New fees set for planned burns

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has set new fees for agricultural interests, land management agencies and private landowners burning certain types of fires outdoors.

Those planning fires for pest control, crop replacement and flood control, among other purposes, must pay an annual fee of $98 per property prior to the burn. Fires that span more than 150 acres cost up to $750, but the vast majority of fires fall into the $98 fee range, said Ralph Borrmann, spokesman for the District.

"Open burning does have a negative impact on air quality, so we're doing everything we can to minimize those impacts, recognizing that sometimes they need to be done," Borrmann said.

The fee is intended to recover costs for inspection and management of the fires, he said. There were 10 public workshops held throughout the region prior to adoption of the new rules, he said.

The new rules went into effect on July 1. For more information visit www.baaqmd.gov/rules.

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