September 19, 2020

Burning Question…..who decides if burning permits will be issued?

Each day during burning season, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) evaluates environmental conditions to determine if open burning will be allowed.   The DEP may prohibit the issuance of open burning permits for days on which adverse weather conditions are forecast.   This prohibition is authorized by the Massachusetts Air Pollution Regulation 310 CMR 7.07(3) (e).

The Hanover Fire Department consults daily with the DEP before making the final determination on the issuance of open burning permits.    The final determination is based upon local weather conditions such as a lack of recent rainfall, high winds and low humidity.

To simplify, the DEP may not allow open burning on a rainy day because wet brush creates too much smoke (air pollution).   The fire department may not issue permits if environmental conditions support the rapid spread of fire (too windy, too dry or both).