Need Some Help. Neighbor (Environmental Atty) Filed Complaint

rook_ki Posted By rook_ki, Jan 7, 2019 at 1:58 PM

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  1. Woody5506

    Woody5506
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Feb 14, 2017
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    Rochester NY
    My wife thinks I'm nuts because I'm always looking at our chimney during burns, especially start ups. Just monitoring smoke, where it typically blows, and how long it lasts. Reading threads like this reinforce why I like to stay conscious of it. Again, all it takes is one jerk, and in my case I went rogue and installed with no permit...so I could do without any official complaints.

    Luckily the prevailing wind is outta the west, and it's probably 150+ yards between my chimney and any houses to the east of me. More importantly, my chimney doesnt smoke besides start up.
     
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  2. Bad LP

    Bad LP
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 28, 2014
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    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    My primary home is in MA. I'm very well versed in being a responsible collector.

    A few obviously failed to see the humor in my post. I didn't realize some are so wound up tight.
     
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  3. Ben Stark

    Ben Stark
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    Oct 31, 2017
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    Upstate NY
    I live in the North East, Central NY to be more specific. I wanted to tell the OP what works for me as far as firewood.

    I find I have much better results when I store my firewood inside my garage so that it isn’t exposed to the elements. I have a nice cross breeze in the garage all spring, summer and fall. The firewood is a pleasure to work with and I don’t have to worry about snow, ice or rain.

    I use a local dealer, who runs a wood processor. He has a huge pile of cut and split wood year round. I ask for his most seasoned wood and he dumps a truck load of what, in my estimation is semi-seasoned wood, in my driveway. This would be in March or April, and I have a couple friends come over for a firewood party.

    We sort, and split any over large chunks, remove loose bark, and stack the wood in the garage. I end up with kindling and smaller splits in a separate stack for starting fires. Then we clean all the debris and by the afternoon my next winter worth of firewood is all put up. About two full cords. The wood stays in the garage under cover until I need it mid November. I do rotate stacks so leftover wood from last year is used first. It’s a lot of work but I don’t mind.

    The wood burns excellent, it’s clean and dry and I have no visible smoke once the fire is established. I also have many years experience with wood heat and I enjoy running the stove.

    I have stored my firewood outside in the past. I would stack it off the ground, top covered, space the rows apart, etc. the result was always worse than keeping it inside the garage. We just get too much rain and snow and not enough dry weather for it to season properly. The garage wood is drier, lighter, deep cracks on the ends, lights faster and burns better.

    I know this won’t work for everyone but it works well for me. My neighbors never complain, and they have all lived here longer than I have. In fact they compliment me, LOL! I have a large house and use a wood stove that heats half and a pellet stove for the other half.

    The pellet stove produces no smoke other than a puff when it first starts, and I can only smell the odor of burning wood from it when I am literally right next to the vent pipe.

    I like both my stoves. Osburn 1600 insert, and Breckwell Classic Cast pellet stove. I run them both 24/7 on days like today. It’s 6 degrees outside. -9 with windchill. The house is warm and comfortable.

    To add perspective, my wife has mild Athsma and has since childhood. She never has problems with it at home, despite wood heat. I burn clean and maintain my stoves. She enjoys the constant radiant heat of the wood stove and helps run it too.

    I don’t know if the info is any help to the OP, but I wanted to share a positive experience with wood heat. I hope he can work out his differences with his neighbor.
     
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  4. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
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    Nov 18, 2018
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    Sorry, it went over my head.
     
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  5. Bad LP

    Bad LP
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 28, 2014
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    Northern Maine
    No problem. Down to -1 well NW of you. LOL
     
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  6. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 18, 2018
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    Downeast Maine
    The wife is at home and I think the low is going to be 3f tonight, so not that much warmer. The hospital stays pretty consistent. I've been watching the ice shifting on the Bangor river all day.
     
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  7. weatherguy

    weatherguy
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    Feb 20, 2009
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    I store a good amount in my garage and I get the same results as you, I'm going to put another half cord in tomorrow.
     
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  8. Dug8498

    Dug8498
    Member 2.
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    Jun 20, 2018
    210
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    Loc:
    Southern NH
    Same


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  9. wooduser

    wooduser
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Nov 12, 2018
    465
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    Loc:
    seattle, wa


    So how many of these "neighbors" do you have living within three or four blocks of your home?


    Seattle has city laws that require that vehicles parked on the street be moved every 72 hours. Not enforced.

    Seattle has strict building codes ----not enforced against these vagrants.

    Six months ago a pit bull that wasn't leashed attacked me and I was lucky to beast the beast off with a bag I was carrying. It's illegal to have dogs unleashed OR vicious dogs, but the people return and park in the same place repeatedly. Leash laws and laws against vicious animals ----not enforced.

