Seasonal Burning Ban To Begin May 1

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau is reminding Hamilton County residents that beginning May 1 seasonal burning restrictions will take effect and continue through September 30.  During this period no burning—commercial or residential—will be allowed in Hamilton County.

Burn permits should be obtained from the Air Pollution Control Bureau prior to April 30.  To obtain a permit application, residents may:

• request one by phone at 423-643-5970
• download one at">
• pick one up at the Bureau at 6125 Preservation Drive, Ste. 140

Residents will be charged a processing fee to help cover the expenses of the program.  Burning sites within city limits have a $50 fee and require an inspection prior to receiving a permit.  This inspection will be completed by the Bureau Investigator and can take up to a week to be completed. Burning sites outside of city limits have a $5 fee and usually do not require an inspection.

Recreational fires are allowed during the restriction period.  A recreational fire is a cooking or campfire, using charcoal or clean, untreated firewood.  These can occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes.

“We realize that seasonal burning restrictions cause a level of inconvenience for our community,” said Bob Colby, director of the Air Pollution Control Bureau.  “However, enacting the restrictions during the five hottest months of the year—when both ozone and fine particles are at high levels—gives us a real air quality advantage.  It also encourages people to look into alternatives to burning, like chipping or composting.”

Burning leaves, brush, and other vegetation creates smoke resulting in a number of hazardous air pollutants.  In addition to increasing pollution levels, exposure to these pollutants can result in health effects ranging from allergies to cancer.  Burning restrictions are proven methods of controlling air quality.  Residents and companies are encouraged to use alternative methods to burning, like chipping, composting and recycling. 

In addition to seasonal burning restrictions, several other control measures have been implemented in Hamilton County, including vehicle emissions testing, lowering the highway speed limit for diesel trucks, vapor recovery from fuel tankers and a community awareness program, Pollution Solution, which alerts the community on days when air quality is forecast to have negative health effects.
For more information about how you or your organization can become part of the Pollution Solution, visit the Bureau’s website at or contact Amber Boles, public relations coordinator, at 423-643-5970 or

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