Open Burning Ordinance


BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that a new chapter, entitled “Open Burning Ordinance”, is added to the East Haddam Code of Ordinances.


1.  Statutory Authority
     Pursuant to CGS 22a-174, the Town of East Haddam adopts the following Open
     Burning Ordinance.

2.  Definitions
     As used in this chapter, the following words or phrases shall have the meaning

     A.  Applicant:  The person making the open burning certificate application and
          who will be responsible for the open burning.
     B.  Brush:  Shrubs, vegetation or prunings, the diameter of which is not
          greater than three (3) inches at the widest point.
     C.  Building:  Any structure, which is enclosed by a roof and walls.
     D.  Commissioner:  The Commissioner of the State of Connecticut Department
          of Energy and Environmental Protection, or his or her designee.
     E.  DEEP:  The State of Connecticut Department Energy and Environmental
     F.  Nuisance:  The discharge into the open air of any smoke, soot, dust, fumes,
          odors or other emissions which cause injury, detriment or annoyance or which
          endanger the comfort, repose, health or safety of the public or which cause, or
          are likely to cause, injury or damage to business or property.
     G.  Open Burns:  The ignition of, causing to be ignited, permitting to be ignited,
           or maintenance of a fire outside the confines of a building.
     H.  Open Burning Certificate:  A certificate issued by the Open Burning Official
           in accordance with this chapter, section 22a-174 and the regulations.
     I.  Open Burning Certificate Application:  An application for an open burning
          made on the form furnished by the Open Burning Official, which form shall, at
          a minimum, name the person responsible for the open burning, list his or her
          address, list his or her telephone number, explain the purpose of the open
          burning, explain the type and quantity of material to be burned and list the
          address of the property at which the open burning shall take place.
     J.  Open Burning Official:  Such official, who has been nominated, certified and
          serves in accordance with section 22a-174 and the regulations.
     K.  Open Burning Registration:  Verbal registration which is made to the Open
          Burning Official of an open burning enumerated in section 5 of the chapter
          twenty-four (24) hours prior to the ignition of such open burning.
      L.  Regulations:  Those Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies enacted
          pursuant to section 22a-174, as amended.
     M.  Section 22a-174:  Section 22a-174 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as


3.  General Prohibition
     No open burning shall be allowed except as specifically provided in this chapter.

4. Open Burning Certificate Required

    A.  The following types of open burning shall be allowed only after an
          applicant obtains an open burning certificate.
          1.  The open burns of brush on residential property.  The applicant must be
               a resident or an authorized agent of a resident of the property where the
               open burning will occur.  The Open Burning Official, in his or her
               discretion, may require proof of residency or proof that the applicant
               is an authorized agent of a resident.
          2.  Fire training exercises.    
          3.  Eradication or control of insect infestations or disease.
          4.  Agricultural purposes.
          5.  Clearing vegetative debris following a natural disaster.
          6.  Vegetative management or enhancement of wildlife habitat or ecological
               sustainability on Town property or on any privately owned property
               permanently dedicated to open space.
          7.  Any other type of fire that is described in section 22a-174 or the 

     B.  The following conditions shall be placed on all open burning certificates:
          1.  Open burning must take place between the hours of 10:00am and 5:00pm. 
               No visible embers, flame, or smoke may be present after 5:00pm.
          2.  Open burning shall only be permitted on sunny or partly sunny days when
                the wind speed is five (5) to fifteen (15) mile per hour, except that fire 
                training exercises shall not be subject to this condition.
          3.  The open burning of brush may only occur on residential property that
               contains one or two residential units.
          4.  The applicant must keep a copy of the open burning certificate in his or
               her possession at the time of the open burning.
          5.  The applicant must call the Open Burning Official or such other person
               listed on the open burning certificate twenty-four (24) hours prior to the
               ignition of the open burning and leave the applicant’s name, telephone
               number, the specific time of, and location of the open burn.
          6.  Any other conditions required to be imposed by section 22a-174 or the

     C.  The Open Burning Official may issue such further conditions to an open
           burning certificate either at the time of issuance or the open burning
           certificate or afterwards, as are necessary to avoid a nuisance or to protect
           the health, safety and comfort of the public, relating to the following:
          1.  The materials and quantities to be burned.
          2.  The hours and days during which the open burning is allowed.
          3.  Any other conditions allowed under section 22a-174 or the regulations.

