Wednesday, May 27, 2020

EPA enacts burn ban for 14 Washington reservations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently imposed outdoor open burn bans on 14 Indian reservations within Washington in an effort to combat the impact of increased air pollution levels and stagnant air conditions.

The ban covers all outdoor and agricultural burning except for ceremonial and traditional fires. It extends to camping and recreational fires, and covers all areas within the external reservation boundaries. Increased levels of air pollution can negatively impact public health, especially for the young, elderly and pregnant women. It also puts those with diabetes, asthma, difficulty breathing and heart problems at increased risk.

In addition to the burn ban, the EPA is encouraging reservation residents to try to limit other activities that can contribute to air pollution, such as driving and idling in vehicles. The agency is also requesting that residents forgo usage of woodstoves and fireplaces if they have an alternate source of heat. Groups sensitive to air pollution are encouraged to limit strenuous activity while outdoors and to limit their exposure to the environmental air pollution.

The ban is in effect for the following tribes’ reservations: Chehalis Tribe, Lummi Nation, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Nooksack Indian Tribe, Port Gamble Indian Community, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, Skokomish Indian Tribe, Squaxin Island Tribe, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, Suquamish Tribe, Tulalip Tribes and Upper Skagit Indian Tribe.

Organizations in this Story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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