Title 7 Natural Resources and Environmental Control
1100 Air Quality Management Section
1113 Open Burning
The purpose of this regulation is to control air emissions by establishing rules for open burning activities.
This regulation applies to all open burning activity in Delaware.
The following words and terms, when used in this regulation, shall have the following meanings:
“10-day notification” means a notification that shall be made in accordance with 40 CFR Section 61.145.
“Agricultural operations” means an activity on land currently used or intended to be used primarily for the purpose of obtaining a profit in money by raising, harvesting and selling crops or by raising and selling livestock or poultry. Agricultural operation also means activities conducted by not-for-profit agricultural research organizations, which activities are necessary to serve that purpose. It does not include the construction and use of structures customarily provided in conjunction with the agricultural operation.
“Asbestos” means any or all of the forms of asbestos including Actimolite, Amosite, Anthophyllite, Chrysotile, Crocidolite, or Tremolite.
“Asbestos containing material” means asbestos or any material containing asbestos.
“Ceremonial fires” means bonfires used for ceremonies sponsored by educational, cultural, or religious institutions.
“Code orange day” means a day which has been designated by the Department as a "Code Orange" day for expected pollution intensity.
“Code red day” means a day which has been designated by the Department as a "Code Red" day for expected pollution intensity.
“Crop residue” means any vegetative material remaining after harvesting, including leaves, stalks, roots.
“Department” means the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control as defined in 9 Del.C. Ch 80, as amended.
“Friable asbestos material” means any material that contains more than 1% asbestos by weight and that can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder, when dry, by hand pressure.
“Fuel” means any combustible matter including, but not limited to coal, gas, oil, and refuse.
“Garbage” means animal or vegetable waste matter originating in houses, kitchens, restaurants, hotels, produce markets or similar installations.
“Incineration” means the process of igniting and burning solid, semi solid, liquid, or gaseous combustible waste to their products of combustion.
“Industrial waste” means any waste produced by a manufacturing process.
“Material" means any gas, liquid, or solid or any combination thereof.
“Open burning” means any outdoor fire or outdoor smoke-producing process from which the products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air. This does not include incinerators, boilers, or heaters used in process operations.
“Person” means any individual, firm, association, organization, partnership, business trust, corporation, company, contractor, supplier, installer, developer, user or owner or operator, or any federal, state or local governmental agency or public district or any officer or employee thereof.
“Perimeter field maintenance” means the open burning and removal of vegetation from the perimeter of a field in crop production or livestock for the specific purpose of keeping the field free and clear of vegetative obstruction that prohibit the agricultural operations.
“Prescribed burning” means open burning of undisturbed vegetation for the specific purpose of conservation practices, wildlife habitat management, or plant, pest or disease control under such conditions that the fire is confined to a predetermined area.
“Private dwelling” means a domestic residence housing no more than three families and where no commercial or industrial activity is conducted.
“Recreational purposes” means any purpose which, in the judgment of the Department, fulfills a physical or social need, including, but not limited to, camping, ceremonies, and religious rites.
“Refuse” means garbage, rubbish, or trade waste.
“Rubbish” means waste solids or liquids including but not necessarily limited to, rags, clothes, leather, rubber, carpets, excelsior, paper, ashes, furniture, tin cans, glass, crockery, masonry, tires, or waste oil.
“Salvage operation” means any business, trade or industry engaged entirely or partially in salvaging or reclaiming any product or material, including, but not necessarily limited to metal, chemicals, motor vehicles, shipping containers or drums.
“Silviculture” means the care and cultivation of forest trees.
“Solid fuel” means a fuel which is fired as a solid, such as anthracite or semi anthracite, bituminous or sub bituminous coal, lignite, coke, wood, or any solid by product of a manufacturing process that may be substituted for any of the above specifically mentioned fuels.
“Solid waste” means refuse, more than 50% of which is municipal type waste consisting of a mixture of paper, wood, yard wastes, food wastes, plastics, leather, rubber, and other combustibles and noncombustible materials such as glass and rock.
