Or. Admin. R. 340-264-0180 - Letter Permits

(1) Open Burning of commercial, industrial, slash, construction or demolition waste on a singly occurring or infrequent basis or the open burning of yard debris that is otherwise prohibited, may be permitted by a letter permit issued by DEQ in accordance with this rule and subject to OAR 340-264-0050, 340-264-0060 and 340-264-0070, and the requirements and prohibitions of local jurisdictions and the State Fire Marshal. OAR 340-014-0025 and 340 OAR division 216 do not apply.
(2) A letter permit may only be issued on the basis of a written application for disposal of material by burning that has been approved by DEQ. Each application for a letter permit must contain the following items:
(a) The quantity and type of material proposed to be burned;
(b) A listing of all alternative disposal methods and potential costs that have been identified or investigated;
(c) The expected amount of time that will be required to complete the burning (not required for yard debris);
(d) The methods proposed to be used to insure complete and efficient combustion of the material;
(e) The location of the proposed burning site;
(f) A diagram showing the proposed burning site and the structures and facilities inhabited or used in the vicinity including distances thereto;
(g) The expected frequency of the need to dispose of similar materials by burning in the future;
(h) If the application is for prescribed burning of standing vegetation for the purpose of creating or restoring wetlands or for promoting or enhancing habitat for indigenous species of plants or animals, the application must also include a citation to the federal or state law or program requiring or authorizing such conversion or enhancement. The application must also include a statement from the appropriate agency responsible for implementing the law or program that open burning is the most practicable alternative for the conversion or enhancement;
(i) Any other information that the applicant considers relevant or DEQ may require;
(j) For open burning of yard debris:
(A) A "Hardship Permit Application" completed on a form supplied by DEQ; and
(B) Either payment of the appropriate fee pursuant to section (10) or a "waiver request" completed on a form supplied by DEQ.
(3) Upon receipt of a written application, DEQ may approve the application if it is satisfied that:
(a) The applicant has demonstrated that all reasonable alternatives have been explored and no practicable alternative method for disposal of the materials exists; and
(b) The proposed burning will not cause or contribute to significant degradation of air quality.
(c) For locations within Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah and Washington counties, where open burning is otherwise prohibited, the following conditions must also be met. Letter permits may be issued only for disposing of:
(A) Material resulting from emergency occurrences, including but not limited to, floods, storms or oil spills;
(B) Material originating as yard debris that has been collected and stored by governmental jurisdictions, provided that no other reasonable means of disposal are available;
(C) Yard debris excluding grass clippings and leaf piles, on the property of a private residence where the inability to burn creates a significant hardship due to:
(i) An economic burden because the estimated cost of alternative means of yard debris disposal presents a financial hardship in relation to household income and expenses of the applicant;
(ii) A physical handicap, personal disability, chronic illness, substantial infirmity or other physical limitation substantially inhibiting the ability of the applicant to process or transport yard debris; or
(iii) Inaccessibility of yard debris, where steepness of terrain or remoteness of the debris site makes access by processing or transportation equipment unreasonable.
(4) DEQ may deny an application for a letter permit or revoke or suspend an issued letter permit on any of the following grounds:
(a) Any material misstatement or omission in the application or a history of such misstatements or omissions by the applicant;
(b) Any actual or projected violation of any statute, rule, regulation, order, permit, ordinance, judgment or decree.
(5) In making its determination under section (3), DEQ may consider:
(a) The conditions of the airshed of the proposed burning;
(b) The other air pollution sources in the vicinity of the proposed burning;
(c) The availability of other methods of disposal, and special circumstances or conditions that may impose a hardship on an applicant;
(d) The frequency of the need to dispose of similar materials in the past and expected in the future;
(e) The applicant's prior violations, if any;
(f) The projected effect upon persons and property in the vicinity; and
(g) Any other relevant factor.
(6) Each letter permit issued by DEQ pursuant to section (2) must contain at least the following elements:
(a) The location where burning is permitted to take place;
(b) The number of actual calendar days on which burning is permitted to take place, not to exceed seven. Burning pursuant to a permit for yard debris must be limited to three days per season unless satisfactory justification for more burning is provided by the applicant;
(c) The period during which the permit is valid, not to exceed a period of 30 consecutive days, except a permit for yard debris. The actual period in the permit must be specific to the needs of the applicant. DEQ may issue specific letter permits for shorter periods;
(d) A letter permit for yard debris is valid for a single burning season or for both the spring and fall burning seasons during a calendar year, as appropriate to the application and the fee paid pursuant to the schedule in section (10). The spring burning is from March 1 to June 15, inclusive, and the fall burning season is from Oct. 1 to Dec. 15, inclusive;
(e) Equipment and methods required to be used by the applicant to insure that the burning is accomplished in the most efficient manner over the shortest period of time to minimize smoke production;
(f) The limitations, if any, based on meteorological conditions required before burning may occur. Open burning under permits for yard debris must be limited to the hours and times that limit seasonal domestic yard debris burning permitted in the county where the burning under the letter permit is to occur;
(g) Reporting requirements for both starting the fire each day and completion of the requested burning, (optional for permits for yard debris);
(h) A statement that OAR 340-264-0050 and 340-264-0060 are fully applicable to all burning under the permit;
(i) Such other conditions as DEQ considers to be desirable.
(7) Regardless of the conditions contained in any letter permit, each letter permit, except permits for yard debris, will not be valid for more than 30 consecutive calendar days of which a maximum of seven can be used for burning. DEQ may issue specific letter permits for shorter periods.
(8) Letter permits are not renewable. Any request to conduct additional burning requires a new application and a new permit.
(9) No person may violate any condition, limitation, or term of a letter permit.
(10) All applications for a letter permit for yard debris must be accompanied by a permit fee payable to DEQ, or approved delegated authority, and become non-refundable upon issuance of the permit. The fee to be submitted is:
(a) For a single burning season, spring or fall - $20;
(b) For a calendar year - $30.
(11) DEQ may waive the single season permit fee if the applicant shows that the cost of the yard debris permit presents an extreme financial hardship in relation to the household income and expenses of the applicant.

NOTE: This rule is included in the State of Oregon Clean Air Act Implementation Plan that EQC adopted under OAR 340-200-0040.


Or. Admin. R. 340-264-0180
DEQ 27-1981, f. & ef. 9-8-81; DEQ 10-1984, f. 5-29-84, ef. 6-16-84; DEQ 4-1993, f. & cert. ef. 3-10-93; DEQ 14-1999, f. & cert. ef. 10-14-99, Renumbered from 340-023-0100; DEQ 21-2000, f. & cert. ef. 12-15-00; DEQ 7-2015, f. & cert. ef. 4/16/2015

Stat. Auth.: ORS 468.020, 468A.025, 468A.575 & 468A.595

Stats. Implemented: ORS 468A.025, 468A.555 - 468A.620, 477.515 & 477.520

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