Open burn­ing ban be­gins May 1 for New­ton County

The Covington News - - Front page -

an in­di­vid­ual’s prop­erty, and in some coun­ties, burn­ing for land clear­ing or for­est man­age­ment. It is en­forced dur­ing smog sea­son when lev­els of par­ti­cle pol­lu­tion and ozone are high­est.”

The open burn­ing ban that be­gins May 1 is not new. Beginning in 1996 with the 13-county metro At­lanta area, it has grad­u­ally come to in­clude 54 coun­ties. With Ge­or­gia’s growth and de­vel­op­ment comes more traf­fic, more in­dus­try, more land clear­ing and more build­ing — all con­trib­ute to air pol­lu­tion. Ge­or­gia cur­rently has 27 coun­ties in “nonat­tain­ment” for ozone and/ or par­ti­cle pol­lu­tion. The U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency de­fines ar­eas where air qual­ity does not meet fed­eral air qual­ity health stan­dards as in “non-at­tain­ment.”

EPD is charged by EPA to im­prove the air qual­ity in Ge­or­gia. The open burn­ing ban and the year — round garbage ban are part of the strat­egy to im­prove the qual­ity of Ge­or­gia’s air — mak­ing it health­ier to breathe.

Jac Capp, Ge­or­gia EPD Air Branch Chief, states that: “We are work­ing hard to im­prove the qual­ity of air that Ge­or­gians breathe. We adopt rules, is­sue per­mits and en­cour­age vol­un­tary mea­sures that will have a pos­i­tive im­pact on air qual­ity. The cit­i­zens of Ge­or­gia are key part­ners as we pur­sue our en­vi­ron­men­tal goals. Com­post­ing or other al­ter­na­tives to burn­ing are steps in the right di­rec­tion — we’re all in this to­gether.”

Cit­i­zens can ac­cess more in­for­ma­tion on the open burn­ing ban by call­ing the EPD District Of­fice at (706) 369-6376. Small busi­nesses can ob­tain help and in­for­ma­tion by call­ing EPD’s Small Busi­ness En­vi­ron­men­tal As­sis­tance Pro­gram toll­free at (877) 427-6255.

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