Storm Debris Burning Permits Will Be Issued for Residents in Hamilton County Directly Affected by the Tornadoes

Chattanooga, Tenn.April 15, 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 will be issuing storm debris permits free of charge for residents in Hamilton County who were directly impacted by the tornado.  This will allow 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.  All regular 2019-2020 burning permits will expire April 30, 2020.

Residents 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 obtained:

The Bureau is closed to the public due to COVID-19 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
  • the 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.