Seasonal Burning Ban Begins May 1

  • Thursday, April 18, 2024
The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau is reminding Hamilton County residents that beginning May 1, seasonal burning restrictions take effect and continue through Sept. 30. During this period, no residential or commercial burning is allowed in Hamilton County.  

Residents of Hamilton County wanting to burn brush and vegetation from their yard need to obtain a burn permit from the Bureau. The permit allows residents to burn on approved days during specified hours through April 30.

For city limits of Chattanooga, Collegedale, East Ridge, Red Bank and Ridgeside: Anyone burning within the city limits should apply no later than 4 p.m.
on Wednesday, April 24 to allow time for an inspection by the Bureau investigator.
 
For unincorporated Hamilton County, Lakesite, Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, Soddy Daisy, and Walden: Anyone burning in unincorporated Hamilton County, Lakesite, Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, Soddy Daisy or Walden must apply by 4 p.m. on Monday, April 29. 

Applicants can apply online at apcb.org or in person at the Bureau office in CBL Building II, 2034 Hamilton Place Blvd., Suite 300 in Chattanooga.

Residents are charged a processing fee to help cover the expense of the program. Burning sites within Chattanooga, Collegedale, East Ridge, Red Bank and Ridgeside require a $60 fee and an inspection prior to receiving a permit.

Burning sites outside of those municipalities require a $10 fee and usually do not need an inspection.
 
Recreational fires are allowed during the restriction period. A recreational fire is limited to burning clean, untreated seasoned firewood and must be no larger than two feet by three feet in size. 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 Ron Drumeller, executive 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.” 

Officials said, "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 restriction is a proven method of controlling air quality. Residents and companies are encouraged to use alternatives to burning, like chipping, composting and recycling."
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