Beginning today, May 1, 2018, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) open burning ban goes into effect for 54 Georgia counties. Gwinnett, Walton and the surrounding counties are included in this summer burning ban, which has been in place during the summer ozone season since 2005.
According to the press release from the EPD announcing this year’s ban, the open burning ban prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris from May 1 through September 30.
In Atlanta, during the summer months, the ozone in the air we breathe can reach unhealthy levels. Ozone is formed when volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides 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. Beginning May 1st and ending September 30th, EPD’s Open Burning Ban will be enforced in 54 Georgia counties.
The Open Burning Ban prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris. This rule is in addition to the year-round state ban on the burning of household garbage.
Counties included in the ban and the appropriate EPD District Office phone numbers follow:
- Metro Atlanta District Office: 404-362-2671 Carroll, Clayton, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Henry, Rockdale, Spalding counties
- Northeast District Office (Athens): 706-369-6376 Banks, Barrow, Butts, Clarke, Hall, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Putnam, Walton counties
- Northeast District Office (Augusta): 706-792-7744 Columbia, Richmond counties
- West Central District Office: 478-751-6612 Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Lamar, Monroe, Peach, Pike, Twiggs, Upson, Meriwether, Troup counties
- Mountain District Office: 770-387-4900 Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Dawson, Floyd, Forsyth, Gordon, Haralson, Lumpkin, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Walker counties.
What are the rules of the open burning ban?
Don’t burn anything from May 1 – September 30.
- *Agricultural burning exemption
- **Forestry “prescribed burning” exemption
- Campfires or barbeques
- Fire-fighting training exemption, provided appropriate permit is issued
- Operation of open flame equipment exemption
- Explosive disposal in accordance with U.S. Department of Labor Safety Regulations
*Does not include land use changes
**Not exempted in the 19 county metro Atlanta non-attainment area: Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Spaulding, Rockdale and Walton.
Failure to adhere to the burn ban during May – September may result in fines.