IEPA and county officials address illegal burns and nuisance fires
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(Originally posted Friday afternoon)
[May 22, 2010]
State and local officials met on
Thursday morning to discuss open burning in Logan County. Illegal
burns and nuisance fires have been a countywide issue, with several
complaints coming from the Middletown area recently.
Conferring over state and county regulations were three
representatives from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
and representatives from the Logan County's Sheriff's Office,
Emergency Management Agency, 911 Dispatch, Department of Public
Health, Waste Management Agency, State's Attorney Michael McIntosh
and Logan County Board Chairman Terry Carlton.
Also present but not acting as participants were Middletown
Village President Ken Davison, the village's attorney and Middletown
Fire Department officials.
Carlton said, "Our first goal is to have voluntary compliance
with the open burning act throughout Logan County."
Davison said that he and their attorney would be reviewing
Middletown's ordinances and making updates to get in compliance with
IEPA statutes. Davison stated several times that he knows that
burning garbage is illegal, and they don't allow that in
The IEPA will create brochures to be mailed to all Middletown
residents so that they may understand what is their right and what
is illegal to burn openly in Middletown. According to the IEPA,
anything other than yard waste is illegal to burn:
If you live in any
Illinois town or within one mile of a town with a population of
1,000 or more:
It is illegal to
burn anything except for landscape waste. Local ordinances may be
more restrictive and must be followed.
openburn/open-burning-brochure.pdf, p. 2)
See more details of the "Illinois EPA Information for Open
The Logan County Open Burning Working Group set forth the
following guide to illegal burns and nuisance fire complaints:
Protection Act 415 ILCS 511 et seq. makes illegal or severely
limits open burning in the state of Illinois.
limitations, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
prefers all open burning issues be handled locally when at all
do not supersede state law but may be more restrictive than
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911 will be contacted. Logan Dispatch will notify the
jurisdictional fire department.
Upon arrival of
the fire department, they will decide if the open burn is legal
If the burn is
legal, they will contact Logan Dispatch to see if there is a
complainant. If complainant information is available -- name,
address and phone -- and if they desire to have the fire
extinguished as a nuisance, the fire department will put the
Fires ruled as
illegal will be extinguished. The fire department will request
that the EMA and sheriff be dispatched to the scene.
Upon the EMA and
sheriff's arrival, the EMA will contact the IEPA and make a
field report. The sheriff's deputy may issue a written warning
and create an incident report.
For second or
subsequent offenses, the offender will be arrested and processed
at the Logan County Safety Complex as a misdemeanor case.
will be forwarded to the Logan County state's attorney for legal
In extraordinary situations, the IEPA
may respond to the incident and, based upon their findings,
issue an administrative citation, which carries a significant
fine set by state statue or administrative code.
Carlton concluded: "I
believe that the outcome is that there is an outlined path for
addressing open burning issues throughout Logan County, and
officials now know what they are to do, the specific ordinances,
laws violated, etc."