Summer Open Burning Ban began May 1

press release from Georgia EPD

Ban will remain in force until September 30

Beginning May 1, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) open burning ban will be in effect for 54 Georgia counties.  The open burning ban has been in place during the summer ozone season since 2005.

The open burning ban prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris from May 1 through September 30. 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.  Ground-level ozone can cause lung inflammation as well as other health problems. 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 improve Georgia’s air quality during the hot summer months.

Recreational activities such as campfires and grilling are exempt from the open burning ban.  Burning vegetative materials at agricultural operations are also exempt.

Some Georgia counties and cities have burning restrictions that are more stringent than the open burning ban. You may need a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission before conducting any burning.   EPD recommends that citizens check with their local Fire Marshall and the Georgia Forestry Commission before conducting any burning.

Citizens can access more information on the open burning ban at this link or by calling the EPD District Office in their area (phone numbers listed below). Counties included in the ban and the appropriate EPD District Office phone numbers follow:

  • Mountain District Office (Atlanta): 404-362-2671 Carroll, Clayton, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Heard, Henry, Rockdale, and Spalding counties.
  • Northeast District Office (Athens): 706-369-6376 Banks, Barrow, Butts, Clarke, Hall, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Putnam, and Walton counties.
  • East Central District Office (Augusta): 706-667-4343 Columbia and Richmond counties.
  • West Central District Office (Macon): 478-751-6612 Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Lamar, Monroe, Peach, Pike, Twiggs, Upson, Meriwether, and Troup counties.
  • Mountain District Office (Cartersville): 770-387-4900 Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Cobb, Dawson, Floyd, Forsyth, Gordon, Haralson, Lumpkin, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, and Walker counties.

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