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Regulatory Handbook -> Air Quality Permits -> Burn Permit - Agricultural Spot Burn

Burn Permit - Agricultural Spot Burn

What is the Purpose of this Permit?
The purpose of this permit is to allow spot burning in a way that protects human health and the environment. This permit is not to be used for field burning where the proposed burn area is definable and predictable.
Who Issues this Permit?
Variable: See notes/comments for more information.
What Activities Require this Permit?
A permit is required if you are burning in areas that are 1/2 acre or less in size, such as:
  • Small weed patches.
  • Spots of heavy residue.
  • Equipment plugs and dumps.

No permit is required to burn:
  • Fence rows
  • Ditch banks
  • Irrigation canals
  • Annual orchard prunings
  • Windblown tumbleweeds

When you receive your burn permit, you must do the following BEFORE you burn:
  • Call Ecology’s Daily Burn Decision Hotline at 1-800-406-5322 to make sure you are allowed to burn that day in your county or zone.
  • Spot burn permits do not have to follow the daily burn decision for spots less than one (1) acre.
  • Notify your local fire protection authority.
  • Follow all permit conditions.
How Much Will this Permit Cost?
A minimum fee of $37.50 is required for any burning under ten (10) acres.
Where Can I Get the Application for this Permit?
The application which is called 'Agricultural Burn Permit Application for Spot Burning' is online and can be accessed at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/SummaryPages/ECY020125.html.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
See the permit application for details.
Is the Decision on my Permit Dependent on Anything Besides the Information in my Application?
When making the decision on your permit, the permitting authority will consider the applicable laws and rules, the contents of your application, and the background environmental conditions.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
The permitting authority must act on a complete application (as determined by the permitting authority) within seven days of receipt. See WAC 173-430-040(5)(c).
Where do I Submit my Application?
See the permit application for details.
How Long is my Permit Valid?
The spot burn permit is valid for the calendar year in which it is issued and is good for a cumulative total of ten (10) acres of small spots during the year.
What is the Appeal Process for the Permit?
You have a right to appeal the permit to the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) within 30 days of the date of receipt of the permit. The appeal process is governed by Chapter 43.21B RCW and Chapter 371-08 WAC. “Date of receipt” is defined in RCW 43.21B.001(2).

If the Department of Ecology issued the permit, please contact the issuing office to discuss the decision on your permit.

If a county conservation district or local clean air agency issued the permit, contact that office directly (see notes/comments).
Notes / Comments:
The agency that issues these permits varies by location.

The Department of Ecology issues the permits in the following counties:
  • Ecology Central Regional Office - Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan Counties
  • Ecology Eastern Regional Office - Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman Counties
  • Ecology Northwest Regional Office - San Juan County

For all other counties the agency that issues these permits varies, it would be one of the following:
  • The local clean air agency
  • County conservation districts
  • Tribes protect air quality in Indian country, with technical assistance from EPA.

If you need help, the state-wide contact is a good resource.
Permit Timeliness Results

Permit Timeliness data collection is in response to a State Auditor’s Performance Audit and RCW 43.42A. Each regulatory agency developed a plan to improve permit clarity, predictability, and timeliness. Each agency considers the customers experience to ensure permit assistance is simple to use, easy to access, and designed in a customer-friendly manner. Agencies report progress to the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA). ORIA prepares and distributes reports, with participation from the State Auditor’s Office and Results Washington. See latest report here: https://www.oria.wa.gov/ORIA-2018-PermitTimelinessProgressReport.pdf.

All permits submitted for reporting were entered into this Regulatory Handbook. Here are the results of the performance data:

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Process a Permit Application (Definition)
Average number of days from Receipt to Complete: 1
Maximum number of days from Receipt to Complete: 4

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Issue a Permit Decision (Definition)
Average number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 1
Maximum number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 1

(Summary results based on 139 submittals in 2020)

Where can I get permitting assistance?
Subject matter expert phone: Contacts vary by location, see notes/comments for link to contacts.
Statewide Contact:
Department of Ecology
Air Quality Program
Headquarters
300 Desmond Drive
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
Telephone: (360) 407-6800
Fax: (360) 407-7534
Website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/airhome.html
* Permit information last updated 3/3/2020
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