Public Comments for Title 47: Open (Outdoor) Burning

First Name Last Name Organization Zip Code Add. Document Comment Reponses
Barbara Berkley - - - I strongly support the proposed changes to the LRAPA Title 47 Outdoor Burning rules. It's crucial to protect our air quality.
Thank you,
Barbara Berkley
Sent from my iPhone
Thank you for your support. One of the reasons LRAPA is proposing further open burning restrictions within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary is the availability of curb side pickup for yard waste and the proximity to yard waste recycling centers. According to the Lane County waste management website there are no yard debris or wood waste recycling opportunities at the Veneta transfer station. Availability of recycling options is one of the drivers for further restrictions on open burning. The proposed rules would prohibit the outdoor burning of leaves within the City limits of Veneta and prohibit the open burning of grass clippings throughout the county which may not provide relief in your case, but is a step in the direction that you propose.
Another factor in consideration of more restrictive outdoor burning requirements in the rural residential area is the concept of defensible space. There is more vegetative waste debris in the rural residential areas and with few recycling options, burning to minimize the fire hazard becomes a more viable option.
As far as the rules that are in place at present, LRAPA endeavors to respond to complaints or observations regarding compliance with the requirements and also endeavors to provide information relative to efficient combustion to those who choose to burn vegetative wastes as a means of disposal.

Amanda Nichols - 97424 - I would like to see stronger limits on Outdoor Burning, preferably no burning of debris within the city limits of Cottage Grove. There are days that I have a difficult time being outside due to backyard burning, and I do not even have asthma. I do support the proposed changes to LRAPA Title 47 Outdoor Burning rules. It is a step in the right direction. Thank you. The proposed rules would prohibit the outdoor burning of piled leaves within the city limits of Cottage Grove. Piled leaves generally burn inefficiently and generate significant smoke.
Julie Schaum - 97404-2838 - It IS appropriate to eliminate outdoor burning within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary. With a growing population causing more pollution, nearly constant forest fires all summer and fall, rising temperatures, particularly high spring and summer pollen counts, our air quality has suffered greatly over the 13 years I've lived in the mid-River Road area. There are too many warm nights that we cannot keep our windows open due to smoke. Our indoor smoke detectors have gone off twice already this summer!  Thank you for your support. One of the reasons LRAPA is proposing further open burning restrictions within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary is the availability of curb side pickup for yard waste and the proximity to yard waste recycling centers. According to the Lane County waste management website there are no yard debris or wood waste recycling opportunities at the Veneta transfer station. Availability of recycling options is one of the drivers for further restrictions on open burning. The proposed rules would prohibit the outdoor burning of leaves within the City limits of Veneta and prohibit the open burning of grass clippings throughout the county which may not provide relief in your case, but is a step in the direction that you propose.
Another factor in consideration of more restrictive outdoor burning requirements in the rural residential area is the concept of defensible space. There is more vegetative waste debris in the rural residential areas and with few recycling options, burning to minimize the fire hazard becomes a more viable option.
As far as the rules that are in place at present, LRAPA endeavors to respond to complaints or observations regarding compliance with the requirements and also endeavors to provide information relative to efficient combustion to those who choose to burn vegetative wastes as a means of disposal.

Lou Wentz - 97404 - With all due respect, I think the proposed ban is an over reach of government. Can the use of a chimera or fire pit for social gathering within the existing code parameters be so offensive or threatening that it must be banned? Is there evidence or research that there is increased fire hazard in neighborhoods around the country where it is permitted? If so, please present this evidence at a public hearing.

On Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 11:06 AM, John Morrissey <mojo@lrapa.org> wrote: 
Mr. Wentz,
The proposed rule changes do not amend the provisions for the allowance of cooking or recreational fires except that the Urban Growth Boundary surrounding the City Limits of Oakridge will be subject to the same restrictions as citizens within the Oakridge City limits during the Home Wood Heating (HWH) Season which runs from October 1 through May 31. The restriction is that recreational fires are prohibited on “yellow” or “red” HWH days which are times when smoke levels in that area have reached levels that may be unhealthful for segments of the population. The same restriction applies to areas within the Eugene and Springfield Urban Growth Boundaries during the HWH season.
