Open burning ban now in place
A ban against open burning is in place for Morgan County through October, a month longer than previous summer open burning bans.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management announced the change last week. Other effected counties are Baldwin, DeKalb, Etowah, Jefferson, Lawrence, Madison, Montgomery, Russell, Shelby and Talladega.
"We are constantly looking for ways to protect our environment and improve life for all Alabamians," ADEM Director Trey Glenn said. "The open burning ban is a tool to help us safeguard our clean air."
ADEM issued the ban to combat the formation of ground-level ozone. Though in the upper atmosphere, ozone is a respiratory irritant when found at ground level.
Ground-level ozone is formed when volatile organic compounds and nitrogen in the presence of heat and sunlight. Prohibiting open burning of wood, tree trimmings, and debris generated by land clearing, construction or demolition is an effective means to reduce the formation of ground-level ozone.
Previously, ADEM's open burning restrictions lasted from May through September in eight counties. This year the department added four counties and extended the ban to October to continue efforts of reducing ozone when weather factors are more conducive top its creation.