Burn ban runs through Sept.
Polk and 53 other Georgia counties are under an outdoor burning ban that runs through Sept. 30.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s ban, which started Wednesday, has been in place during the summer ozone season since 2005. It includes the Northwest Georgia counties of Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Paulding, Pickens and Walker counties.
The open burning ban prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and landclearing debris. This is in addition to the rule that prohibits the burning of household garbage. Burning household garbage is never allowed anywhere in Georgia.
Ground-level ozone is most commonly produced in the heat of the summer. It can cause lung inflammation as well as other health problems, according to the EPD. 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 but a permit is required. They’re available through the Georgia Forestry Commission online at GaTrees. Org or by calling 1-877-OK2BURN.
For more information on the open burning ban, visit the EPD.Georgia.Gov website.