Public Comments for Title 47 Outdoor Burning

The public comments below are only for the  LRAPA Title 47 Outdoor Burning rules. Public comments will be accepted from January 2nd, 2018 until February 7, 2018. The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed rule amendments. Comments submitted prior to the hearing date must be submitted in writing and must be received by LRAPA by Wednesday, February 7, 2018. Comments submitted at the hearing on February 8th, 2018 must be presented orally by the commenter.

Name Organization Zip Code Add. Document Comment
Ann Watters  Polarity Center of Salem 97301   -----Original Message-----
From: Ann Watters []
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2018 7:15 AM
To: LRAPA <>
Subject: Outdoor burning in Eugene Area.Ban all outside burning. Alternative no 5.This should be statewide! Ann Watters Healthcare practitioner in Salem Oregon. PUBLIC COMMENT!
Ann Watters RPE BCPP
Polarity Center of Salem
1940 Breyman NE
Salem, Oregon

Theresa Brand     PDF Please support the burning of outdoor outdoor yard material on properties of 5 acres or larger only. As you are aware, the outdoor burning of materials can negatively affect vulnerable people and should be allowed in very limited form only. Thanks for working on this.

Richard Hardt   97405   From: []
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2018 2:44 PM
To: Robbye Lanier <>
Subject: comments on proposed revisions to LRAPA's Title 47 Outdoor Burning
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed revisions to LRAPA's Title 47 Outdoor Burning rules. 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 that the current proposed update considers alternatives. Of the five alternatives presented, I would favor either the first (no further action) or the second (requiring a minimum 1-acre property). I am opposed to the third and fourth alternative, as they would require too large a minimum property size and would so severely restrict burning within the Urban Growth Boundary as to be little different than outright bans. I am also opposed to the fifth alternative (a complete ban).
The staff report indicates two different needs for this proposed rule: reducing nuisance complaints and protecting air quality. As for reducing nuisance complaints, responsible burning should not produce conditions that cause such complaints from neighbors. LRAPA can and should cite landowners that do not burn properly and in accordance with the rules. The solution to poor burning practices is not to ban burning, but to enforce the rules. As for protecting air quality, I question whether outdoor burning within the Urban Growth Boundary constitutes an important contribution to local particulate levels. If it is truly necessary to reduce effects on air quality from burning within the Urban Growth Boundary, I suggest an alternative approach of more strongly restricting the burn days for the Urban Growth Boundary. For small property owners for whom burning is an important cultural practice, we only need to burn once each spring. Restricting burn days within the Urban Growth Boundary to only the most favorable weather conditions would avoid adverse effects on air quality and continue to allow us to manage our land responsibly.
Richard Hardt
2199 Bailey Hill Rd
Eugene OR 97405

Marc Wangerin        Thank you for this opportunity to comment on proposed rule changes. I oppose the proposed rule to ban outdoor burning in the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary. I live on the Oregon coast near Florence on a small tree farm. You may ask why I am responding to this Public Notice when I live outside the affected area? First of all the Public Notice states "Who is affected? Anyone wishing to conduct outdoor burning in Lane County" Secondly, it seems what happens in the Eugene area eventually migrates to the coast. As you know, burning is not allowed in the Florence city limits by ordinance. When the ordinance was passed by the city council, they made allowance for free drop off of debris twice a year. After a short time the council decided to begin charging for each load.
It comes down to economics. I simply cannot afford to transport material off site to a disposal area. Nor can I afford to purchase industrial chippers. Our family owns 30 acres. I have been slowly rehabilitating our acreage to a healthy forest the last 30 years. Burning small brush piles along with lots of chain saw work are my only tools to retard brush and prepare a good seed bed for reforestation. I do not use herbicides.
I think we can agree that climate change is here and consequently extreme fire dangers are at hand, even here on the coast. I'm trying to do my part by following the guidelines in Oregon Dept. of Forestry's "Fire Wise" program to help in fire prevention on my property. Again, pile burning is my main tool. How can I accomplish this when burning is restricted or curtailed? I refer you to letter in the 1-5-18 Capital Press "Burning on our own terms" which describes the disconnect between air quality and fire prevention efforts.
Our weather on the coast is so much different than the Willamette Valley. No air stagnation, excellent transport and mixing from our ocean breezes. Burn days are restricted by high fire danger rather than atmospheric conditions. Even so, I take my burning seriously so as not to impact my neighbors.
For these reasons I support Alternative 1 "no further action". It's time to stop government over reach into our lives. I am sympathetic to the lives of people with respiratory ailments but rules that are currently in place are more than sufficient to protect all.
Marc Wangerin