     D.  An open burning certificate is applicable only for the occasion and purpose
          outlined in such open burning certificate.  The open burning certificate may be
          revoked in writing by the Open Burning Official or the Commissioner, for
          violation of any provision of this ordinance or the regulation of Connecticut
          State Agencies enacted pursuant to Section 22a-174, as amended.

5.  Open Burning Registration Required
     The following type of open burning shall be allowed only after a person makes an
     open burning registration:  any campfires or bonfires that exceed four (4) feet in
     any direction.

6.  Exceptions
     The following type of open burning shall be allowed without the need for an open
     burning certificate or open burning registration:

     A.  Barbecues or other similar outdoor fires, which fires are for the cooking of
          food for human consumption.
     B.  Campfires, bonfires, or other types of fires made out of nonprocessed wood
          for recreational or ceremonial purposes, provided that the size of such fires
          does not exceed four (4) feet in any direction.
     C.  Fires in “salamanders” or other similar devices used by construction or other
          workers for heating purposes, which fires are used for street installation or
          paving activities, the repairing of utilities or other similar work.
     D.  Fire breaks for the purpose of controlling forest fires, provided fire personnel
          do it.
     E.  Any fire specifically exempted from such requirements in section 22a-174 or
          the regulations.

7.  Permit from Fire Marshal
     The following types of open burning shall be allowed only after a permit from the
     fire marshal is obtained in accordance with section 22a-174 and the regulations: 
     The open burning of brush in municipal landfills, transfer stations and municipal
     recycling centers in the Town.

8.  Permit from Commissioner
     Certain types of open burning require the issuance of a permit by the
     Commissioner; such types are enumerated in the Connecticut General
     Statutes and the regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

9.  Not Allowed by this Chapter
     Under no circumstances are the following allowed, and are a violation under this

     A.  No weeds, grass, leaves, processed wood, garbage, paper, metals, plastics,
          rubber, painted materials, man made waste, or demolition waste shall be
     B.  No open burning of brush shall occur when national or state ambient air
          quality standards may be exceeded.
     C.  No open burning of brush shall occur where a hazardous health condition
          might be created.
     D.  No open burning shall occur when the forest fire danger in the area is
          identified by the Commissioner as extreme, and where woodland or grassland
          is within one hundred feet of the proposed open burning.
     E.  No open burning of brush shall occur when there is an advisory from
          the Commissioner of any air pollution episode.
     F.  No open burning is allowed within the limits of any public road or
          public right-of-way.
     G.  No open burning of brush shall occur on commercial or industrial properties,
          vacant lots or on properties that contain multi-family residential units.


10.  Conditions on All Open Burning
      The following conditions are imposed on all open burning:

     A.  No open burning shall create a nuisance.
     B.  A responsible adult shall tend to the open burning at all times.
     C.  Suitable fire extinguishing equipment must be in close proximity
          and available at the time of the open burning.
     D.  The open burning must be a minimum of twenty five (25) feet from any
          property line and twenty five (25) feet from any building, except that
          barbecues or other similar outdoor fires shall not be subject to this condition.
     E.  No open burning shall be allowed to burn out of control so as to require the
          response of fire personnel and/or apparatus.  The Fire Chief or Fire Marshal
          shall make determination that a fire has been allowed to burn out of control.

11.  Extinguishing of Fires
     The Fire Marshal, Fire Chief or any officer of the Fire Department, the Director of
     Health, or his or her designee, or any police officer may require any person who
     ignites or maintains an open burning in violation of the provisions of this chapter 
     to extinguish such open burning.  Failure to extinguish such open burning shall
     be a violation under this chapter.

12.  Penalties for Offenses
     Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the
     following penalties and fines:

     A.  Fines:
          1.  First offense or violation:  twenty five dollars ($25.00).
          2.  Second or subsequent offense or violation:  one hundred dollars ($100.00)
               for each separate violation and each day of continued violation.
     B.  The Open Burning Official may seek enforcement of the provisions of this
          chapter by injunction and, in such event, the violator may be liable for the
          Town’s reasonable attorney’s fees.
     C.  The provisions of Chapter 93, Ordinance Enforcement, shall otherwise apply
          to this chapter.
     D.  Any and all remedies which the Town has in enforcing the chapter, at law or
          in equity, shall be cumulative and two or more or all of such remedies may be
          exercised at the same time.

Adopted by Town Meeting March 26, 2003.