    A VERY common feature of vagrant campsites are bicycles ---often dozens of them and often having the identification painted over. WHERE do you suppose vagrants living out of an RV get all these bicycles?

    Seattle has VERY expensive license tabs for vehicles ---not enforced against our vagrant population.

    You think they have the liability insurance the law requires? You would be wrong.

    What do you suppose they do with the garbage and human waste they produce?
     
  10. Todd67

    Todd67
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Jun 25, 2012
    595
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    Loc:
    Northern NY
    Regardless of what laws are broken in OUR neighborhoods, let's try to remember why @rook_ki started this thread. There has been some great discussion but...

    I'm sure rook_ki isn't the only person in his community who heats with wood. If I was in his shoes my main concern would be THEIR legal definition of Air contaminants & air pollution. It seems like the laws allow someone to complain about smoke, with no requirement to "prove" air pollution, and his neighbor is exploiting the wording of that law.
     
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  11. Boxer

    Boxer
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    Aug 30, 2009
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    Ok, last post I’m making here because this isn’t helping the OPs situation. You are correct I don’t live in a big fancy city like Seattle. We do have a huge homeless and poverty problem in our area right now. A lot of it is due to a drug addiction problem in my area. Some of the other people have mental issues and want to live that way while others are just having a rough spot in life and have no other option. You would be surprised how many of these people are veterans that have served so you can have your freedoms.

    2 miles up the road from my house is an old farmer that has a homeless camp of sorts set up. He lets the people help out around his place in return for parking.... you guessed it a couple old RVs and some trashy cars that they sleep in.
    The one old guy fixes up bicycles and try’s to sell them. He doesn’t steal them they are old things people give him. He’s proud and doesn’t want a hand out. Do I like driving by it and seeing it?? Not particularly but it’s not my business to tell the owner of the property how to live. We take wood up there so they can have fires and another guy brings them propane cylinders for the heater in the camper. Hopefully those people can get their problems figured out and move on with their lives.

    5 miles into town the other direction is an older home a 85 year old man bought an turned into a homeless shelter because he saw a need. Since then a church has pitched in and helped with donations and volunteers. There is also a food pantry created by the same guy. It feeds over 4,000 families a year. Keep in mind my town has a population of less than 20,000 so that’s a pretty big deal. I feel like I’m pretty lucky to have the time and means to help out when I can. Never say never as life can throw you a curve ball in the blink of an eye and you could be the one needing some help.

    Lastly, around here if a dog attacks somebody more likely than not it’s going to be a dead dog right there. We take our right to self defense pretty seriously around here and prefer to take care of ourselves. 1 in 20 people in my state carries a legal firearm. Maybe that’s why we have a low crime rate and respect each other for the most part. We let the police handle the real problems and try to take care of personal problems like adults by talking to each other and coming up with solutions. However, If fighting off attacking dogs with a purse and calling the police for every minor annoyance works for you.... more power to you. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. paulnlee

    paulnlee
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    Dec 2, 2018
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  13. wooduser

    wooduser
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 12, 2018
    465
    87
    Loc:
    seattle, wa

    2 miles or five miles from my house there are probably 500 people living in old rvs , camps on sidewalks and vacant properties ---maybe more. Add in to that all the human waste and garbage they generate, and all the nuisances they create.

    Not only that, but people are operating regular businesses being junk dealers using streets and sidewalks for warehouses, often not even living on the property they are occupying. One guy I noticed who had been dealing junk for several years had a for life to move his junk around.

    Other create fortifications of old junk cars surrounding public property they claim ----perhaps a dozen junk cars creating a palisade in which they live.
     
  14. Jay106n

    Jay106n
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Apr 1, 2015
    752
    374
    Loc:
    Litchfield County, CT
    MA... not surprised. But pretty much tell him to go pound sand.

    Red oak does take 3 years to season properly so you may be producing more smoke than you should be.
     
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  15. Bad LP

    Bad LP
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 28, 2014
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    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    What on earth is going on in Washington and Ohio to allow this kind of crap?
     
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  16. Rob711

    Rob711
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    Oct 19, 2017
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  17. PaulOinMA

    PaulOinMA
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    Oct 20, 2018
    213
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    Loc:
    MA
    Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

    My wife is reading book about about Charles Dickens' writings. A member of the House of Lords actually said after A Christmas Carol was written that working poor children to death is part of the natural order to remove them from the population

    This place opened in town after a homeless person in the town north of us froze to death one winter. A state representative wanted to see that never happen again.

    http://www.smoc.org/marlboro-shelter.php
     
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  18. Boxer

    Boxer
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    Aug 30, 2009
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    We have plenty of prisons. They also have some litter pickup programs for low risk county inmates. I don’t think the state does any work details, I could be wrong??

