Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency Georgia Forestry Commission
FROM: Richard E. Dunn, Director
DATE: April 29, 2020
SUBJECT: Vegetative Storm Debris Generated by Severe Weather on April 12,13, and 23,
2020 for Banks, Catoosa, Chattooga, Floyd, Gordon, Upson, Walker Counties
This memo is in response to multiple resource requests received by the Georgia Environmental Protection
Division (EPD) through the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency
(GEMA/HS). As described in the Executive Order issued by Governor Kemp on April 13, 2020 and
renewed on April 23, 2020, a State of Emergency exists due to the damage created by the severe storm
systems that moved through the State on April 12, 13 and 23, 2020.
Based on information regarding the
lack of practicable alternatives for the disposal of storm debris, in accordance with applicable state
regulation EPD will temporarily modify the Burn Ban for select counties for a limited period of time.
Those counties include: Banks, Catoosa, Chattooga, Floyd, Gordon, Upson, and Walker.
This memo allows for the burning of vegetative debris resulting from storm damage for the counties
referenced above for the period May 1 through May 31, 2020.
Permissible storm debris include trees,
brush, and stumps. Other storm damage debris, such as that from damaged or destroyed housing, is
classified as solid waste and may not be burned.
Furthermore, restrictions on other types of open burning
during this period remain in effect.
EPD urges that burning of vegetative debris resulting from storm damage should be conducted only when
all other options such as mulching or chipping are not possible.
Any outdoor open burning in Georgia
requires a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC). Permits for hand-piled, natural
vegetation collected on site can be secured online at GaTrees.org or by calling 1-877-OK2-BURN.
for any other types of burning should be obtained by contacting the county GFC office. In addition, this
memorandum cannot and does not authorize any activity prohibited by local ordinances or waive any
requirement to obtain any requisite local permits or authorizations.
Any burning of vegetative debris,
whenever feasible, should be conducted between 10:00 AM and one hour before dark.