“Standard for demolition and renovation” means standard of the asbestos in National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), as adopted through July 1, 2006.
“Trade waste” means any solid, liquid, or gaseous waste material or rubbish resulting from construction, land clearing for construction or development, building operations, or the prosecution of any business, trade, or industry including, but not necessarily limited to, wood, plastic products, cartons, paint, grease, oil and other petroleum products, chemicals or cinders.
“Waste oil” means used or spent oil or solvents or other volatile hydrocarbons, including but not limited to crankcase oil.
4.0 Prohibitions and Related Provisions
4.1 No person shall cause or allow open burning of refuse.
4.2 No person shall cause or allow open burning in the conduct of a salvage operation.
4.3 No person shall cause or allow the open burning of fallen leaves.
4.4 No person shall cause or allow open burning otherwise permitted by this regulation when, in the judgment of any Department employee, fire marshal or law enforcement officer:
4.4.1 A condition of air stagnation exists or a Code Red or Code Orange has been issued; or
4.4.2 The open burning impacts a person's health, comfort, use, or enjoyment of his or her real property.
4.5 No person shall conduct any open burning allowed by this regulation without giving prior notice to the Fire Call Board for the county in which the fire will occur.
4.6 No person shall use tires, waste oil, off-specification oil or any oil heavier than No. 2 as an auxiliary fuel for an open burn.
4.7 Any person causing or allowing open burning shall remain present and closely supervise all fire or fires at all times until the fire or fires are completely extinguished.
4.8 No person shall use more than the minimum amount of auxiliary fuel needed to initiate an open burn.
4.9 Upon being instructed to do so by any Department employed enforcement officer, fire marshal, fire officer in charge or law enforcement officer, any person shall immediately cease open burning and shall immediately extinguish all active open burning on their property or under their control.
4.10 No person shall cause or allow any open burning when a burn ban has been issued by the Delaware State Fire Marshal, even though the activities would have otherwise been permitted by this regulation.
4.11 This regulation shall not be construed to permit open burning where it is otherwise prohibited.
4.12 No person shall burn for the purpose of land clearing except as permitted in 6.2.2 of this regulation.
5.0 Season and Time Restrictions
5.1 No person shall cause or allow any open burning from May 1 through September 30, without prior written approval by the Department. The Department may grant approval to conduct open burning between May 1 and September 30 for circumstances that threaten the health, safety, or welfare of a person or persons.
5.1.1 The applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Department that such circumstances pose a more serious threat than the health threat posed by the open burning; or
5.1.2 The applicant will consult with the Delaware Department of Agriculture to insure that the proposed open burning activity meets best management practices prior to the Department approving requests for an emergency agricultural/silvicultural open burning activity during the ozone season; and
5.1.3 Approval will be granted by the Department to applicants on a case-by-case basis.
5.2 No person shall cause or allow open burning, as permitted by this regulation, except between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
5.3 Burning outside of the hours permitted in 5.2 of this regulation may only be conducted, if the person causing or allowing the fire meets the following criteria:
5.3.1 In order to burn during extended hours, the person causing or allowing the open burn must submit an application to the Department containing documentation sufficient to satisfy the Department that burning outside of the permissible hours will lead to smoke reduction, or a more efficient, complete, or safer burn; and
5.3.2 Approval to burn during extended hours is given by the Department before such burning takes place.
6.0 Allowable Open Burning
6.1 Open burning, as permitted by this regulation, may be conducted without prior approval of the Department, except as provided in 5.1, 5.3, 6.2.2, 6.2.3, and 6.2.4 of this regulation.
