Burn fees in Thurston County a possibility – (Updated)

June 9th, 2015 by Ken

ORCCA – The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency is considering a fee for a burn permit for those living in the county.  (Outdoor burning is already illegal in the cities of Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater.)

The agency said that 75 percent of all burning complaints come from the area of Thurston County outside of the city.   They point out that Thurston County comprises only 25 percent of the population within their jurisdictions but accounts for three-quarters of all the complaints.

Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero and Olympia Councilmember Jim Cooper, local representatives on the ORCCA Board,  have come out in favor of requiring burn permits and fees.  Romero and Cooper think a $35 to $50 permit fee is reasonable – while representatives of other counties aren’t so sure.

Cooper has just been appointed chair of ORCCA while Cynthia Pratt of Lacey has been selected as vice chair.

ORCCA says a permit fee is preferable to an out-right ban on burning.

Meanwhile, local fire districts, which actually respond to burning complaints, think that any money raised from the fees should be shared with the fire departments.

The agency is currently accepting comments on the proposal at its Olympia office.


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