Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Georgia Burn Ban Ends Sept 30

Georgia’s annual air quality ban on outdoor burning, mostly in the northern half of Georgia, will end at midnight on September 30, 2009. The annual restrictions have been in place since May 1st in 54 counties statewide. Burn permits can be obtained from the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) beginning October 1st.

“The Georgia Environmental Protection Division puts this ban in place to comply with Federal Clean Air Regulations,” said Alan Dozier, Chief of Forest Protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission. “Ozone levels increase to unhealthy levels in summer,” he said. “Most types of open burning are restricted during the ban in an effort to manage the summertime surge in ozone levels.”

The following counties are affected by the 2009 burn ban: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker, and Walton.

The outdoor burning ban is under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Environmental Protection Division (EPD), Air Protection Branch.
The GFC operates an on-line burn permit system at 1-877-OK2-BURN. The phone system informs callers by county whether or not they can burn, depending on specific conditions in their area. Residents may also call their county GFC office for more information or visit GaTrees.org.
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