Legal Avenues to Combat Residential Wood-Burning
Individuals can report local open-burning or OWB law violations to local authorities. Unfortunately, many local governments do not regulate emissions, and the majority of the existing regulations affecting residential wood-burning can be difficult to enforce and offer little recourse to those impacted by wood smoke. Initiating a private nuisance lawsuit is one avenue available to a citizen suffering from exposure to a neighbor’s wood smoke. Litigation, however, can be cost prohibitive and time consuming, but the remedies available for a nuisance lawsuit may assist individuals in avoiding the harmful effects of wood smoke or be required to limit emissions in some way. Specifically, in the event of a successful nuisance showing, an injunction can be issued by the court, which means the wood-burning defendant would be ordered to cease open-burning or operation of a wood heater. If wood smoke greatly affects your community, work with others to change local policy regarding residential wood-burning.
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