John Morrissey, LRAPA
Lou  Wentz - 97404 - From: Nonewhere Listens [mailto:bluegrassbreeze2@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2017 2:10 PM
To: John Morrissey <mojo@lrapa.org>
Subject: Re: Online Form Submittal: Public Comment Form
It wasn't clear to me that the wording of the proposed rule I saw on the River Road Neighborhood Organization notification e-mail made any differentiation on the source or intent of the fires. Thanks for the clarification.
 
Linda Lynch League of Women Voters   Attachment (PDF) August 31, 2017
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on proposed amendments to rules regarding open burning in LRAPA Title 47. I am submitting this testimony on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Lane County (LWVLC).
The League supports LRAPA's efforts to improve air quality in Lane County by revising the regulations governing outdoor burning. The League believes that all segments of society (government, industry, agriculture, and individuals) share the responsibility for improving air quality.
Specifically, the League supports extending city-wide restrictions to the areas within the respective growth boundaries of Eugene, Springfield, and Oakridge as proposed. This is especially critical for Eugene due to patchwork annexation in some areas. We also support the proposed changes to section 47-015 E that define and add prohibited materials and the addition of section 47-015 I that prohibits burning in barrels. We appreciate that the proposal contains different restrictions depending on population densities, location within or outside of cities or fire districts, and natural weather impacts on air quality.
In order to promote voluntary compliance, we encourage LRAPA to conduct extensive public education about any adopted amendments through the media, internet, and community meetings. Many residents are aware of and concerned about the frequent deterioration of local air quality and interested in guidance about their part in the solution.
If you have any questions about the League’s position on this matter or if you believe we can assist in the public education process, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely,
Linda Lynch
President
Thank you for your support. One of the reasons LRAPA is proposing further open burning restrictions within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary is the availability of curb side pickup for yard waste and the proximity to yard waste recycling centers. According to the Lane County waste management website there are no yard debris or wood waste recycling opportunities at the Veneta transfer station. Availability of recycling options is one of the drivers for further restrictions on open burning. The proposed rules would prohibit the outdoor burning of leaves within the City limits of Veneta and prohibit the open burning of grass clippings throughout the county which may not provide relief in your case, but is a step in the direction that you propose.
Another factor in consideration of more restrictive outdoor burning requirements in the rural residential area is the concept of defensible space. There is more vegetative waste debris in the rural residential areas and with few recycling options, burning to minimize the fire hazard becomes a more viable option.
As far as the rules that are in place at present, LRAPA endeavors to respond to complaints or observations regarding compliance with the requirements and also endeavors to provide information relative to efficient combustion to those who choose to burn vegetative wastes as a means of disposal.

Bobbie Sanford   97405 - Why would it be advisable to prohibit burning in barrels? Following the times permitted for outdoor burning and using a barrel with a mesh top seems to contain a fire rather than just on the ground.  The containment aspect is not paramount, however it is partly a basis for prohibiting outdoor burning in barrels. The concept of a barrel and a screen as containment provides many folks with a false sense of security of a safe burn. That false sense of security provides some with the belief that it is OK to burn in August because the fire is contained. Some wildfires are caused from folks burning in barrel and screen “containment”. The containment aspect should generally not be an issue because the LRAPA burn season will not begin and may end at any time if the Lane Fire Defense Board (LFDB) has determined that conditions are such that outdoor burning is deemed hazardous. The LFDB will convey that information to LRAPA and LRAPA will adjust the burn advisory accordingly.
Another aspect related to the banning of burning in barrels is related to inefficient combustion. Efficient combustion requires air and even with a few holes in the sides towards the bottom (which are soon covered) the air supply is limited, resulting in smoky and smoldering burns.
