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Outdoor Burning in Texas

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  1. Outdoor Burning in Texas Environmental Regulations 30 TAC Chapter 111 Subchapter B

  2. Authority for TCEQs Outdoor Burning Regulations • Texas Health & Safety Code §382.018. • TCEQ may control and prohibit the ODB of waste and combustible material. • TCEQ may include requirements concerning the particular method to be used to control or abate the emission of air contaminants resulting from that burning.

  3. Authority for TCEQs Outdoor Burning Regulations (cont.) • Subject to LGC §352.082 (Household refuse in Montgomery County). • Except as provided by THSC §382.018(b) (Plant waste on-site in most attainment areas). • Except as provided by THSC §382.018(d) (Designated Burn Sites).

  4. Understanding TCEQ ODB RegsFive Components • General Prohibition (§ 111.201). • Definitions (§ 111.203). • Exceptions to the Prohibition (§ 111.205, 111.207, 111.209, 111.211, 111.213). • Executive Director’s Approval (§ 111.215). • General Requirements (§ 111.219). • Responsibility (§ 111.221).

  5. §111.201 General Prohibition • No person may cause, suffer, allow, or permit any ODB in Texas except as provided by this subchapter or by orders or permits of the commission.

  6. §111.205 Exception for Fire Training • ODB shall be authorized when requested in writing and when authorized by the local air pollution control agency or the appropriate TCEQ regional office. • This is one of only two authorizations provided by §111 that is not trumped by a county burn ban.

  7. §111.207 Exception for Fires Used for Recreation, Ceremony, Cooking, and Warmth • Campfires. • Bonfires. • Barbeque.

  8. §111.209 Exception for Disposal Fires • Domestic Waste. • Diseased Animal Carcasses. • Veterinarians. • On-site plant waste in attainment or non-attainment areas. • Designated Sites. • Crop Residue. • Plant waste causing a detrimental public health & safety condition, by local government.

  9. §111.211 Exception for Prescribed Burn • For forest, range and wildlife management purposes (except coastal salt-marsh). Notification and approval are not required. • For salt-marsh, notification and approval are required.

  10. Rule Under Revision • Project No. 2013-018-PET-NR • DOCKET NO. 2013-0175-RUL • The Petitioner, Texas Prescribed Burning Board, requested that TCEQ amend 30 TAC §111.211(1) by adding "hazard mitigation" to the exception authorized for prescribed burning. [Follow-up is Rule Project No. 2013-023-111-CE.]

  11. Rule Under Revision • Will allow the burning of ‘fuel’ to prevent and/or mitigate wildfire. • Pertains to areas other than forest, range, and wildland. • I.e. Rural-Urban Interface, platted lots, neighborhoods.

  12. §111.213 Exception for Hydrocarbon Burning • Hydrocarbon burning from pipeline breaks and oil spills, upon meeting notification requirements for major upsets, and if the ED has determined that burning is necessary to protect the public welfare.

  13. §111.215 Executive Director Approval of Otherwise Prohibited Outdoor Burning • By written permission. • If there is no practical alternative and if the burning will not cause or contribute to a nuisance, traffic hazard or to a violation of any federal or state primary or secondary ambient air standard. • ED may specify methods to control or abate emissions. • May be revoked at any time.

  14. §111.219 General Requirements for Allowable Outdoor Burning • Other sections of this subchapter are subject to the following requirements when specified in that subchapter. • Texas Forest Service shall be notified prior to prescribed or controlled burning for forest management purposes. • Burning must be outside the corporate limits of a city or town, unless the city or town has enacted ordinances to allow the burning.

  15. §111.219 General Requirements for Allowable Outdoor Burning • Wind direction and other meteorological conditions must be such that smoke and other pollutants will not cause adverse effects to any public road, landing strip, navigable water, or off-site structure containing sensitive receptors. • Must post flag-persons on affected roads if the burn causes or may tend to cause smoke to blow onto or across a road or highway.

  16. §111.219 General Requirements for Allowable Outdoor Burning • Must be downwind of, or at least 300 feet from any structure containing sensitive receptors located on adjacent properties, unless prior written approval is obtained from the adjacent occupant.

  17. §111.219 General Requirements for Allowable Outdoor Burning • Must comply with meteorological and timing considerations; • Begin no earlier than 1 hour after sunrise, complete no later than one hour before sunset, and shall be attended by a responsible person. • Shall not burn unless surface wind speed is predicted to be between six and 23 mph. • Shall not burn during periods of actual or predicted persistent low-level atmospheric temperature inversions.

  18. §111.219 General Requirements for Allowable Outdoor Burning • Electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, non-wood construction or demolition materials, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes, and items containing natural or synthetic rubber must not be burned.

  19. §111.221 Responsibility for Consequences of Outdoor Burning • The authority to conduct outdoor burning under this regulation does not exempt or excuse any person responsible from the consequences, damages, or injuries resulting from the burning and does not exempt or excuse anyone from complying with all applicable laws or ordinances, regulations, and orders of governmental entities having jurisdiction, even though burning is otherwise conducted in compliance with this regulation.

  20. Ronnie Kramer • Work Leader, Program Support Section • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality • Field Operations Support Division • 12100 Park 35 Circle, Bldg. A • Mail: MC-174, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, TX 78711-3087 • Phone: 512/239-0194, FAX: 512/239-0404 • Email: Ronnie.Kramer@tceq.texas.gov