Proposed burn ban draws fire at hearing

The Department of Environmental Conservation has said the ban is necessary because about 40 percent of wildfires in New York state between 1986 and 2006 were caused by open burns. Such burning caused 98 wildfires in the state in 2006.

Additionally, the “emissions of dioxins … from backyard burning alone were greater than all other sources combined for the years 2002-04,” the DEC said.

The agency said it also found “that burning trash emits, arsenic, carbon monoxide, benzene, styrene, formaldehyde, lead, hydrogen cyanide and other harmful chemicals.”

“Trash containing plastics, polystyrene pressure-treated and painted wood, and bleached or colored papers, can produce harmful chemicals when burned,” the DEC wrote.

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