The primary reason for the ban on burning in barrels is that the barrel is used as a garbage “incinerator”. The current rules do not allow the outdoor burning of garbage, plastics, etc. at any time. This writer has responded to thousands of complaints or observations of folks burning in barrels and a hand full of those were of the burning of allowable to be burned material. The rest were of garbage or materials that are prohibited from being burned at any time. Because of inefficient combustion these barrel fires can smolder for hours or days and inundate the neighborhood with toxins and noxious odors. This writer has also experienced that rental properties equipped with a burn barrel provide new tenants with “authorization” to burn trash. John Morrissey
Sarah/Steve Mazze/Korin - 97404 - To Whom it May Concern,
We are writing to express our strong support for the change to LRAPA Title 47: Open (Outdoor) Burning rules that would prohibit outdoor burning within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary.
Our family lives in the River Road neighborhood on Sunnyside Drive, a street that has a somewhat rural feel due to lack of curbs and sidewalks, but with lots less than a quarter acre. We live close to our neighbors and the lots are not large enough for people to have burn piles. However, on the first beautiful days of spring this year, we were forced inside on multiple weekends due to thick smoke from our neighbors' burn piles.
We do not think they were trying to avoid the rules, but rather that the rules were not clear enough that they knew to whom they applied. The fact is, very few people, if anyone, within the Eugene UGB are far enough from their neighbors that they can have a burn pile without the possibility of it affecting their neighbors' air quality.
Thank you for simplifying the rules and protecting the air quality of the County's largest community.
Sarah Mazze and Steve Korin
534 Sunnyside Drive
Eugene, OR 97404
650-862-5423
sjmazze@gmail.com
Thank you for your support. One of the reasons LRAPA is proposing further open burning restrictions within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary is the availability of curb side pickup for yard waste and the proximity to yard waste recycling centers. According to the Lane County waste management website there are no yard debris or wood waste recycling opportunities at the Veneta transfer station. Availability of recycling options is one of the drivers for further restrictions on open burning. The proposed rules would prohibit the outdoor burning of leaves within the City limits of Veneta and prohibit the open burning of grass clippings throughout the county which may not provide relief in your case, but is a step in the direction that you propose.
Another factor in consideration of more restrictive outdoor burning requirements in the rural residential area is the concept of defensible space. There is more vegetative waste debris in the rural residential areas and with few recycling options, burning to minimize the fire hazard becomes a more viable option.
As far as the rules that are in place at present, LRAPA endeavors to respond to complaints or observations regarding compliance with the requirements and also endeavors to provide information relative to efficient combustion to those who choose to burn vegetative wastes as a means of disposal.

Jill Mardin - 97463 - I have a history with LRAPA with regard to backyard burning in Oakridge where I live. I have a neighbor who has huge bonfires all year round 10 feet from my house and the smoke seeps in no matter if windows are closed. They burn yard waste and other garbage. I have called local police who tell me that they say it's a cookout to not illegal. It's not a cookout. They pile all manner of materials and then fan it with a leaf blower and party around it. I have seen sparks land on my roof. It frightens me. I also have COPD as a result of breathing in unregulated wood smoke for several years. I fully support changes under title 47 to ban or regulate backyard burning in Oakridge. It is dangerous to elderly like me and children. There are significant numbers of people with lung disease here and it is a travesty they are not protected. Thank you. Thank you for your support. One of the reasons LRAPA is proposing further open burning restrictions within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary is the availability of curb side pickup for yard waste and the proximity to yard waste recycling centers. According to the Lane County waste management website there are no yard debris or wood waste recycling opportunities at the Veneta transfer station. Availability of recycling options is one of the drivers for further restrictions on open burning. The proposed rules would prohibit the outdoor burning of leaves within the City limits of Veneta and prohibit the open burning of grass clippings throughout the county which may not provide relief in your case, but is a step in the direction that you propose.
Another factor in consideration of more restrictive outdoor burning requirements in the rural residential area is the concept of defensible space. There is more vegetative waste debris in the rural residential areas and with few recycling options, burning to minimize the fire hazard becomes a more viable option.
As far as the rules that are in place at present, LRAPA endeavors to respond to complaints or observations regarding compliance with the requirements and also endeavors to provide information relative to efficient combustion to those who choose to burn vegetative wastes as a means of disposal.

