Salt Lake Co. Health Department prohibits burning solid fuels on voluntary action days

Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-30 19:54:18-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- If you live in Salt Lake County and plan on burning some solid fuel starting in November: Stop.

Even though the State Health Department might say it is a voluntary burn day, the Salt Lake County Health Department says you are no longer allowed to burn solid fuel on those voluntary action days.

There is an exception to the rule for residents for whom burning solid fuels is their only method of heating their home. There is also an exception in emergency situations, such as in the case of a power outage.

The health department wants to keep Salt Lake Valley’s air from getting worse.

Starting November 1, the County Health Department will prohibit burning any solid fuels like coal, wood or pellets. The county says one fireplace emits as much pollution as 90 SUVs.

They hope the new rules keep everyone breathing easier.

“We hope that by not having burning on those voluntary days, that the mandatory day, when it's really a bad inversion, perhaps could be lessened,” said Gary Edwards, director of Salt Lake County Health Department.

The county is not patrolling for those who are breaking its new rules, as they say this year is an "education year".

In the future, you'll get a $299 fine each day you burn solid fuels when air quality is poor.

Visit the Utah Department of Environmental Quality's website for air quality forecasts, including which days are mandatory or voluntary action days as opposed to unrestricted action days.