15A NCAC 02D .1903 OPEN BURNING WITHOUT AN AIR QUALITY PERMIT
(a) All open burning is prohibited except open burning allowed under Paragraph (b) of this Rule or Rule .1904 of this Section. Except as allowed under Paragraphs (b)(3) through (b)(9) of this Rule, open burning shall not be initiated in an air quality forecast area that the Department, or the Forsyth County Environmental Affairs Department for the Triad air quality forecast area, has forecasted to be in an Air Quality Action Day Code "Orange" or above during the time period covered by that forecast.
(b) The following types of open burning are permissible without an air quality permit:
(1) open burning of leaves, logs, stumps, tree branches or yard trimmings, if the following conditions are met:
(A) The material burned originates on the premises of private residences and is burned on those premises;
(B) There are no public pickup services available;
(C) Non-vegetative materials, such as household garbage, lumber, or any other synthetic materials are not burned;
(D) The burning is initiated no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and no additional combustible material is added to the fire between 6:00 p.m. on one day and 8:00 a.m. on the following day;
(E) The burning does not create a nuisance; and
(F) Material is not burned when the North Carolina Forest Service has banned burning for that area.
The burning of logs or stumps of any size shall not be considered to create a nuisance for purposes of the application of the open burning air quality permitting exception described in this Subparagraph.
(2) open burning for land clearing or right-of-way maintenance if the following conditions are met:
(A) The wind direction at the time that the burning is initiated and the wind direction as forecasted by the National Weather Service at the time that the burning is initiated are away from any area, including public roads within 250 feet of the burning as measured from the edge of the pavement or other roadway surface, which may be affected by smoke, ash, or other air pollutants from the burning;
(B) The location of the burning is at least 500 feet from any dwelling, group of dwellings, or commercial or institutional establishment, or other occupied structure not located on the property on which the burning is conducted. The regional office supervisor may grant exceptions to the setback requirements if:
(i) a signed, written statement waiving objections to the open burning associated with the land clearing operation is obtained and submitted to, and the exception granted by, the regional office supervisor before the burning begins from a resident or an owner of each dwelling, commercial or institutional establishment, or other occupied structure within 500 feet of the open burning site. In the case of a lease or rental agreement, the lessee or renter shall be the person from whom permission shall be gained prior to any burning; or
(ii) an air curtain burner that complies with Rule .1904 of this Section, is utilized at the open burning site.
Factors that the regional supervisor shall consider in deciding to grant the exception include: all the persons who need to sign the statement waiving the objection have signed it; the location of the burn; and the type, amount, and nature of the combustible substances. The regional supervisor shall not grant a waiver if a college, school, licensed day care, hospital, licensed rest home, or other similar institution is less than 500 feet from the proposed burn site when such institution is occupied.
(C) Only land-cleared plant growth is burned. Heavy oils, asphaltic materials such as shingles and other roofing materials, items containing natural or synthetic rubber, or any materials other than plant growth shall not be burned; however, kerosene, distillate oil, or diesel fuel may be used to start the fire;
(D) Initial burning begins only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., and no combustible material is added to the fire between 6:00 p.m. on one day and 8:00 a.m. on the following day;
(E) No fires are initiated or vegetation added to existing fires when the North Carolina Forest Service has banned burning for that area; and
(F) Materials are not carried off-site or transported over public roads for open burning unless the materials are carried or transported to:
(i) Facilities permitted in accordance with 15A NCAC 02D .1904 (Air Curtain Burners) for the operation of an air curtain burner at a permanent site; or
(ii) A location, where the material is burned not more than four times per year, that meets all of the following criteria:
(I) At least 500 feet from any dwelling, group of dwellings, or commercial or institutional establishment, or other occupied structure not located on the property on which the burning is conducted.
(II) There are no more than two piles, each 20 feet in diameter, being burned at one time.
(III) The location is not a permitted solid waste management facility.