Richard Hardt - 97405 - Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule changes. I oppose the proposed rule to ban outdoor burning in the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary. I have lived in the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary for 20 years on a 1.8-acre lot. I have a large organic garden with fruit bushes and trees. Each spring, I burn a pile of pruned branches from these fruit bushes and trees. Burning is an effective method of control for two important insect pests – raspberry crown borer and currant borer. Chipping or composting branches is not effective at controlling these pests, and there are no effective organic insecticides for these pests. Without the opportunity to burn the branches, I would have to resort to spraying inorganic insecticides. I feel that the environmental harm from applying these inorganic insecticides would be far greater than the harm from properly regulated outdoor burning. I appreciate the need to limit air pollution in the Eugene-Springfield area. However, the importance of particulate emissions from outdoor burning depends heavily on the timing of the burning. There are many days in the spring when the weather conditions are such that outdoor burning has no meaningful effect on air quality in the Eugene-Springfield area. Therefore, I suggest restricting outdoor burning to days with only the most favorable weather conditions. From a management perspective, there is an enormous difference between a small number of burn days and no burn days whatsoever. Finally, the Urban Growth Boundary is not an appropriate geography for banning burning. Under Oregon law, the Urban Growth Boundary is an effective tool for controlling urban expansion onto farm and forest lands. Given the anticipated eventual development of the Urban Growth Boundary, it makes sense to require construction within the boundary to comply with city code and permitting; it would be impossible to attempt to apply code and permitting requirements retroactively if areas within the boundary are annexed into the city. However, there is no logical basis for restricting temporary actions – such as burning – within the boundary. If properties within the boundary are annexed into the city, city rules for such temporary actions would apply. However, if my property is annexed into the city, I would be able to vote for the city government and have a say in the formulation of city rules, which is not the case now. To apply city rules to temporary actions on my property when I have no possibility of representation in the city government is inherently unfair and undemocratic. For these reasons, I oppose the proposed rule to ban outdoor burning in the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary. Instead of a complete ban, I would support restricting outdoor burning throughout the Eugene-Springfield areas to days with highly favorable weather conditions to reduce air quality impacts. In the rule adoption hearing of September 14, 2017, the Board delayed adoption of the rules pending LRAPA staff further evaluating options pertaining to the proposed ban on outdoor burning within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary.
Gerald Betts - 97404 - Re: Proposal to ban outdoor burning within Eugene UGB. I have lived on a 3/4 acre lot within the Eugene UGB over 40 years. I have the good fortune to have numerous trees on the lot - Forty four trees that provide shade, generate oxygen, beautify the area, and some produce fruit and nuts. However, trees require maintenance for safety and to maintain productivity in an orchard. When the leaves fall, I compost them in the garden. When I prune the trees they are typically barren of leaves and are small limbs. My practice has been to cut them to fairly uniform lengths, loosely stack in my burn area and cover them to keep rain from soaking them, with the cover situated such that air can circulate in the stack to dry them. When LRAPA permits burning (I always call the burning advisory line) I burn the limbs to dispose of the debris and eliminate any diseases that might be present in the woody debris. I tend the fire to promote rapid burning and minimize smoke. The fire rapidly consumes the limbs and then the fire is out. Curbside pickup of yard debris is not a solution for the volume and size of the limbs. Taking the limbs to a recycling facillity would increase the time spent in performing these maintenance tasks and the associated effort of loading and unloading them as well as the cost of disposal. I appreciate fresh clean air and I manage my burning to minimize smoke and duration of the fire, therefore, I respectfully request you modify the proposal to retain the existing half acre lot size requirement for outdoor burning on approved days within the Eugene UGB. Thank you. In the rule adoption hearing of September 14, 2017, the Board delayed adoption of the rules pending LRAPA staff further evaluating options pertaining to the proposed ban on outdoor burning within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary.
