“Open burning” is defined as the ignition and subsequent burning of any combustible material (garbage, leaves, grass, twigs, litter, paper, vegetative matter involved with land clearing, or any sort of debris) out-of-doors either in a burn barrel or on the ground.
Local municipalities can be more stringent then Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection regulations, even to the point of prohibiting the burning of all waste. Check with your municipality for local ordinances.
Pennsylvania law allows open burning of “domestic refuse” as long as the fire is on the property of a structure occupied solely as a residence by two families or less and when the refuse results from the normal occupancy of the structure. “Domestic Refuse” does not include such items as demolition waste, insulation, shingles, treated wood, paint, painted or stained objects or furniture, tires, mattresses, box springs, metal, insulating coating on wire, television sets and appliances, automobiles, automotive parts, batteries, PVC products, waste oil and other petroleum products.
The burning should not cause a nuisance in the neighborhood.
Demolition waste or buildings prior to demolition should not be burned.
Trees, limbs, branches and stumps may be burned on a property only if they were generated on the property where the burning is to take place. The burning should also not cause a nuisance in the neighborhood.
Businesses are not allowed or authorized to burn business-related or commercial generated waste for disposal purposes.
Farm operations may burn agricultural commodities in their un-manufactured state on the farm premises.
Open Burning Complaints
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Northeast Regional Office
1-866-255-5158 extension 2
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