Saturday, March 28, 2020

EPA extends Yakama burn ban indefinitely

Continuing stagnant air conditions and elevated air pollution recently prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to extend a ban on all outdoor open burning on the Yakama Reservation in Washington state until further notice.

The ban includes all outdoor and agricultural burning in all areas within external reservation boundaries regardless of ownership or tribal membership, although ceremonial and traditional fires are excluded.

The Yakama Reservation is being asked to cut down on “all sources of air pollution as much as possible, including excess driving and idling of vehicles, and the use of wood stoves and fireplaces, unless they are the only adequate source of heat,” the EPA said.

“Air pollution can have significant health impacts,” the agency said. “Cooperation from the community will help people who are most at risk during this period, including children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with asthma or difficulty breathing, diabetes, heart problems or otherwise compromised health. These sensitive groups should avoid outdoor exercise and minimize exposure to outdoor pollution as much as possible. Under the most severe pollution levels all residents should restrict their activities.”

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Environmental Protection Agency Region 10

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