Kathleen Sweet - 97437 - Strong support is given for the Open Burning proposal and I wish it would go further to prohibit "backyard" burning. I live in Elmira with Rural Residential zoning. Most of my neighbors burn, but I do not. I choose to take all green waste to Lane Forest or Rexius for recycling into mulch or compost products. It is a serious waste of a natural resource to have it all go up in smoke. As we have all seen in the last month, and may see much more of in the future, smoke is a serious health hazard. Every burn season, my neighbors burn their yard trimmings that they saved for the previous months along with whatever else they seem to be able to find. For some reason they start the burn about 1-2:00 pm and let it go until.... Some folks even add to the pile at 5-6 in the evening. I have asked them not to do this and their reply cannot be repeated to polite company. Some neighbors burn odd construction debris. Flaming ashes land in my pasture areas with the wind. A call to Lane Fire or Oregon Forest tells me to call LRAPA. Given the forested nature of Oregon, fire folks should be interested all the time especially during these drought times. Another commenter tells us that burning of yard trimmings eliminates his problems for his berries, but it sure can create a problem for the rest of us. I doubt that he can keep his smoke within his property line at any time of the year, nor can anyone. I understand that some Agricultural burning is can be economically beneficial, however this can be managed without burning, as is done in other parts of the country. Zoning maps are readily available from Lane County and the Fire folks and LRAPA and permitted or restricted accordingly. I would like to see NO Open/Outdoor/Backyard burning in Residential areas whether in an incorporated or unincorporated area of Lane County. We could all breath easier. Thank you to LRAPA folks who need more funding to help us all. And, I would like to see some air monitoring stations to the west of Highway 99. Thank you for your support. One of the reasons LRAPA is proposing further open burning restrictions within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary is the availability of curb side pickup for yard waste and the proximity to yard waste recycling centers. According to the Lane County waste management website there are no yard debris or wood waste recycling opportunities at the Veneta transfer station. Availability of recycling options is one of the drivers for further restrictions on open burning. The proposed rules would prohibit the outdoor burning of leaves within the City limits of Veneta and prohibit the open burning of grass clippings throughout the county which may not provide relief in your case, but is a step in the direction that you propose.
Another factor in consideration of more restrictive outdoor burning requirements in the rural residential area is the concept of defensible space. There is more vegetative waste debris in the rural residential areas and with few recycling options, burning to minimize the fire hazard becomes a more viable option.
As far as the rules that are in place at present, LRAPA endeavors to respond to complaints or observations regarding compliance with the requirements and also endeavors to provide information relative to efficient combustion to those who choose to burn vegetative wastes as a means of disposal.

Al Johnson - - Attachment (PDF) As a long-time resident of the City of Eugene and a property owner within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary (Eugene UGB), and a former member of the LRAPA Board I have been an advocate for protecting the air quality of the area for many years. Although I support the majority of the proposed revisions to the LRAPA Title 47: Open (Outdoor) Burning rules, I am in strong opposition to the proposed prohibition of residential outdoor burning of woody material within the Eugene UGB during the periods of the year when residential open burning is currently allowed. Through my years of experience working with the staff of LRAPA as a board member, I have appreciated the expertise and knowledge of the LRAPA staff. However I must take exception to the stated staff consensus that the “The proposed rule changes will likely add minimal cost to a member of the public within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary…”. As the owner of 8.25 acres of forested property within the Eugene UGB this proposed change will result in several thousand dollars of cost to me over a period of just a year or two. The LRAPA Technical Support Document (page 4) in part justifies the proposed change due to the availability of curbside pickup of yard debris. That solution is not a viable option for landowners within the Eugene UGB with relatively large tax lots. As you will recall during the winter of 2016 – 2017 the Eugene area experience possibly the worst ice storm in the area’s history. This storm resulted in extensive damage to the trees on my property. Although I have been diligent at removing the woody debris from my property as quickly as possible, my estimate is that it will take at least an additional year to deal with the majority of the woody material from just the one storm. An additional impact to my property has been the summer droughts that have resulted in additional stress and death of many trees. I do not own a truck or other equipment capable of transporting woody material to a yard trimming recycling facility and even if I did, moving it to a location where it would be accessible for loading on a truck would be very labor intensive. A concern I have is that the large accumulation of dead woody material on my property has resulted in an increased risk for a catastrophic wildfire that could potentially spread to adjacent property. Prohibiting residential burning of woody material within the Eugene UGB would restrict the ability of owners of relatively large tax lots to deal effectively with fuel loading as a result of storms and drought. The current regulations allow burning on residential tax lots of 0.5 acres or greater at specific times of the year when atmospheric mixing and air quality is good. Rather than a complete prohibition of residential burning of woody debris, I believe a better option would be to increase the minimum tax lot size within the Eugene UGB to greater than 5 acres, a ten-fold increase in the minimum tax lot size compared to the current regulation. This would allow property owners with relative large lots to deal effectively with the woody debris and make sure that where burning does occur it would be in areas of relatively low housing density and air quality would be protected. Please do not place a complete prohibition of residential burning of woody debris on relatively large lot lots within the Eugene UGB. Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the proposed changes to the LRAPA Title 47: Open (Outdoor) Burning rules. Al Johnson LRAPA Board Member 1995 – 2002 LRAPA Vice-Chair 1996 LRAPA Board Chair 1997, 1998 and 1999 In the rule adoption hearing of September 14, 2017, the Board delayed adoption of the rules pending LRAPA staff further evaluating options pertaining to the proposed ban on outdoor burning within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary.
