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The Open Burning Season in Massachusetts starts January 15 and ends May 1. In many communities, residents may burn tree limbs, brush and other organic debris, remnants of storms and winter winds in order to clean up their yards. What can be burned, when, and under what conditions is regulated, because of the health and safety risks associated with the burning.

Open Burning is addressed by the Dept. of Fire Services as a public safety issue, and by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs because of air quality issues. The Department of Environmental Protection offers “Guidance for Adopting Municipal Regulation to Control Air Pollution under M.G.L. chapter 111, section 31C.” Cities and Towns adopting regulations to control air pollution need to comply with the statute.

If allowed, the open burning must be a minimum of 75 feet from all buildings and must be conducted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to DEP Regulations at 310 CMR 7.07.   Twenty-two communities do not allow open burning at all.

Greenfield provides an example of a Town that makes their Brush Burning Information available online, along with an online form for a Burn Permit.

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