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Proposed Change To Tallahassee Burning Ordinance Has Environmentalists Smoldering

Photo: Vladimir Tomic

Tallahassee City Commissioners will look at loosening the existing outside burning ordinance at Wednesday’s meeting. A Leon County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor hopes that change won’t happen.

As written, the city’s ordinance requires an open burning permit from the fire department, although officials admit that’s rarely enforced. Still, Cara Fleischer would like to see the city keep its existing ordinance in place and beef up the permit enforcement.

“Open burning is burning of yard waste like leaves and sticks. Not recreational burning of clean wood, fire pits, charcoal grills or gas fireplaces. They’ve been asked to consider changing the rules to match the state statute that allows backyard burning if you meet certain setbacks.”

Fleischer fears that would mean a lot more yard waste burning and more smoke, which can pose a health hazard, especially to those with breathing problems such as asthma.

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