Kathleen Sweet - 97437 - An amendment to my previous comments....the smoke plumes from neighboring properties have set off the smoke detectors in my barn and in my garage to the point that they need to be disabled. And, Lane Forest, Rexius, or others are perhaps missing a business opportunity to collect wood/yard trimmings, or other green materials that can be turned into multi or compost materials. Perhaps they could gather materials on a schedule such as trash collection or have a green waste yard collection yard where it is not processed, but just gathered for a similar fee, which would allow property owners to save a trip to town and dump the green waste. Some creative ideas maybe? Thank you for your support. One of the reasons LRAPA is proposing further open burning restrictions within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary is the availability of curb side pickup for yard waste and the proximity to yard waste recycling centers. According to the Lane County waste management website there are no yard debris or wood waste recycling opportunities at the Veneta transfer station. Availability of recycling options is one of the drivers for further restrictions on open burning. The proposed rules would prohibit the outdoor burning of leaves within the City limits of Veneta and prohibit the open burning of grass clippings throughout the county which may not provide relief in your case, but is a step in the direction that you propose.
Another factor in consideration of more restrictive outdoor burning requirements in the rural residential area is the concept of defensible space. There is more vegetative waste debris in the rural residential areas and with few recycling options, burning to minimize the fire hazard becomes a more viable option.
As far as the rules that are in place at present, LRAPA endeavors to respond to complaints or observations regarding compliance with the requirements and also endeavors to provide information relative to efficient combustion to those who choose to burn vegetative wastes as a means of disposal.

Bill & Terrie Nielsen - - - Prohibit outdoor burning in barrels We live in a very rural area at the north end of Lane County and just south of Benton County. Prevailing winds are from the south and any smoke should not harm the Lane County population centers at all during the burning season. We comply with the burning regulations and don't burn much and recycle most items. We want to continue to do outdoor burning for the small amount of light debris we have and support outdoor burning in the north part of Lane County. Clarify terminology relative to outdoor burning during the LRAPA "home wood heating season" We do have a heat pump but also need to use wood heat during the winter. It is not uncommon for us to be out of power. We use 80% less wood heat since we have installed the heat pump. We do not want to be cold during 32 degree weather because the heat pump does not adequately operate at that low temperature; therefore, we need another heat source. If you have questions, please call or email. Thank you Bill and Terri Nielsen Junction City - Rural North Lane County The current rules allow the outdoor burning of yard debris, and by permit, the outdoor burning of construction/demolition debris in the area described by the commenter. The proposed rule changes would not affect this allowance. The prohibition on winter (Home Wood Heating Season) outdoor burning applies to properties within the Eugene and Springfield Urban Growth Boundaries and the Oakridge City limits (the proposed rules include the surrounding Oakridge Urban Growth Boundary also). The “Green”, “Yellow”, “Red”, Home Wood Heating Advisory does not apply to the area described by the commenter. Though there may be some days in the winter months when outdoor burning is prohibited in the rural areas, the daily burn advisory is adjusted relative to smoke conditions.