Burning in the open on domestic and non-domestic premises

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1 Burning in the open on domestic and non-domestic premises Issued September 2003 EPA 484/03 This guideline replaces the EPA Information Sheets 10 and 11 and provides clarification of the Environment Protection (Burning) Policy Introduction Smoke is an issue of concern to the community and its impacts on air quality, human health and amenity are well recognised. Legislation The principal legislation addressing pollution in South Australia is the Environment Protection Act 1993 (the Act). Section 25 imposes the general environmental duty on all persons undertaking an activity that may cause pollution, to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise any resulting environmental harm. The Act also establishes the legal power to create Environment Protection Policies (EPPs) that may relate to specific aspects of environment protection. Controls on burning in the open are imposed by the Environment Protection (Burning) Policy 1994 (the Policy). The Policy has mandatory provisions for both domestic and non-domestic premises. Penalties may be applied for breaches of mandatory provisions of the Policy. Controls on burning in the open under the Policy Burning in the open in domestic and non-domestic premises is only permitted in accordance with the Policy. Council officers authorised under the Act (normally Fire Prevention Officers) are responsible for administering the Policy within their jurisdiction. The Environment Protection Authority (the EPA) does not issue permits or give consent for burning in the open; that responsibility has been delegated to councils by the Act in recognition of their sole responsibility for it in previous legislation (Public Health Act 1935 & Clean Air Act 1984). Similarly the EPA does not generally investigate complaints resulting from burning in the open.

2 Burning in the open on domestic and non-domestic premises September 2003 The EPA is responsible for regulating activities of environmental significance (licensed industry activities) and burning in the open is regulated in these premises via license conditions. Definitions and interpretations from the Policy Burning in the open is essentially burning outside a dwelling where the products of combustion are released directly into the atmosphere, not through a chimney. Chimineas are classified as incinerators according to this Policy and as such are not permitted to be used in domestic premises in the Adelaide metropolitan area unless they are used to prepare food and beverages or burn charcoal for the purpose of heating an area used for outdoor entertainment. Domestic premises are premises that are used for residential or residential and business purposes. Examples of domestic premises conducting business in urban areas might include a doctor s surgery at the doctor s home or a hairdressing salon attached to a house. Examples in rural/urban areas include hobby farmers that live on the property. The portion of domestic premises that is used for primary production is considered non-domestic. Land in a zone or area primarily designated for residential use by a council development plan is also considered a domestic premises under this definition. Non-domestic premises are all other premises not included in the above definition. Examples include schools, churches, shopping centres and recreational parks. Any portion of domestic premises that is used for primary production is also considered nondomestic. Burning in the open in for agricultural purposes is permitted in non-domestic premises for agricultural purposes occurring outside metropolitan Adelaide including the disposal of dead stock, crop stubble or diseased crops, and the clearing of land for farming. This list of permitted agricultural purposes is not exhaustive and therefore any agricultural purpose that involves burning in the open should be considered on its merits. If you are uncertain please seek advice from your local council. Burning in the open is not satisfactory where better or alternate waste disposal options are available. For example, burning in the open to produce smoke for the purpose of preventing frost damage to wine grapes is not considered acceptable, particularly if the smoke is likely to impact on residential areas. Unincorporated areas are the areas of the state that are not within council boundaries. Do I need to get permission to burn in the open? The flowcharts attached to this guideline will provide assistance in making the decision on whether you are able to undertake burning in the open. If the flowcharts indicate that you are able to burn in the open but require a permit, you must obtain written approval from your local council prior to undertaking any burning in the open. The local council may impose conditions such as time of day to begin and end the burn, the type of materials allowed to be burnt and the size of individual heaps of material that may be burnt. The intent of the Policy is to avoid or minimise environmental harm, even at the nuisance level. Restrictions may be imposed to achieve that objective, even if alternatives to burning in the open impose extra costs. page 2

