MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAFF) - Many in north Alabama received word today that the state has placed a burn ban on their area through the fall.
The Alabama Department of Environment Management placed a burn ban running from May 1 until October 31 on the following counties:
According to ADEM, the ban’s purpose is to combat the formation of ground-level ozone and the generation of fine particulate matter during warm weather months.
“Prohibiting the open burning of wood, tree trimmings, brush and debris generated by land clearing and construction or demolition activities is an effective way to reduce the formation of ground-level ozone, which is formed when volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides react in the presence of heat and sunlight,” said Ron Gore, chief of ADEM’s Air Division. Though beneficial in the upper atmosphere, ozone is a respiratory irritant when found at ground level.
State law says “only vegetation and untreated wood” can be burned, according to Gore. Non-vegetative materials, such as oils, plastics, vinyl, paper, garbage, trash and treated and painted wood, cannot be burned anywhere in the state at any time, he said.
The burn ban is one of many efforts the ADEM uses to maintain air quality in Alabama. The environmental programs administered by ADEM under the federal Clean Air Act support the overarching goal of ensuring that all Alabama citizens have clean air to breath.
For more information about the burn ban, go to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management website, www.adem.alabama.gov.