Open Burning Policy Changes as of May 2010
Open burning is the burning of any matter, where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the ambient air without passing through an adequate stack or flue.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (D.E.E.P.) and your local fire department limit open burning for public health and safety reasons. Open burning pollutes the air and can make it difficult for people with respiratory problems to breathe. Open burning can also create smoke and odor nuisances as well as health risks to nearby residents, particularly in densely populated areas.
The D.E.E.P. encourages the use of recycling and alternate methods for disposal of brush and other types of solid waste:
- Recycle paper products whenever possible – General Recycling Information
- Yard debris, including grass, leaves and branches can be composted or mulched – Composting and Organics Recycling
- Recycle clean fill, concrete, rubble, and asphalt – Construction and Demolition Aggregate Recycling
- Use and dispose of treated wood products appropriately – Proper Disposal of Treated Lumber
Permits for Open Burning
Open burning of any kind is strictly regulated by Connecticut law. A written “burn permit” must first be obtained before any resident of Connecticut can kindle an outside fire for the purpose of disposing of brush and similar vegetation. Residents of Tolland should be aware of the following restrictions and procedures.What Can Be Burned?
Residents may only burn brush and similar vegetation. Due to weather conditions, all burning may be prohibited at some times.
What Can Not Be Burned?
Residents may not burn leaves, grass clippings, stumps, garbage, household waste, tires, construction debris and trash of any description.
Where Can A Burning Permit Be Obtained?
Burning permits are available at the Fire House located off of RT 195 at Rhodes Road. The permits will be issued in one week increments. Permits will not be issued at night or on weekends; no exceptions. Please only obtain a permit if you are going to use it and please try and limit how many times you receive a permit in a season. There are no charges for these permits right now but there may soon be.
When Should I Apply For A Burning Permit?
Permits will be issued one week prior to being activated and will be valid for the following week. You no longer will be able to burn on the same day you receive your permit. Permits will be valid from Monday through Sunday during each weekly period. Burn permits can be requested Monday thru Friday between the hours of 8am and 4pm, excluding holidays or if staff are out on emergencies. There are no charges for these permits right now but there may soon be.
How Do I Activate My Permit?
Before igniting a fire, the permittee must check Fire Index and Air Quality Index at the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s (D.E.E.P.) web-site Forest Fire Danger Index and the Air Quality Index to see if burning is allowed in the region, this must be done each time. Do not call 911, the Dispatch Center or any of the fire houses for this approval.
All burn permits are issued subject to the following restrictions and conditions:
- Open burning of brush and similar vegetation is limited to the residential property upon which the permittee actually resides. Neighbors should be advised of the burning beforehand to prevent unwarranted calls to the fire department.
- The permittee must take all reasonable steps to limit excessive smoke and promote complete combustion of the material being burned. Burning in barrels is not permitted.
- The area surrounding the burn should first be wet down, or other steps taken to limit the possible spread of the burn. A source of water for extinguishment should be provided in the event the fire unexpectedly increases in size. Burning must be attended at all times.
- The written permit must be available for inspection at the site during the actual burn.
- Burning shall only take place between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on a sunny or partly sunny day when the wind does not exceed 15 m.p.h. All burning may be prohibited on days when atmospheric conditions create an increased danger of brush and forest fires.
- Before igniting a fire, the permittee must check Fire Index and Air Quality Index at the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (D.E.E.P.) website Forest Fire Danger Index & Air Quality Index to see if burning is allowed in the region, this must be done each time. Do not call 911, the Dispatch Center or any of the fire houses for this approval.
- Any open Burning that creates any type of nuisance or anyone not following the rules will have their permit revoked and burning privileges will be lost.