Illegal burning
pollutes neighborhood in Seymour

Concerned citizens in Seymour are complaining that inconsiderate neighbors are polluting their air.
Individuals are allegedly ignoring the laws regarding burning permits and setting fire to materials that not only smudge the air with smoke, but release toxic chemicals into the air.
“The air belongs to all of us,” said one Seymour resident. “It’s not right for some people to dump these toxins into the air our kids have to breathe.”
The Herald spotted one such illegal fire while making a sweep through a Seymour neighborhood. At that location, the reporter observed a woman who appeared to be in her mid-forties tending a fire built from carpet pieces, which released a thick cloud of smoke into the air.
Permits are required in order to legally burn in the open in Sevier County, and the permits only apply to wood materials.
Burning permits are issued by the Forestry Service, and are valid only for one day. Individuals seeking to burn brush, leaves, and wood are required to contact the Forestry Service for the permit, for which there is no charge. Open burning of other materials is strictly against the law.
On Thursday, March 18, the Sevier County Commission voted to adopt a new voluntary resolution intended to keep the county from suffering sanctions at the hands of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Part of the new resolution is that an open burning ban will be placed in effect on “air quality action days,” which will prevent the issuance of any burning permits for that day.

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