Residents ask city council again to repeal open leaf burning

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Residents ask city council again to repeal open leaf burning

Postby Wilberforce » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:11 pm

1:00 am - June 19, 2014
Residents ask city council again to repeal open leaf burning

By Jon Lloyd
Staff Writer

To burn or not to burn is the question facing the Boone City Council.

Before a packed council chamber on Monday night, council members were again asked to appeal the city’s open burning ordinance, the third time this spring residents have made the request.

Jennifere Lemke again asked council to repeal the open burning ordinance that allows the burning of leaves in the spring and fall during a four-week period.

A petition opposing it with 123 signatures and a “Facebook Agreement with Petition” with 33 signatures have been submitted to the city, which also received several letters supporting the ordinance.

Lemke introduced Dr. Jack Murphy, a retired Boone family physician, who said the problem with leaf burning is not just allergies, but the micro particulate matter that rises from its smoke, which is different from wood smoke. The micro particles make their way into the lungs’ air sacs where they stay permanently.

“They contain benzene derivatives, which, I think, everybody knows benzene is a carcinogen,” he said.

Dr. Murphy said that it not only causes problems for children and asthmatics, but it also causes problems for the elderly with emphysema and heart problems when they go outside during leaf burning.

City Administrator Luke Nelson noted the council action form recommended amending the ordinance, citing the “health impact” as the main reason to ban it. It also noted that Dr. Jay Brown’s remarks to council last month justified repealing it. An allergist and asthma specialist at the Boone County Hospital Specialty Clinic, Dr. Brown said people with asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive lung disease are “populations that are specially sensitive to the particulates that come from burning leaves, which is a particular threat to my patients.”

Council members stressed any possible action would not affect so-called recreational fires, such as grilling or burnings logs.

Nelson reviewed other cities’ burn bans and possible alternatives, including a city-wide leaf pickup; purchasing a $48,000 leaf vacuum truck; waste company pick up; and asking Boone County Landfill to change its hours to accommodate leaf drop-offs. Scott Smith, landfill administrator, said extending hours would be problematic, Nelson said.

Erin McCloud of Boone said this spring she filled about 80 pounds of leaves in bags from her neighbors’ trees, not hers. She pays to have them hauled away, she said, but they sometimes sit around for days due to pick-up dates.

“It if rains and it gets hot, they then smell like sewage, and everything in the neighborhood reeks and it’s disgusting,” she said. “A match costs pennies.”

Jennifer Burkamper, a 14-year Boone resident and an asthmatic, told council members that “if one of your family members or one of your children couldn’t breathe during (burning periods), you’d be thinking a lot differently.”

She believed in private property rights, she said, “but it shouldn’t affect me what you do on your property.”

Mayor John Slight told Lemke that council would make a decision next month.

source ... rning.html
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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