Environmental Commission

Pursuant to state law, the Environmental Commission is as an advisory body to the Planning Board and Borough Commissioners on matters affecting Haddonfield's natural and built environment. Seven members, two alternates and a secretary serve on the Commission. Each of the seven members is appointed to serve for a three year term, with the Alternates serving for two year terms. The secretary position is not an appointed position.

Haddonfield's Environmental Commission has participated in preparing open space plans, conducted environmental assessments, helped secure state funding for park acquisition and improvements, conducted public education efforts on a variety of topics and held annual Earth Day celebrations at the Crows Woods Nature Preserve. The Commission meets on the third Monday of each month in the Borough Hall Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. and interested residents are welcome.

The members are:
Thomas Vecchio - Chairperson
Julie Beddingfield
Dan Brewer
John Stokes
Mishael Azam
Kerenza Reid
Douglas Campbell, Alt. I
Michael Tyler, Alt. II
Kirk Peterson, Rec. Secretary (non-voting member)

Wood Burning Fireplaces, Wood Stoves, Fire pits and Chimeas Information
Residential wood smoke is pollution and a serious health hazard, especially to our children and our elderly residents. Residents living downwind from a wood burner can experience significant exposure to the toxic pollutants in wood smoke, not only outside the home, but inside their homes as well. Wood smoke pollution can be reduced if fire wood is stored and burned properly. This means proper drying of the wood six months or more, splitting the dried wood into small pieces, and properly storing the wood and kindling in a covered wood shed until burned in small bright hot fires. Significant reduction of pollutants can be achieved if the burning is done in an EPA phase 2 certified wood stove or fireplace insert. 

Smoldering fires emit significant smoke and more toxic pollution than those from hot bright fires. New Jersey's Public Health Nuisance Code of New Jersey (1953) defines one such public health nuisance as the escape into the open air/outdoor environment from any stack, vent. chimney, process or from any fire of such quantities and duration of smoke, fly ash. dust, fumes, vapors, mists or gases that tend to be injurious to human health or welfare, animal or plant life or property, or would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property. to the inhabitants of this municipality. As such, when wood burning is done improperly, the smoke emitted can be a public nuisance which must be abated.

New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) web-page states “Short-term exposures to wood smoke particles (hours or days) can aggravate lung disease, causing asthma attacks and acute bronchitis, and may also increase susceptibility to respiratory infections. Also residential wood smoke can increase particle pollution to levels that cause significant health concerns (e.g., asthma attacks, heart attacks, premature death). Besides fine particulate matter (PM2.5), burning wood emits polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and toxic air pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde. Nationally, residential wood combustion accounts for 44 percent of total stationary and mobile polycyclic organic matter (POM) emissions and 62 percent of the 7-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are probable human carcinogens and are of great concern The major environmental impacts from wood, other than the human health hazards, is the release of "Black Carbon" (BC) and carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. The Black Carbon emitted by wood burning exists as particles in the atmosphere and is a major component of soot. Black Carbon is known to be a climate forcing agent with a more powerful effect on the climate than carbon dioxide (CO2) . The data on "Black Carbon" and CO2 proves wood burning is not climate neutral. Also wood burning was found not to be "Carbon Neutral" by the July 12, 2013 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (No. 11-1101) The court found zero basis in the text of the Clean Air Act for EPA to distinguish biogenic carbon dioxide from other sources of carbon dioxide that EPA is required to regulate.

For those residents who have wood burning fireplaces, wood stoves, fire pits, or use the wood burning chimeas please read the information below and click on the hyperlinks below for additional information. 

The following hyperlinks are to the New Jersey Dept. Of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) web-pages which provide additional information about the dangers of wood smoke.

http://www.nj.gov/dep/baqp/woodburning_health.html
http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/healtheffects.html
http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/pdfs/woodsmoke_health_effects_jan07.pdf
http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/strategies.html
http://www.epa.gov/blackcarbon/2012report/fullreport.pdf

BEFORE YOU BURN

Check the local air quality at airnow.gov

If the Air Quality Index is in the Moderate Range of 51 or higher, consider postponing your burn, as it could create an unhealthy to hazardous conditions in the surrounding area for you and your neighbors.

EPA's Burnwise Best Burn Practices
This site provides the information you need to store fire wood properly, and burn the right wood properly. Remember, there should be no visible smoke coming out of your chimney if you are burning properly, except for a few minutes during the initial starting of the fire and during refueling.

Note the plans for the modular wood shed and the requirement for kindling and a moisture meter.

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) also support responsible wood burning.