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Ohio’s Open Burning Regulations: Learn Before You Burn
Ohio EPA encourages residents to understand what and where they can legally burn materials outdoors. The Agency has received complaints about open burning of leaves and yard waste in Mercer County this fall.
Burning yard waste, leaves and other debris is more than a nuisance to neighbors. Smoke from these fires can carry chemicals and ash that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs, causing breathing difficulties, especially for people with lung or heart problems. Also, gases released by open burning can corrode metal siding and damage paint on buildings. This is why it is important to know Ohio’s open burning regulations.
One key part of state law makes it illegal to conduct open burning inside a municipality or within a set distance outside a municipality, depending on the town’s size. A 3-foot-by-2-foot recreational fire using clean, seasoned firewood is allowed in both municipal and rural areas. However in rural areas, any other types of fires cannot be set within 1,000 feet of an inhabited building on a neighboring property.
Brush, tree trimmings and leaves may be burned only on the property where they are generated and only if the fire meets the boundary requirements. Garbage, dead animals or material containing rubber, grease or petroleum (such as tires and plastics) cannot be burned any time in Ohio.
State law takes precedence over local ordinances, in most cases. Regarding outdoor burning regulations, local ordinances often can be stricter than state law, but not less so. Consult both state and local regulations before burning. Violations can result in fines. In addition, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has open burning rules aimed at preventing wildfires.
To ask questions, request written permission to burn or lodge a complaint about open burning, contact Jeremy Scoles in Ohio EPA’s Northwest District Office in Bowling Green, toll free at 1-800-686-6930 extension 3052, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
More information on Ohio EPA’s open burning regulations is available at www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/47/facts/openburn.pdf and at www.epa.ohio.gov/dapc/general/openburning.aspx. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources open burning rules can be found at http://forestry.ohiodnr.gov/burninglaws.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.