2010 March 15: WI Mount Pleasant: Letters to the editor: Residential wood burning is pollution‏

2010 March 15: WI Mount Pleasant: Letters to the editor: Residential wood burning is pollution‏

Burning is pollution
The debate on whether to burn or not to burn in Mount Pleasant has become heated recently. Some view it as a necessary and legal right and feel if the current restrictions were better enforced by local police and fire departments, then burning of yard waste would not be an issue for residents. Then there are others who view it as a health and safety issue and want to see burning of yard waste restricted or banned completely.
The fact is burning of yard waste, even in ideal and restricted conditions such as low wind conditions, create particulate matter, including dust, soot, fly ash, wood smoke and sulfate aerosols that are fine particles in the air and can become lodged in the lungs (source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, leaf smoke is not just an irritant, it also contains many hazardous chemicals, including carbon monoxide and benzo(a)pyrene, a cancer-causing agent. Whether we burn according to the rules or not, it is not possible to contain leaf smoke and the resulting particulate matter. The fact is burning of yard waste is hazardous to our health.
Whether we agree or disagree, we all have a voice in this matter. I encourage all Mount Pleasant residents to complete the survey that will be mailed out this month by the Village of Mount Pleasant. This is an opportunity for your opinion to be heard. If we work together, maybe we can all breathe a little easier.
Clare Burgess Mork
Mount Pleasant
Stop burning brush
Stop polluting the air with allowing brush burning in Mount Pleasant. We are not a rural community. The majority of people do not know or follow the rules on yard waste burning. (Letter to the Editor, March 2) They burn outside the 12-5 p.m. time slot; the fires are smoldering all night long. In the morning the stench of smoke lingers in the air.
The number of citations given out is not a true representation of how many offenders there are. If we all called to complain, about the burning, the calls would put on strain on the fire and police departments.
We have to buy reformulated gas because of ozone problems but we still pollute the air with brush burning. Does that make sense?
Sheila Brownell
Mount Pleasant

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