(3) camp fires and fires used solely for outdoor cooking and other recreational purposes, or for ceremonial occasions, or for human warmth and comfort and which do not create a nuisance and do not use synthetic materials or refuse or salvageable materials for fuel;
(4) fires purposely set to public or private forest land for forest management practices for which burning is acceptable to the North Carolina Forest Service and which follow the smoke management plan as outlined in the North Carolina Forest Service's smoke management program;
(5) fires purposely set to agricultural lands for disease and pest control and fires set for other agricultural or apicultural practices for which burning is currently acceptable to the Department of Agriculture;
(6) fires purposely set for wildlife management practices for which burning is currently acceptable to the Wildlife Resource Commission;
(7) fires for the disposal of dangerous materials when it is the safest and most practical method of disposal;
(8) fires purposely set by manufacturers of fire-extinguishing materials or equipment, testing laboratories, or other persons, for the purpose of testing or developing these materials or equipment in accordance with a standard qualification program;
(9) fires purposely set for the instruction and training of fire-fighting personnel at permanent fire-fighting training facilities;
(10) fires purposely set for the instruction and training of fire-fighting personnel when conducted under the supervision of or with the cooperation of one or more of the following agencies:
(A) the North Carolina Forest Service;
(B) the North Carolina Insurance Department;
(C) North Carolina technical institutes; or
(D) North Carolina community colleges, including:
(i) the North Carolina Fire College; or
(ii) the North Carolina Rescue College;
(11) fires not described in Subparagraphs (9) or (10) of this Paragraph, purposely set for the instruction and training of fire-fighting personnel, provided that:
(A) The regional office supervisor of the appropriate regional office and the HHCB have been notified according to the procedures and deadlines contained in the appropriate regional notification form. This form may be obtained by writing the appropriate regional office at the address in Rule .1905 of this Section and requesting it, and
(B) The regional office supervisor has granted permission for the burning. Factors that the regional office supervisor shall consider in granting permission for the burning include type, amount, and nature of combustible substances. The regional office supervisor shall not grant permission for the burning of salvageable items, such as insulated wire and electric motors or if the primary purpose of the fire is to dispose of synthetic materials or refuse. The regional office supervisor of the appropriate regional office shall not consider previously demolished structures as having training value. However, the regional office supervisor of the appropriate regional office may allow an exercise involving the burning of motor vehicles burned over a period of time by a training unit or by several related training units. Any deviations from the dates and times of exercises, including additions, postponements, and deletions, submitted in the schedule in the approved plan shall be communicated verbally to the regional office supervisor of the appropriate regional office at least one hour before the burn is scheduled; and
(12) fires for the disposal of material generated as a result of a natural disaster, such as tornado, hurricane, or flood, if the regional office supervisor grants permission for the burning. The person desiring to do the burning shall document and provide written notification to the regional office supervisor of the appropriate regional office that there is no other practical method of disposal of the waste. Factors that the regional office supervisor shall consider in granting permission for the burning include type, amount, location of the burning, and nature of combustible substances. The regional office supervisor shall not grant permission for the burning if the primary purpose of the fire is to dispose of synthetic materials or refuse or recovery of salvageable materials. Fires authorized under this Subparagraph shall comply with the conditions of Subparagraph (b)(2) of this Rule.
(c) The authority to conduct open burning under this Section does not exempt or excuse any person from the consequences, damages or injuries that may result from this conduct. It does not excuse or exempt any person from complying with all applicable laws, ordinances, rules or orders of any other governmental entity having jurisdiction even though the open burning is conducted in compliance with this Section.
History Note: Authority G.S. 143-215.3(a)(1); 143-215.107(a)(5); S.L. 2011-394, s.2;
Eff. July 1, 1996;
Amended Eff. June 13, 2016; March 19, 2015; July 3, 2012; July 1, 2007; December 1, 2005; June 1, 2004; July 1, 1998.