Legal:Wood Smoke and the Americans With Disabilities Act

Successful ADA Complaint Leads to Permanent Open Burning Ban: Iowa: 1996

On Dec. 24, 1996 a permanent injunction was issued to ban all open burning in the City of Mallard, Iowa as a result of a federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Title II complaint. U.S. District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett, of the Northern District of Iowa, Central Division, issued the injunction after finding the rights of a 2 year old girl with severe respiratory and cardiac conditions were be violated by the city because of the city's allowance of open burning. The smoke aggravated the child's condition and posed a threat to her health and therefore presented a physical barrier that did not allow her use of the public parks and streets. This is a precedent setting case of an ADA complaint due to leaf burning. Attorneys may contact Blake Parker, the successful attorney in this case at 515-955-2193 for more information.To date almost 200 ADA Title II complaints have been filed with the U.S. Dept. of the Interior against over 70 municipalities in Illinois and other Midwestern states.

What are ADA rules and regulations? Here is information published in the AARP Newspaper April, 2003 from the "Ask Our Experts" column.

Q. "Public places are required by law to be accessible to disabled people. As a disabled person, where can I lodge a complaint if I encounter a problem?"

A. The U.S. Department of Justice enforces the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires that public places be accessible to disabled people. The Justice Department accepts written complaints and has specific requirements about the information it needs. To learn more, call the ADA information line at (800) 514-0301 or go to

Under Title III of the ADA, most businesses and service providers-everything from hotels and restaurants to office buildings, hospitals and schools-are considered public accommodations. Title III also permits individuals to enforce their rights in court."

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