Categorized | Agriculture, Environment, Health, News

State extends open burning ban to all islands


HONOLULU – The Hawai’i State Department of Health (DOH) Clean Air Branch has amended Hawai‘i Administrative Rules 11-60.1 (related to air pollution control) by adding new restrictions on open burning of trash and green waste. These additions will improve the Agricultural Burning Permit process and expand the issuance of field citations.

Open burning of yard waste and household trash also known as “backyard burning” has been illegal on O‘ahu since June 1, 1973. With the new rules, backyard burning is now prohibited on all islands. Open burning creates an unnecessary nuisance and possible health risk due to the smoke and air pollution it produces. The practice also creates a significant fire hazard. With the greater availability of alternative means of waste disposal such as improved trash services, recycling, and composting on all islands, backyard burning is no longer a necessity. Those violating the open burning rules are subject to fines of up to $10,000 per violation, per day.

The amended rules allow only a few exceptions to the prohibition on open burning. One exception is agricultural burning that allows legitimate agricultural businesses to burn green waste after obtaining an Agricultural Burning Permit (AGP) from the DOH. The new amended rules enhance the AGP application process and clarify the conditions under which certain categories of open burning are allowed. Another exception allows attended fires for the cooking of food, but open burning for the heating of water for residential bathing purposes is prohibited.

Rule amendments also allow the DOH to issue a field citation (an expedited enforcement action) to facilities that illegally operate air pollution sources without a valid air pollution control permit.

For a copy of the amended rules go to: For additional information on the DOH Clean Air Branch go to:

The DOH Clean Air Branch (CAB) protects the people and environment of Hawai‘i by monitoring air quality and regulating businesses that release pollutants into the air. The CAB reviews and approves air permits, evaluates and enforces state and federal air standards, conducts inspections, and investigates reported incidents related to outdoor air quality. Through the air permit process, the DOH ensures companies comply with state and federal emission standards to minimize air pollution impacts on the public.

4 Responses to “State extends open burning ban to all islands”

  1. Living Laupahoehoe says:

    “…fines of up to $10,000 per violation, per day…” just for having a fire. Seems excessive when you consider many non agricultural properties in Hawaii (Big island) can have many acres of invasive guava and strawberry guava trees.

  2. PeteT says:

    Even Stone Age man had more freedom than us Moderns.

    You would have to burn the Islands to merely match the emissions of the volcanos.

  3. Lorie says:

    I only jst found out about this because I was gone awhile. I can’t believe we can’t have a fire pit not even a metal one from Home Depot.

  4. David says:

    I’m a supporter of the EPA. However this rule is excessive and absurdly black and white. I have a cinder yard. Occasionally it has weeds no more than an inch or two tall. A quick burn with a propane torch eliminates the weeds and seeds and improves the appearance of my yard and the neighborhood. Much less pollution than from the volcano and Round-up. It is impossible to live in a risk-free, pollution-free environment.


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