Furnaces cause concern

Dec 04, 2008 at 01:50 pm by Observer-Review


Furaces cause concern

MILO—Use of outdoor furnaces has been studied in Yates County municipalities in recent months, and Nov. 17 the Milo Town Board had a public hearing to gain input from the public on a proposed law governing use of the units in the town.
The issue in Milo is rather unique due to the variety of conditions in the town which stretches from Keuka to Seneca Lakes. The portion of the town outside the village limits of Penn Yan has wide stretches of agricultural and vacant land in addition to many properties on both lakes. The intent of the proposed law is stated, “To ensure that outdoor furnaces are utilized in a manner that does not create a nuisance and is not detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the town.” It goes on to note that permits are required. Existing outdoor furnaces are covered with the stipulation that the lawful use of any outdoor furnace existing at the time of adoption of the law may be continued. Lawful use includes the requirement that only products intended for use in outdoor furnaces be used.
Town resident Jon Covert told the board he is opposed to any type of regulation. Resident Tim Dunn’s comments began, “All of us here tonight share one common trait, We breathe air. Outdoor wood furnaces have one common trait. They emit smoke.” Dunn went on to outline the compounds that are in wood smoke and the amount of fine particulate matter that is emitted by the furnaces. He said originally 500 foot setbacks were proposed for the Milo law and have been changed to a proposal of 200 feet setbacks from the nearest or adjoining dwelling.
Dunn is concerned that the prevalence of regular thermal inversions and downsloping of air currents could cause clouds of wood smoke to affect health, general welfare and safety of residents as well as affecting the natural beauty of the area.
Dunn referred to results of a recent survey of town residents that concluded residents want to preserve the rural character and beauty of Milo. He encouraged the Milo board to take the lead of Tupper and Saranac Lakes which have banned outdoor furnaces, having outlined their regulations early in his presentation.
The proposed law will be on the agenda of the Dec. 15 meeting of the town board.
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