Hamilton County Seasonal Burning Ban Begins May 1, 2018

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – April 24, 2018 - The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau is reminding Hamilton County residents that beginning May 1, 2018, seasonal burning restrictions will take effect and continue through September 30, 2018. During this period no burning - commercial or residential - will be allowed in Hamilton County.

Residents of Hamilton County wanting to burn brush and vegetation from their yard for disposal purposes will need to obtain a burn permit from the Air Pollution Control Bureau prior to April 30, 2018. Residents burning within the city limits of Chattanooga, Collegedale, East Ridge, Red Bank and Ridgeside will need to apply no later than Thursday, April 26, 2018 at noon.  The permit allows residents to burn on approved days during specified hours. All permits expire April 30, 2017.

To obtain a permit application, residents may:

  • download one at www.apcb.org or 
  • pick one up at the Bureau: 6125 Preservation Drive, Ste. 140, Chattanooga, TN 37416-3740.

Residents will be charged a processing fee to help cover the expense of the program. Burning sites within the city limits of Chattanooga, Collegedale, East Ridge, Red Bank, and Ridgeside require a $60 fee and an inspection, completed by our Bureau Investigator, prior to receiving a permit. This application will need to be turned in no later than noon on Thursday, April 26, 2018. All other areas in Hamilton County require a $10 fee and usually do not need an inspection.

Recreational fires are allowed during the restriction period. A recreational fire is a cooking or campfire, using charcoal or clean, untreated firewood, that is limited to two feet by three feet in size. These can occur in designated areas or on private property for cooking, pleasure, or ceremonial purposes.

“We realize that seasonal burning restrictions cause a level of inconvenience for our community,” said Bob Colby, Director of the Air Pollution Control Bureau. “However, enacting the restrictions during the five hottest months of the year—when both ozone and fine particles are at their highest levels—provides a real air quality benefit. It also encourages people to look into alternatives to burning, like chipping or composting.”

Burning leaves, brush, and other vegetation creates smoke, releasing a number of hazardous air pollutants in the environment. In addition to increasing pollution levels, exposure to these pollutants can result in health effects ranging from allergies to cancer. Burning restriction is a proven method of controlling air quality. Residents and companies are encouraged to use alternative methods to burning, like chipping, composting and recycling.  

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