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LDEQ reminds residents about illegally burning waste

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 16:15:19-05

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is reminding residents that any open burning of household waste, solid waste and chemicals is illegal in the state of Louisiana.

LDEQ says that whether conducted on private property or not, the act of burning that waste is still illegal. Open burning is harmful to those conducting the open burn as well as their families, neighbors, pets and livestock. The ash generated from an open burn contains toxic materials that contaminate our air, soil and ground water.

According to a release from LDEQ, when burned, household trash releases toxic pollutants into the air such, as hydrogen chloride, hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, sulfur dioxide, dioxin, carbon monoxide and heavy metals. These pollutants can cause health problems for anyone nearby. Health impacts include damage to the lungs, nervous system, kidneys and liver. Asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and cancer are other potential problems.

It is recommended that those without trash pickup service deliver their waste to a landfill for proper disposal.

LDEQ asks for residents to consider the following alternatives to open burning:

• Reduce, Recycle and Reuse as much as possible.

• Compost vegetative matter such as eggshells, coffee grounds and fruit/vegetable peelings for your garden.

• Household paint, chemicals and waste tires can be brought to a Household Hazardous Materials Day event for disposal – free of charge. Check your city or parish for locations.

• Used fluorescent light bulbs, batteries and plastic grocery bags are accepted for recycling at many big box stores.

• Electronics (laptops, iPhones, etc.) you no longer need are accepted by the CACRC at www.cacrc.com.

• Deliver any household waste to a landfill or trash disposal location within your city or parish.

• Construction and demolition waste should be disposed of at permitted landfills, municipal incinerators or other state-approved facilities.

• Talk to your neighbors. Inform them about the importance of stopping Open Burning. Make it a priority for the sake of you and your family’s health and the environment in which you live.

LDEQ encourages citizens to watch for open burning activity and to protect yourself as well as your family and your neighbors. Report any open burn of waste tires, household debris, oil or chemical waste, to your local law enforcement authorities as well as LDEQ at 1-888-763-5424.

Citizens should also submit an incident report online at http://www.deq.louisiana.gov/apps/forms/irf/forms/ [deq.louisiana.gov].

Reports can be made anonymously, but a phone number is required for a call back if further details are needed. Be sure to document the exact location and parish, time/date, materials being burned, parties involved and as much detail as possible in order to better assist authorities with an investigation.

If anyone is found to be conducting an open burn, LDEQ’s Criminal Investigations Section will investigate. Anyone found to be in violation of the law is subject to prosecution and may face a fine of up to $100,000, ten years imprisonment at hard labor, or both.

Those interested can view LDEQ’s video on Open Burning here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yunEs3aYGY.

LDEQ’s recent video on electronic waste recycling video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIGsvKvnqOY