The Resource rss

Helping communities and businesses access compliance, technical and financial assistance for their environmental needs.

The most frequently reported complaints to Ohio EPA’s Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC) are for open burning, odor, and dust. Ohio EPA also receives numerous questions about the regulation and management of asbestos during demolition.

What is open burning?

Open burning is any set outdoor fire that does not vent to a chimney or stack. Some studies indicate that even small campfires burning clean wood can emit harmful chemicals. Burning unclean materials can be even more hazardous. For example, when you burn refuse in burn barrels or open piles, the potential cost to your health, your home, your neighbors, and your environment far exceeds the price of adequate collection services. Protect yourself, your neighbors, and your wallet by knowing what you can burn and where.

Some information resources on open burning are:

How is asbestos regulated?

The asbestos program regulates two primary areas: emissions control, and licensing and certification of companies and persons directly involved in the abatement industry. They also ensure the safety and quality of asbestos services by requiring approved training specific to asbestos related activities and by inspecting/auditing the activities of program participants. The regulations require that contractors do several things, such as provide a notification, conduct thorough inspections to determine the presence of asbestos, follow specific work practices, and ensure proper disposal of asbestos-containing material. More details on the asbestos program can be found at epa.ohio.gov/dapc/atu/asbestos.

Do you have odors and dust in your community?

Remember, all cities have odors and dust; the expectation of zero dust/odor is not a realistic expectation. Ohio EPA should get involved when you observe a business that has excessive dust generated on their property or a strong odor. Just because there is an odor does not always mean harm – for example mulching and wastewater facilities may smell bad but aren’t harmful.

Who should you call? Each Ohio EPA district office has a contact for open burning, asbestos, and complaints. Find out who to call/contact on our district office map at epa.ohio.gov/dapc/general/dolaa or use our online complaint form by clicking on the blue button on Ohio EPA’s home page.

Listen to our March 11, 2021, Open Burning, Odors, Dust, and Asbestos in Demolition in Your Community recorded webinar on Ohio EPA's YouTube Channel to learn more.
Presenters: Jeff Gerdes and John Paulian, Division of Air Pollution Control (DAPC).