Erin Strouse
CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein

Know the Law Before Open Burning in Adams County

Ohio EPA and the Portsmouth Local Air Agency urge Adams County residents to use proper safety precautions and follow Ohio EPA’s open burning regulations. To protect human health and the environment, Ohio law places strict limits on open burning, including the locations where burning is permissible and the types of wastes that may be burned.

Ohio EPA regulates outdoor burning in both restricted and unrestricted areas. In restricted areas (land within 1,000 feet of a municipality and areas within one mile of communities larger than 10,000 people), landowners may burn outdoors for barbeques, campfires and cookouts (clean, seasoned firewood stacked 2 ft. high by 3 ft. wide). Landowners in areas outside of restricted areas may burn trees, brush and leaves outdoors on the property where these trimmings originated as long as specific boundary requirements are met (burning at least 1,000 feet from all inhabited buildings on neighboring properties).

Garbage (food waste), dead animals and materials containing rubber, grease or petroleum such as tires and plastics cannot be burned anywhere.

Some local communities have approved more restrictive burning ordinances. Ohio EPA offers guidance for open burning online (including information on limited exceptions requiring written permission).

Questions and/or complaints about open burning may be directed to the Portsmouth Local Air Agency at (740) 353-5156.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA -- 40 years and moving forward.
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