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Open burning ban set for 54 Georgia counties

Posted: April 30, 2016 - 11:01pm

Beginning today, the Georgia Environ­mental Protection Division has activated an open burning ban in effect for 54 Georgia counties.

According to a news release from the EPD, the open burning ban has been in place during the summer ozone season since 2005 and prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris through Sept. 30. This restriction is in addition to a ban on the burning of household garbage, which is enforced year-round in Georgia.

A person’s health may be negatively impacted by the chemicals and pollutants found in the smoke released from fires, according to the release, and the open burning ban is put into place to protect public health.

Ground-level ozone is most commonly produced in the heat of the summer, the release said. Ground-level ozone can cause lung inflammation as well as other health problems. Open burning also creates particle pollution, which consists of extremely small particles that can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke”

This is especially true of ground-level ozone since hot, sunny days can intensify the creation of ozone.

“We can’t control the weather,” said Karen Hays, chief of the Georgia EPD Air Protection Branch. “But limiting open-burning during these hot summer months when ground-level ozone is so readily formed is one of the easiest ways to help Georgia’s air quality continue to improve.”

Some actions such as campfires and agricultural activities are exempt.

LEARN MORE

Find out more information on the open burning ban by visiting epd.georgia.gov and clicking on “Open Burning Ban” under Quick Links, or by calling the EPD East Central District Office for Columbia and Richmond counties at (706) 667-4343.

Small businesses can find more help and information by calling EPD’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program toll-free at 1-877-427-6255.

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