FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Outdoor burning will soon be banned in eight Kentucky counties as ozone season begins on Friday.
The Energy and Environment Cabinet says from May 1 through Sept. 30, open burning is restricted in Boone, Boyd, Bullitt, Campbell, Jefferson, Kenton, Lawrence, and Oldham counties, to protect air quality. The Cabinet says this is especially important this year, as Kentucky continues to fight through the coronavirus pandemic.
Ground-level ozone is a summertime health risk, created when pollutants chemically react in the atmosphere in the presence of heat and sunlight. So during the five months, the open burning of household rubbish, brush, tree limbs, leaves and natural growth from land clearing, is not permitted
“Pollution from open burning is more likely to cause problems during the warmer months of the year,” said Melissa Duff, director of the Division for Air Quality. “For those counties that have historically had problems meeting air quality standards for ozone and particulate pollution, most open burning is restricted during this time to protect air quality and human health.”
All eight of the counties included in the burn ban 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 120 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 also 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, you can call the Division for Air Quality in Frankfort at 502-782-6592.