3 Burning in the open on domestic and non-domestic premises September 2003 What are the alternatives? Most councils provide waste collection and recycling services. Some also have waste transfer stations, street trailers and landfill facilities. Check on services available with your local council. Private collectors are listed in the Yellow Pages under Recycling Services and Rubbish Removers. If you have access to the Internet, visit the EPA s recycling web site: Currency of these guidelines These guidelines offer advice to assist with compliance with the general environmental duty and specific environmental policies. They are subject to amendment and persons relying on the information should check with the EPA to ensure that it is current at any given time. FURTHER INFORMATION Legislation Legislation may be viewed on the Internet at: Copies of legislation are available for purchase from: Government Information Centre Telephone: (08) Grenfell Street Facsimile: (08) Adelaide SA 5000 Freecall (country): For general information please contact: Environment Protection Authority Telephone: (08) GPO Box 2607 Facsimile: (08) Adelaide SA 5001 Freecall (country): Internet: page 3

4 Environment Protection Burning Policy Domestic premises Domestic premises? 1. residence, or 2. premises in residential area used for both residence and/or other purposes excluding primary p roduction. Is it during the fire dange r Burning not allowed, unless permit obtained season? from council under the Country Fires Act. Penalty $4000 fine or 1 year imprisonment or $300 expiation (first offence) Are the domestic premises in an area listed in Schedule 1 of the Environment Protection (Burning) Policy? Refer to: (ie the metropolitan area) Environment Protection (Burning) Policy, Non-domestic premises. It is prohibited to burn wood treated with copper-chrome-arsenate or other chemicals/paint It is prohibited to burn in the open on any street, road or laneway It is also prohibited to burn or otherwise clear native vegetation without approval of the Native Vegetation Council, unless subject to a specific exemption provided by the Native Vegetation Regulations For further information contact the Native Vegetation Council Secretariat on (08) Are the domestic premises within the boundaries of a council municipality or? township Are the domestic premises located within council areas but outside municipality or township boundaries? Burning in the open is not permitted except: if the fire is used to prepare food e.g. barbeque, picnic for bushfire reduction written permission required under the Act or permit in accordance with Country Fires Act for burning charcoal within a brazier used for heating. Penalty : $500 fine or $100 ex p iation Burning of: dry paper dry cardboard dried wood & dried garden clippings is permitted between 10 am 3 pm, Monday Saturday. Burning in the open to prepare food or for bushfire reduction (written permission required under the Act or permit in accordance with Country Fires Act), and burning of charcoal within a brazier is also permitted as outlined above. Burning in contravention to any of the above clauses: Burning in the open in these areas is not regulated by this Policy; however, the Act still requires persons to take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent The Policy does not apply to the unincorporated areas (areas of the state where there are no councils); however, the Act still requires persons to take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent

5 Environment Protection Burning Policy Non-domestic premises Non-domestic premises? 1. business premises 2. premises or land in an area not zoned residential 3. an area of a premises used for primary production. Is it during the fire dange season? r Refer to: Environment Protection (Burning) Policy, Domestic premises. Permit to burn in the open under CFS Act not required. Burning in the open in the unincorporated areas of the state is not restricted by the Policy; however, the Act still requires persons to take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent Is the non-domestic premises located within a council area? Burning in the open allowed in nondomestic premises no permit required; however, the Act still requires persons to take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent Is the proposed fire in the open in non-domestic premises for: disposal of gaseous wastes? Adelaide? recreational purposes e.g. barbecue or picnic? instruction in fire fighting methods? the prevention and control of bushfires? agricultural purposes outside the metropolitan area of (includes the disposal of dead stock, crop stubble or diseased crops and the clearing of land for farming) It is also prohibited to burn or otherwise clear native vegetation without approval of the Native Vegetation Council, unless subject to a specific exemption provided by the Native Vegetation Regulations For further information contact the Native Vegetation Council Secretariat on (08) Burning not allowed, unless permit obtained from council under CFS Act. Has CFS permit been granted? Burning in the open not permitted. Penalty: $4000 fine or 1 year jail or $300 expiation ( first offence ) Burning in the open is not allowed unless a permit is obtained from the council under the Policy. Penalty: $4000 fine or $300 expiation Failure to comply with permit conditions Penalty : $4000 fine or $300 ex p iation

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