    I’m talking about homeless people that don’t have money or means to get shelter. The state doesn’t want them because they can’t get money out of a person that is broke. They would rather arrest people that can pay court costs and fines. Mental health is a major problem not just in Ohio but in the whole country. You take someone to a hospital they ask them two questions. Are you going to hurt yourself? Are you going to hurt anyone else? They say no and the hospital is done with them and sends them back on their merry way. I don’t know what the answer is to that problem it’s above my pay grade. Those people just are not capable of taking care of themselves and need help to function on a daily basis. Jail or a work farm is not going to help them.

    The place you linked to looks very much like the shelter in our town. It’s for families that need temporary help. You have to be clean and sober to get in. It’s not a druggy flop house. They help get them jobs and places to live. These people are just having hard times and need a little temporary help. The drug heads I have less sympathy for but they are a problem and just ignoring them doesn’t make it go away. The reality of the junkies is that they usually kill them selves in pretty short order. That sounds harsh but I believe it’s a choice to use that garbage to begin with. It’s not a secret what happens to you when you use.

    The big problem we have right now is sky high housing. We have a oil drilling boom happening right now. The people are making good money and a lot are from other states. They need housing and the landlords are happy to rent them a house for ten times what it’s worth. The Mexicans will pack ten people in a house and pay the landlord per person. They are getting thousands every month for one house. That doesn’t leave much for a three person family working a factory job to choose from. Not everyone has the credit, co signer etc. to buy a house and renting is the only option.

    I know there are scammers and panhandling crews around. You see them at almost every exit ramp between here and Cleveland that has a town. I used to be one of the guys that said throw them all in jail but that doesn’t help them or me. Someone has to pay to keep them in jail. I’m sure my area and the guy from Seattle’s area are two different thing. Most of the people here just need some temporary help and want to get off the streets. Looking at this post you would think I live in a war zone, it’s not, I actually in the middle of Amish country if you can believe that. There are definitely two sides of the tracks here and we keep our problems hidden away. I think a lot of little towns are like that.

    How about the OP? Can you keep burning your stoves or not? I want to know how the meeting went.
     
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  19. PaulOinMA

    PaulOinMA
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    Oct 20, 2018
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    Watch Jerri Clark founder of "Mothers of the Mentally Ill." Was on PBS Newshour a couple of days ago. :(

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/brief/

    I also would like an update from my MA neighbor.
     
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  20. bholler

    bholler
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    Jan 14, 2014
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    So it's not ok for them to ignore the laws. But it's fine for you to ignore the laws and burn trash wood in a trash stove? Why are you special? You realize there may be neighbors bitching about your stove right
     
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  21. St. Coemgen

    St. Coemgen
    Burning Hunk 2.
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    Feb 4, 2016
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    Hungary
    LOL!!!

    Been a while since I have been here, but found this comment amusing.

    As an addendum, I am an expat. The "local old farts" are the natives. I am the "foreign old fart". Just to make the distinction. And if you think burning fresh cut, green, unseasoned wood delivered in the fall is not stupid ... well that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. But I stand by what I said, and consider that rather stupid. But, hey, that is just me. ;)

    And actually, my neighbors have been far more intolerant of me then I am of them. Why? Because I am the "foreigner". A USA citizen, but a here the "foreigner".

    But of course, you did not know that. And you did not know a lot more. And are simply making huge assumptions about me, based on just one comment I made, rather than waiting to really understand me, in my total complexity, as a complex human.

    And you even ignored when I said you were right about some things, such as related to poverty, and when you even made correct statements.... sighs.... No good goes unpunished it seems.....

    Sadly, your reply, as it appears to me -- without knowing you further of course -- is an example of an all to common response type from a really and fundamentally over defensive and intolerant (pre-judgemental) person who could not even graciously accept when complemented.

    But I hold no grudge. And I hope you have a nice day. :)
     
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  22. St. Coemgen

    St. Coemgen
    Burning Hunk 2.
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    Feb 4, 2016
    246
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    Loc:
    Hungary
    I just grab a cup of coffee and say I am getting some fresh morning air. Go outside, sipping the coffee. Check the chimney. Go back in. Prevents marital comments about wood burning geekishness or insanity..... just saying. ;)

    Side note: I don't think I am fooling my wife. I think she knows exactly what I am doing. But it provides a great cover story for both of us. :cool:
     
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  23. shoot-straight

    shoot-straight
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    Jan 5, 2012
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    Burn bio bricks that will help.
     
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  24. PaulOinMA

    PaulOinMA
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    Oct 20, 2018
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    I was wondering why you used such an American colloquialism as "old fart."

    Made me think of a friend from Germany that was a former colleague of my wife's. Her English is better than mine, including the use of typical American colloquialisms. :)
     
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  25. Poindexter

    Poindexter
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    Jun 28, 2014
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    The fundamental problem I see is there is no way for the OP to burn clean enough to be legal. He can't get down to 20% opacity or 6 ppm CO or any other parameter and be exempted from neighbor's (subjective) complaints.
     
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