Know the law about open burning
Open burning is illegal
Open air burning is a sort of tradition
But every time we burn outdoors, we contribute to air pollution in our area. Whether it's waste from yards, home, businesses, or land-clearing, it all adds up to unhealthy air.
What's blowing in the wind?
Smoke from outdoor burning clogs our air with a mixture of fine particles and other toxic pollutants that can lodge deep in our lungs when we breathe. It can make breathing difficult and cause serious health problems for many of us.
Be a good neighbor
It is never legal to impact your neighbors with smoke, ash or odors. Always consider the time of day, proximity to others, type of material, wind direction and other weather conditions such as air stagnation.
Not the same ol' trash
Burning household waste is a serious threat to public health and the environment. Toxic chemicals, including dioxins, are produced when household waste is burned. One household burn barrel emits more dioxin than a municipal waste incinerator serving thousands of homes. Burning of debris can cause another problem ... Forest Fires.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Many items that are burned in a trash pile or burn barrel can often be recycled. Newspapers, glass, cardboard and many plastics can be recycled. Grass clippings and leaves are ideal to add to a compost pile. Your old attic junk could be given away for someone else to reuse. Check in the back of your local telephone directory for recycling information and sites in your area.
Free local landfill garbage collection days
West Virginia's Municipal Sanitary Waste Landfills are required to have free monthly household garbage "dump" days.
"Open Burning of Garbage is Illegal" - It's the law - 45CSR6 "Control of Air Pollution from Combustion of Refuse"
Certain kinds of open burning are still allowed if it doesn't create a nuisance and if it is not prohibited by local ordinances. These types of fires are allowed:
Vegetation (leaves, branches and other vegetative matter) grown on the premises of a home or farm.
Campfires and outdoor barbecues
DAQ approved open burning of land clearing debris described in this pamphlet
DAQ approved fire training as described in this pamphlet
If in violation of the open burning law, 45CSR6, refusal to comply may result in a Notice of Violation and/or a fine of up to $10,000 a day.
Materials illegal to open burn include:
Household trash (burn barrels and/or piles) including paper products - such as cardboard, boxes, etc.
Construction, building, or demolition materials (examples: lumber, flooring, roofing material, carpet, plastic, Styrofoam, etc.)
Wood pallets and other packaging materials
Tires or other rubber products
Asbestos-containing materials including building materials
Insulation from copper wire
Waste paints, waste oil, or solvents
Open Burning of Land Clearing Debris Must be "Approved":
Vegetative material generated by clearing of land for purposes of preparation for development, construction, mining or other such activity may be open burned provided there is no practical alternative disposal method
Non-vegetative (ex. construction debris) material is not considered land clearing debris
Pitburners should be used whenever practical and may be required in non-rural areas
Must complete the approval to conduct open burning form and receive written approval from DAQ
Guidelines for the Open Burning of Vegetation and Land Clearing Debris:
Must be thoroughly dried at least 10 days and piled to promote combustion
No trunks, limbs or stumps over eight (8) inches in diameter (before splitting)
Conducted during daylight hours, which requires the size of burn piles to be small enough to burn out before dark
Fires must be completely extinguished and not allowed to smolder at night
All fires must be surrounded by a 10-foot clearing to prevent escape to potential combustible materials
Never leave fires unattended, and keep a shovel and water source nearby
Health, safety, comfort and property of neighbors are protected from the effects of such burning
Bona Fide Fire Training Must be "Approved":
Fire training is for the instruction and training of public and industrial employees and members of volunteer fire departments
"Pan fires" using propane, fuel oil, or wood (must be approved by the DAQ)
Burning of structures for fire training purposes only - not merely for disposal - with the following provisions:
- All asphalt or asbestos-containing materials must be removed
- Must contact and obtain approval from the DAQ for ALL structures to comply with the
federal asbestos NESHAP
- Upon completion of training, the fires must be completely extinguished to prevent smoldering
- Properly dispose of all remaining debris
During the forest fire seasons (March 1 to May 31 and October 1 to December 31) no open burning may be conducted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. unless a burning permit is obtained from the Division of Forestry and the proper permit fees paid. Also, approval is always required to be obtained from the Division of Air Quality for the open burning of land clearing debris, please contact your local DAQ office for assistance.
It all adds up to cleaner air!
Division of Air Quality
Charleston (304) 926-0475
Fairmont (304) 368-3910
Romney (304) 822-7266
Wheeling (304) 238-1220
Division of Forestry
Beckley (304) 256-6775
Charleston (304) 558-2788
Elizabeth (304) 275-0261
Farmington (304) 825-6983
Milton (304) 743-6186
Romney (304) 822-4512
West Virginia Department of Commerce
Division of Forestry
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305-0180
west virginia department of environmental protection
Division of Air Quality
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
The DEP is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.