To comply with Federal Clean Air Regulations, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources imposes a ban on outdoor burning from May 1 to October 1 each year.
All open burning shall comply with the rules of Ga. EPD. Requirements may be found at http://www.gatrees.org/ or 1-877-OK2-BURN (877-652-2876). Dailey permits are no longer required for approved burn types.
OPEN BURNING BAN FACTS
Q. What Types of Burning are Banned?
• Burning of leaves, limbs, brush and other yard waste
• Burning of vegetative waste from land clearing (includes a ban on the use of air curtain destructors)
• Burning over of forest land by the owner of the land, with exception* (*Exceptions: prescribed burning of forest land is allowed in certain counties – contact the Forestry Commission at 770-784-2480 for details)
Q. Why is the Ban Needed
• During the summer months in the metro Atlanta area, the ozone in the air we breath can reach unhealthy levels. Ozone is formed when volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides coming from man-made and natural sources react in the presence of sunlight. A major source of these pollutants is the burning of fuels and other combustible materials. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has identified open burning as a significant contributor of the pollutants that form ozone. Therefore, open burning in metro Atlanta and the surrounding areas must be restricted during the summer months.
Q. Where and When Does the Ban Apply?
• Beginning May 1 and continuing through October 1, the open burning ban covers 45 counties. The ban covers the original 13 counties that comprise the Atlanta Ozone Nonattainment Area and 32 additional counties surrounding the Ozone Nonattainment Area. Rockdale County is included in this area.
Q. What Types of Open Fires are Allowed:
A few types of open fires are still allowed. These include:
• Fires for carrying out recognized agricultural practices
• Fires for recreational purposes or for cooking food
• Fires for training firefighting personnel
Q. What are the Alternatives?
• The open burning ban will result in more solid waste. Alternatives, which result in the reuse or recycling of this waste, should be pursued where feasible. Some alternatives include:
• Yard Trimmings (leaves, brush, grass clippings, shrub and tree prunings, etc): Composting, mulching, chipping, or natural decomposition. These items are accepted at the Rockdale County Recycling Center.
• Land Clearing Debris (trees, stumps, limbs, etc.): Chip, shred or grind the debris on site and reuse as mulch, erosion control or walk-paths. Some of these items are accepted at the Rockdale County Recycling Center. Call ahead for details on items accepted.
For more information about the Open Burn Ban, contact the Air Protection Branch, at 404-363-7000, or the EPD Northwest District Office at 404-362-2671.
Questions about available options for handling the solid waste can be directed to the Land Protection Branch at 404-362-2537.