Ozone Season Begins May 1

Outdoor Burning Restricted in Some Counties

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 26, 2019) – Ozone season begins May 1, and for some Kentucky counties that means taking extra care to learn before you burn.  From May 1 through September 30, open burning in Boone, Boyd, Bullitt, Campbell, Jefferson, Kenton, Lawrence, and Oldham counties is restricted to protect air quality.

Ground-level ozone is a summertime health risk, created when pollutants chemically react in the atmosphere in the presence of heat and sunlight.

“Outdoor or open burning contributes to ozone and to particulate pollution, especially during the warmer months of the year,” said Melissa Duff, director of the Division for Air Quality. “That’s why most open burning is restricted in counties that have historically exceeded air quality standards for those pollutants.”

From May through September, the open burning of household rubbish, brush, tree limbs, leaves and natural growth from land clearing are not permitted in Boone, Boyd, Bullitt, Campbell, Kenton, and Oldham counties. A portion of Lawrence County is subject to open burning restrictions during ozone season.  Open burning is restricted year-round in Jefferson County.

All of these counties have, at one time or another, been designated ‘non-attainment’ for ozone or particulate matter pollutants.

Many people may not realize that burning trash – at any time of the year – is illegal in all Kentucky counties. State law prohibits the burning of many materials including plastic, tires, cans, coated wire, carpeting and food waste. In addition, the burning of trailers, buildings, and construction and demolition debris such as shingles, drywall and insulation is prohibited.

Painted, stained or treated wood products such as fence posts, pallets, and furniture are illegal to burn, because they release dangerous toxins into the air. Items that cannot be recycled should be taken to a state-permitted landfill.

To report illegal open burning or to learn more about open burning restrictions in your area, please call the Division for Air Quality at 502-782-6592 or email burnlaw@ky.gov , or visit the division’s website at http://bit.ly/OpenBurningKY .

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