Lisa Arkin Beyond Toxics 97401 PDF To: LRAPA Board and Staff 
Re: Title 47: Open (Outdoor) Burning rules
Date: 1/7/2018
Beyond Toxics is a statewide environmental justice and health organization with thousands of members in Oregon. We are writing on behalf of our members to express our strong support for adopting changes to LRAPA Title 47: Open (Outdoor) Burning rules that would prohibit outdoor burning within the Eugene Urban Growth Boundary. Our members support all efforts to improve air quality in Lane County. Outdoor burning releases fine particulate matter, carbon dioxide and many other air pollutants.
Adopting outdoor burning restrictions that apply to the areas within the respective urban growth boundaries (UGB) of Eugene, Veneta, Springfield, Cottage Grove and Oakridge is especially critical to protect the health of the young, the elderly and those with respiratory and heart conditions. Within the UGB, residences are in close proximity to one another, even on lots of 1-5 acres. Beyond Toxics receives calls from families who get trapped inside their home because a neighbor started an outdoor slash burn without notice. The family had no option but to shelter in place with all windows closed because one of their children with severe asthma would not fair well in the outdoor smokey air. We support LRAPA’s proposed rules that will reduce this hazard.
We also support the banning the outdoor burning of construction materials and demolition debris. This type of debris may contain other waste products capable of generating hazardous fumes (plastics, paints, varnishes, asbestos, fiberglass, etc.).
It is commendable that, by this rule, LRAPA will essentially encourage more residents to make use of outdoor waste debris recycling whereby leaves and small woody debris can be turned into compost, soil amendments and other landscaping materials. These services will likely continue to grow and locate to more Lane County areas as demand increases.
Beyond Toxics offers one possible suggestion regarding woody debris created by unusual climate events such as ice storms. In the case of a weather disaster, perhaps LRAPA can propose a process for impacted residents to apply for a temporary exemption to backyard burning. The temporary exemption would allow residents within the UGB but outside city limits to request to burn woody debris brought down by storms. An exemption would apply only in areas where outdoor waste pick-up serves are not available. The exemption could be restricted to 30 – 60 days.
We also ask that LRAPA revisit the issue of burning for backyard fire pits within city limits. Our organization has also received calls from people who are suffering ill effects and restricted use of their home property due to smoke from a neighbor’s fire pit. While it is understandable that homeowners may enjoy fire pits, the smoke from fire pits can be a nuisance for next door neighbors. A fire pit in one backyard may prevent a neighbor from enjoying their own backyard or being forced to close all windows on a warm summer night. We aren’t suggesting a ban on fire pits, but would LRAPA consider issuing a warning if the agency receives three or more complaints about residential fire pit burning, and a citation if neighbors repeatedly refuse to be careful about pollution emissions from fire pits after receiving a warning? Perhaps LRAPA can measure the particulate matter at the fence line with a nephelometer to determine if neighbors are being subjected to excessive amounts of smokey air.
Beyond Toxics appreciates this opportunity to comment on LRAPA Title 47: Open (Outdoor) Burning rules. Please keep our organization informed of the final ruling.
Lisa Arkin, Executive Director
Beyond Toxics
1192 Lawrence Street, Eugene, OR 97401

Linda Lynch League of Women Voters of Lane County 97401 PDF January 22, 2018
Board of Directors
Lane Regional Air Protection Agency
1010 Main Street
Springfield, OR 97477
Dear Chair Parisi and Members of the Board:
I am submitting these comments on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Lane County. Thank you for the opportunity to testify again on potential revisions to your agency's regulations for outdoor burning within the City of Eugene's Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).
Of the five possible alternatives listed in your notices, the League continues to support alternative 5, which would ban all outdoor burning within the Eugene UGB, consistent with the current prohibition within the Eugene city limits. We believe it is the best choice for preventing deterioration of the region's air quality as well as unintended smoke intrusions from neighboring properties. Such a prohibition is especially welcome in the areas of patchwork annexations in the northern part of the city.
We note, however, that alternatives 2, 3, and 4 would dramatically reduce the number of potentially-burning residential properties by increasing the minimum lot sizes on which outdoor burning would be permitted. For example, doubling the minimum acreage from the current 0.5 acres to 1.0 acre would reduce the number of properties whose owners could conduct outdoor burning from 312 to 82, a 74% reduction.
We urge the LRAPA board to amend its regulations for residential properties within the UGB but outside the city limits by increasing the minimum lot size for allowed outdoor burning to at least 1.0 acre. In addition to making such an adjustment, the board should consider adopting a process that would phase out all outdoor burning within the Eugene UGB within a set period such as 10 years.
Thank you for your continuing efforts to improve and maintain air quality in our region and to support the health of its residents.
Linda Lynch

