Chattanooga, Tenn. – May 28, 2020 – The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau extends its sympathy to residents who were affected by the tornado on Sunday, April 12, 2020. We have been issuing storm debris permits free of charge for residents in Hamilton County who were directly impacted by the tornado. This allows anyone with a storm debris permit to burn through June 15, 2020 on approved burning days. Residents must obtain a storm debris permit before burning, and all storm debris permits will require an inspection. The last day to apply for a Storm Debris Permit is Tuesday, June 9th, to allow time for an inspection.
Residents with storm damage may burn brush, natural vegetation, and clean, raw, untreated, non-manufactured wood from their property. Brush should be gathered into piles no larger than 12 foot by 12 foot by 12 foot. No other materials may be burned.
Prior to obtaining a permit, wood should be piled and ready to burn. Once this is done, residents should apply for a storm debris permit from the Bureau, which can be completed:
- online at apcb.us/storm-permit, or
- by calling 423.643.5970.
The Bureau is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will not accept applications in person.
The Bureau is committed to helping with the recovery efforts of those affected by the tornado, but we also want to preserve the health of those in the area. Exposure to wood smoke has been linked to a variety of health problems including:
- increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing, or difficulty breathing,
- decreased lung function,
- aggravated asthma, and
- development of chronic bronchitis.
Due to the negative health effects of burning green wood, the Bureau advises residents that all wood should be piled up and allowed to dry out before burning.
As an alternative to burning storm debris, residents can also utilize Hamilton County’s roadside pickup service by separating their tornado debris into piles on the curb no later than June 1st.
With the exception of the Storm Debris Permit, all burning permits are expired. The seasonal burning ban is in effect through September 30, 2020.