Open Burn

The proposed Open Burning Regulations, pursuant to the Navajo Nation Air Quality Pollution Prevention and Control Act [4 N.N.C. § 1103], would regulate the burning of household waste on Navajo Nation lands, where no collection or disposal service within ten (10) miles exist. The proposed regulation is projected to be legislated by the resource committee of the Navajo Nation Council for approval. Right now, the pubic is being solicited for comments up till Tuesday June 23, 2009, as part of the public comment period about the proposed Open Burning Regulations.

Household waste is defined as waste generated by the normal activities of households, including but not limited to food wastes, rubbish, ashes, household appliances, furniture, and yard waste. [Open Burning Regulations § 102(F)]

Permits would be approved at a $10.00 fee for those households who live outside the ten (10) mile radius from a trash disposal facility, and approved under specific terms and conditions. Open burning permit for household waste burning maybe used repeatedly for up to three years. While those households occurring within the ten (10) mile radius would be required to use the transfer stations, and would be denied an open burning permit to burn household waste. The fee for a single open burning event would be $5.00. A couple of examples of a single burn event are burning of tumbleweeds along fence line or burning of weeds from irrigation ditches. Single open burning event approvals are regardless of the ten (10) mile radius restrictions imposed on household waste burning, but approvals are dependent on weather conditions and number of concurrent burnings within the area.

Penalty for non compliance with Open Burning Regulations is set at $100 per event [conducting an open burning without a permit], while non compliance with terms and conditions of the Open Burning Permit is $50.00 [conducting an open burning with a permit but not abiding by the term and conditions]. The proposed Open Burning Regulations do not regulate open fires for heating and cooking and for ceremonial and traditional purposes. Not regulated but with exception depending on temporary burn ban determinations are open burning for agricultural burning, for forestry and silvicultural burning, for disposal of deceased animals or other material by order of a public health official, and open burning used for firefighter training simulations.

The Open Burning Regulations would prohibit the burning of certain materials. Please click here to view the entire list of prohibited materials.

The public is being solicited for comments, as part of the public comment period about the proposed Open Burning Regulations.

Please submit your comments online here or by downloading the form and returning by mail.

For more information please contact:

Frederick Sherman
Senior Environmental Specialist
Tele: (928) 729-4093 or (928) 729-4246
Email: fredericksherman@navajo.org