The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) open burning ban will be in effect for 54 Georgia counties, including in Dawson County, beginning in May.
The open burning ban has been in place during the summer ozone season since 2005.
The ban prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris from May 1 through Sept. 30. This is in addition to the rule that prohibits the burning of household garbage, which is never allowed anywhere in Georgia.
Ground-level ozone is most commonly produced in the heat of the summer and 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.
May through September is a time of year when people, particularly children, are more likely to be outdoors. The outdoor activity also coincides with the increase in ground-level ozone and particle pollution.
“The summer open burning restrictions help us improve Georgia’s air quality during the hot summer months,” said Karen Hays, Chief of the Georgia EPD Air Protection Branch.
Recreational activities such as campfires and grilling are exempt from the open burning ban. Burning vegetative materials at agricultural operations are also exempt.
Citizens can access more information on the open burning ban by visiting http://epd.georgia.gov/ and clicking on “Open Burning Ban” under Quick Links, or by calling the Mountain District Office in Cartersville at (770) 387-4900.
For more information about alternatives to burning, such as composting or chipping, visit http://epd.georgia.gov/air/outreach-and-alternatives-burning. You can also access a map of Georgia composting operations at http://epd.georgia.gov/composting-operations-georgia.
Debris can also be hauled to a commercial processing/grinding/composting operation or to an inert or construction and demolition landfill. For a list of landfills in your area, please call EPD’s Solid Waste Management Program (404) 362-2692 and/or visit the Land Protection Branch website for more details at http://epd.georgia.gov/land-protection-branch.