6.2 Subject to other restrictions in this regulation, open burning may occur for the exclusive purposes of:
6.2.1 Domestic burning of brush, branches, and limbs that have been cut from trees or shrubbery originating on the premises and conducted by individuals domiciled in a private dwelling on the premises, of a size no greater than 27 cubic feet of material, in total, to be burned and where burning is conducted as far as practicable from any adjacent property;
6.2.2 Clearing land in agricultural use and clearing land in silvicultural operations of vegetative material in order to cultivate or to prepare the soil for the purpose of producing crops or supporting livestock, provided that:
22.214.171.124 The applicant notifies and provides the Department with information regarding the proposed open burning activity on the Department's approved form; and
126.96.36.199 Approval to burn is given in writing by the Department before such burning takes place; and
188.8.131.52 The ability to utilize open burning for purposes of clearing land pursuant to 6.0 of this regulation shall not apply to land on which residential, industrial or commercial house, dwellings or other structures are constructed with a period of five years after the land clearing by burning takes place. In the event a person is found to have violated the requirements of 6.2.2 of this regulation, in that actions are taken after the burn so that the burn no longer qualifies as allowable because it falls outside the scope of this exception, the Department, in addition to pursuing an enforcement action for violating this regulation, may recover through its enforcement action an amount equal to the savings that the violator incurred by clearing the land by burning as opposed to using traditional clearing methods.
6.2.3 Maintaining the land which includes perimeter field maintenance and crop residue management in continued agricultural operations to produce crops or support livestock, provided that:
184.108.40.206 The applicant notifies and provides the Department with information regarding the proposed open burning activity on the Department's approved form; and
220.127.116.11 The applicant receives confirmation by the Department of receipt of the complete application before such burning takes place.
6.2.4 Prescribed burning for conservation practices, wildlife habitat management, or plant, pest, or disease control, provided that:
18.104.22.168 The applicant documents to the satisfaction of the Department that prescribed burning is the most effective method to achieve this purpose; and
22.214.171.124 Approval to burn is given by the Department before such burning takes place;
6.2.5 The demolition by intentional burning of a structure solely for fire fighting instruction conducted by authorized fire companies, provided that:
126.96.36.199 The fire company documents to the satisfaction of the Department that all building fixtures such as hot water heaters, boilers and air conditioning units, all materials including household appliances or refuse, have been removed from the building prior to burning any portion of the building; and
188.8.131.52 The fire company documents that any internal asbestos containing materials (including pipe coverings and other insulation) and any external asbestos containing materials (including siding) have been removed from the building prior to burning any portion of the building, and that the 10-day notification of this demolition activity, as required by EPA and the Department has been submitted; and
184.108.40.206 The fire company documents that it is familiar with the Delaware State Fire Prevention Regulations and it will comply with those regulations and all other applicable health and safety regulations; and
220.127.116.11 Permission to burn is given by the Department before such burning takes place.
6.2.6 Fire fighting instruction that involves burning materials other than structures (e.g. vegetation-wild land fires; fuels used to simulate industrial scale fires) by established fire companies or government agencies (e.g. Delaware Forest Service), provided that:
18.104.22.168 The applicant documents to the satisfaction of the Department that burning is the most effective method to achieve this purpose; and
22.214.171.124 Approval to burn is given by the Department before such burning takes place.
The following operations are exempt from 4.5 of this regulation, and from all provisions of 5.0 and 6.0 of this regulation, provided that the fire is no larger than reasonably necessary to meet the purpose of the activity:
7.1 Fires used for cooking of food for human consumption of a size no greater than 10 cubic feet of material, in total, to be burned, where only the following materials are burned: unpainted and untreated wood, charcoal, propane, or natural gas;
7.2 Recreational fires such as campfires of a size no greater than 27 cubic feet of material, in total, to be burned, where only unpainted and untreated wood is burned;
7.3 Ceremonial fires of a size no greater than 27 cubic feet of material, in total, to be burned, by established groups or tribes, provided that only unpainted and untreated wood is burned;
7.4 Emergency signaling flares;
7.5 Emergency burning or use of any other appropriate technique, by governmental agencies or fire companies to control or suppress on-going fires;
7.6 Fire fighting instruction conducted by the Delaware State Fire School.
10 DE Reg. 1621 (04/01/07)
12 DE Reg. 347 (09/01/08)