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Press Release

Posted on: December 26, 2023

Open Burning is Not Permitted in the City of Storm Lake: Please be Considerate of Your Neighbors


The City of Storm Lake reminds residents that open burning is not legal within city limits.
  Recent nuisance complaints have been received from residents concerning burning of garbage or construction waste materials.
  Intentional outdoor fires result in approximately 20 deaths, 250 serious injuries and $23 million in property damage per year in the U.S., according to the National Fire Data Center. 
  Not only is burning of refuse a fire safety hazard and a possible nuisance to those who live nearby, it can be a health concern as well. 
  “Today’s waste is filled with toxic chemicals that weren’t around 50 or 60 years ago,” the Iowa Department of Natural Resources relates. “Once pollutants are in the air, there is no way to prevent them from depositing on crops and water sources… Clean air regulations continue to become more stringent because research has shown human health is impacted to a greater extent than previously thought.”
  EPA emissions testing shows that one burn barrel can emit up to 80 times more pollutants and 11 times the dioxin (toxic compounds that can cause cancer and other health issues) compared to a municipal incinerator. Smoke from trash fires can adversely affect people with heart conditions and trigger asthmatic reactions in some people.
  Composting, mulching or bagging of items such as yard waste is a safer and cleaner option to burning. Disposing of trash and construction materials through your local recycling center.
  Violating the city’s open burning code can result in a municipal infraction charge and fine.
  While open burning of landscape and tree materials originating on the property is permitted under certain conditions in rural areas that are not subject to local government regulation, the DNR advises that the following items should never be burned: 
 Rubber tires
 Household garbage/recyclables 
 Materials that could contain asbestos 
 Asphalt shingles
 Railroad tires
 Treated wood
 Dead animals
 Construction/demolition debris
 Petroleum products
 Plastic
 Metals
 Carpet
 Furniture
    In certain cases in those areas, burning cannot occur within one-quarter mile of an inhabitable structure. For more information on Iowa open burning regulations, contact the Iowa DNR area field office at 712-262-4417.

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