Ron & Sandy Patton     PDF Comments regarding outdoor burning within the Eugene UGB.
The idea of allowing outdoor burning at any level is in direct contradiction to Eugene’s basic principles of reuse, repurpose, and recycle. The great majority of Eugene’s residents manage a host of collection bins to help minimize our environmental impact. We separate house waste from plastics, glass, cardboard, yard debris, etc., on a daily basis.
When we moved to Eugene in 2007, my wife and I converted our conventionally landscaped Santa Clara yard to one hosting fruit trees, garden beds, flower beds and shade gardens. During the year long conversion we removed and recycled existing landscape plants through Pierce Street Gardens Nursery and brought any remaining yard debris to Lane Forest Products for composting. Nothing was ever sprayed, chemicalized, and especially not burned.
In a time when issues regarding environmental and personal health are of vital concern to all of us, the idea of contemplating the continuation of a policy of outdoor burning seems counterintuitive. This is a list of burn requirements taken from the DEQ’s website.
Burning Regulations for Lane County:
The following requirements apply to any burning in Lane County, when allowed:
 You are responsible for any fire, smoke or odors created from open burning and for any damage that results from your fire.
 A responsible person must constantly attend any open burning.
 This person must be capable of and have the equipment to extinguish the fire.
 This person must also completely extinguish a fire before leaving it.
 The burning must be extinguished by sunset.
 The fire cannot create a nuisance or a hazard to public safety.
 No burning can occur during a period when prohibited by LRAPA or the State Fire Marshal because of adverse fire safety, meteorological or air quality conditions.
 If you plan to move debris from one site to another and burn it you need an LRAPA permit.
I would especially like to emphasize the regulation I have bolded and underlined. In no way can any fire NOT create a nuisance nor can the contaminants created NOT be a public hazard. We have all experienced the harmful effects of smoke from summer forest fires drifting over the Willamette Valley. Creating these conditions purposely, even on a local level, only benefits the property owner in saving money over the detriment to others. Giving favor to some 312 or less residents based on property size is simply a case of making an exception for the few over the detriment to the many other property owners. In a document produced by LRAPA at there is a section at the end that states;
Alternatives to burning
Whenever possible, choose other ways to dispose of
yard debris. Chipping, composting and hauling are
alternatives. Check with your local garbage hauler about
the availability of curbside yard debris pick-up, or call
Lane County Waste Management, 541-682-4119.
I think with having larger properties comes greater responsibility, not greater regulatory exceptions. As LRAPA has stated, there are always viable alternatives to burning. Its long past time that larger property owners within Eugene’s UGB comply with the same outdoor burning restrictions imposed on the rest of its citizens. Ban all outdoor burning within the Eugene UGB.
Ron & Sandy Patton

Greg Ringer   97401 PDF I strongly oppose any effort to address outdoor burning by maintaining or expanding affected property size. Instead, 0.5 acre properties can produce the same amount of harmful particulates as a larger size property, depending on the material and quantity burned.
Therefore, it is critical to eliminate, rather than manage, outdoor burning emissions. I encourage LRAPA to adopt Alternative #5: Ban all outdoor burning within the Eugene UGB, as proposed in August 2017, consistent with the current prohibition within the Eugene city limits.
Greg Ringer, PhD
988 Lincoln St
Eugene OR 97401

