products, rubber products, waste oil, paints, paint solvents, coal, glossy or coloured papers and particle board.

“Solid fuel burning appliance fires shall be maintained so as not to cause a nuisance for more than two minutes in succession except during the starting or refuelling of the appliance for a period not to exceed thirty minutes in any four-hour period,” the draft bylaw reads. “Within the Town of Amherstburg limits, no person owning or operating a solid fuel burning appliance shall at any time cause, allow or discharge emissions from such appliance which the opacity greater than 20 percent. The provisions of this section shall not apply to emissions during the starting or refuelling of the appliance for a period not to exceed thirty minutes in any four-hour period.”

“Opacity” is defined in the bylaw as the degree to which emissions from a solid fuel-burning appliance reduces the transmission of light and obscures the view of an object in the background. It is expressed as a percentage representing the extent to which an object viewed through the smoke is obscured.”


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