Substitute Senate Bill No. 441

Public Act No. 00-1

An Act Concerning Open Burning.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (f) of section 22a-174 of the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 99-225, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(f) The commissioner shall allow [the open burning of brush in the state provided a permit for such burning is obtained from the fire marshal of the municipality where the brush is proposed to be burned and further provided such burning is restricted to residential property where the open burn permittee resides, or at a municipal landfill, municipal transfer station or municipal recycling center] the open burning of brush on residential property, provided the burning is conducted by the resident of the property or the agent of the resident and a permit for such burning is obtained from the local open burning official of the municipality in which the property is located, and the open burning of brush in municipal landfills, transfer stations and municipal recycling centers, provided a permit for such burning is obtained from the fire marshal of the municipality where the facility is located, except that no open burning of brush shall occur (1) when national or state ambient air quality standards may be exceeded; (2) where a hazardous health condition might be created; (3) when the forest fire danger in the area is identified by the commissioner as extreme and where woodland or grass land is within one hundred feet of the proposed burn; (4) where there is an advisory from the commissioner of any air pollution episode; (5) where prohibited by an ordinance of the municipality; and (6) in the case of a municipal landfill, when such landfill is within an area designated as a hot spot on the open burning map prepared by the commissioner. A permit for the burning of brush at any municipal landfill, municipal transfer station or municipal recycling center shall be issued no more than six times in any calendar year. The proposed permit to burn brush at any municipal landfill, municipal transfer station or municipal recycling center shall be submitted to the commissioner by the fire marshal, with the approval of the chief elected official of the municipality in which the municipal landfill, municipal transfer station or municipal recycling center is located. The commissioner shall approve or disapprove the fire marshal's proposed permitting of burning of brush at a municipal landfill, municipal transfer station or municipal recycling center within a reasonable time of the filing of such application. The burning of leaves, demolition waste or other solid waste deposited in such landfill shall be prohibited. [The commissioner shall require the payment of an application fee and inspection fee in accordance with regulations adopted by the commissioner in accordance with chapter 54.] The burning of nonprocessed wood for campfires and bonfires is not prohibited if the burning is conducted so as not to create a nuisance and in accordance with any restrictions imposed on such burning. Nothing in this subsection or in any regulation adopted pursuant to this subsection shall affect the power of any municipality to regulate or ban the open burning of brush within its boundaries for any purpose. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, fire [blocks] breaks for the purpose of controlling forest fires [, fires for the purpose of fire-training exercises] and controlled fires in salt water marshes to forestall uncontrolled fires [may be authorized with the written approval of the commissioner] are not prohibited. Open burning may be engaged in for any of the following purposes if the open burning official with jurisdiction over the area where the burning will occur issues an open burning permit: Fire-training exercises; eradication or control of insect infestations or disease; agricultural purposes; clearing vegetative debris following a natural disaster; and vegetative management or enhancement of wildlife habitat or ecological sustainability on municipal property or on any privately owned property permanently dedicated as open space. Open burning for such purposes on state property may be engaged in with the written approval of the commissioner. Local burning officials nominated for the purposes of this subsection shall be nominated only by the chief executive officer of the municipality in which the official will serve and shall be certified by the commissioner. The chief executive officer may revoke the nomination. The commissioner may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, governing open burning and may authorize or prohibit open burning consistent with this section. The regulations may require the payment of an application fee and inspection fee and may establish a certification procedure for local burning officials.

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved March 30, 2000