Sandi Bonn     PDF         I am writing to favor your discussion toward option 1 of your proposed changes to the Outdoor Burning rule: “No further action, continuing to allow outdoor burning on 0.5 acre properties at some times within the Eugene UGB. This would continue to allow burning on up to 312 properties.”
        Properties in the UGB yet outside City limits are subject to much vegetative debris that would be cumbersome and costly to remove, or hazardous to pile and compost:
• Storm events bring down limbs or entire trees periodically that require clean up,
• Larger properties neighboring properties between .5 and 3 acres can have invasive vegetation that creeps into smaller properties, creating much maintenance work to remove (blackberries, English Ivy, hawthorns, holly trees, Scot’s Broom, and butterfly bush come to mind). Smaller properties should have the same access of disposal as other sized properties.
• Properties in the UGB do not gain benefit from the seasonal leaf pick up program that urban residents utilize, are influenced to grow trees on their property, yet can accumulate much leaf and organic matter that may not be advantageous to stock pile, especially in combination with all the above types of vegetation that is typically burned for quick removal.
If residents in the UGB compost their debris instead of burning it, the piles:
• Become unsightly as they decompose,
• Become a fire hazard as they build up,
• Become an attractive habitat for unwanted rodent populations, which can be a health and safety hazard.
Granted, compost is certainly advantageous for those who garden, in reasonable amounts. Piles of tree limbs, under-canopy growth, and shrubs are not useful.
People who take advantage of burning vegetative debris on their property typically have too much to haul off, feasibly. It requires much time and resources; a large enough truck bed or trailer that requires to be loaded, driven, then unloaded and a return trip. It is a miserable task to load blackberries and then dump them. Piling them and burning is much more efficient. Typically, many trips would be required per season, depending on the debris. Add to this the cost for hauling or hiring someone, and the dumping fee. A burn pile can be dispatched in relatively short order in comparison, if tended correctly. Further, in late summer, there are grass fires and field burns, and if this meets with a stockpile of dead vegetation, it could be quite a problem. Ease and efficiency of disposal ensures the task will be done.
Most long term residents who take advantage of burning the debris know how to prepare and quickly burn off their piles, and neighbors tend to work with (educate) newer neighbors in proper care to get the task done.
        A burn pile on a smaller lot is an occasional occurrence, and would likely only happen once, up to a few times a year, per lot, if the residents take advantage of this type of vegetation disposal. As one who would be effected by any other option to the rule, I’ve only had a handful of backyard burns in the last 27 years I’ve lived at my address. When I need a large removal of vegetation, this is certainly the best method to get the job done, and ensure that it is completed. Thus, I would say of the 312 properties you cite in this category, that does not equate to 312 fires. Limiting the lot size would not provide gainful outcomes.
        A backyard burn of vegetation removes fire hazards of vegetation build up. Properties are encouraged to remove fire hazards, which entails seasonal vegetation removal. Having options to dispose of stockpiles of cleared vegetation greatly increases the probability of its safe removal. Not all residents burn their debris, but if this option becomes unavailable, not all debris will be timely removed. Periodic and responsible burns are a safe and efficient method for residents in the proposed areas to keep their properties maintained. Responsible residents adhere to LRAPA’s burning guidelines, and don’t burn on prohibited days. I advocate maintaining the current guidelines.
Thank you for your consideration,

Julie Ott   97402 PDF To Whom It May Concern 
I am a resident in the Eugene Springfield Urban Growth Boundary who participates in the Outdoor Burn. I have grave concerns about the potential ban on outdoor burning without having affordable healthy alternative options.
My property is a little over an acre and I have at least 20 trees on my property my neighbor has a little under an acre and she has 30 or so trees on her property. My property has the invasive and aggressive ground cover called English Ivy I have researched many ways to get rid of the cover without using chemicals. Doing my research the only answer I could discover was you need to dig and remove every single tendril from the soil. My neighbor and I share several horse chestnut (inedible by humans) trees one original and probably four or five that have been spread by the wind and animals carrying the seed off. When we had an arborist out for some other tree removal I asked if he were aware of a way to prevent the seed without harming the tree, he was unaware of any way to prevent seeding. I have found horse chestnuts sprouting from the thinnest layer of dirt you could imagine. Every year we rake up the seeds and pods then we start pulling all of the sprouts and hope we have gotten all of the seeds. Besides the invasive I also have pine, fir, oak, pear, apple, cherry and filbert trees on my property. Every fall a ton of leaves along with seeds branches and limbs naturally, not to mention if we are having wind ice or snow storms with even more branches and limbs falling.
Allowing us to burn allows us to make sure that we have been able to get the ivy off our trees, houses, sheds, and buildings and that we don't have to put it in the remaining ivy allowing it to sink to the ground and grow more shoots and further invasion of the species. Allowing us to burn allows us to know that we will not have a ton of chestnut trees taking over our oak pine and fir trees by sprouting wherever they fall or sprouting in a compost pile which they would thrive in.
I can tell you that the majority of properties around the lot size limit do not burn or if they do it is only a couple of times a year that they do burn. Personally I try to acquire all of the downed branches/limbs, yard debris, blackberry vines, raspberry vines, holly clippings and other clippings so that I only have to burn a couple of times out of the year to reduce my work level and smoke output and try to only burn when the smoke will go back into the hill and trees behind me.
Other than burning I am concerned about what we are to do with our yard debris. We have discussed composting but we have the invasive and aggressive trimmings, seeds which could attract rats/mice which we have an abundant supply, and more of a fire hazard in the summer than usual. We have no options for the garbage to pick up yard debris, buying a chipper or running our debris would be prohibitive for myself and several others. Please address this concern before a blanket wide ban.
If it is decided to limit burn hours I request you have us start burning later rather than having us stop earlier in the day. During burn season we tend to have a lot of damp fog and other moisture which can take a while to dry off in the mornings.
Julie Ott
29649 Gimpl Hill Road
Eugene OR 97402