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I need Environmental Attorney. I need a very real

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interpretation of the Out Door...
I need Environmental Attorney. I need a very real interpretation of the Out Door Burning Law (TCEQ) for Texas and Tarrant County. I know the Law allows for Burning of residential trash per Sec.111.209. Exception for Disposal Fires.The term "domestic waste" is defined in
§101.1 of this title (relating to Definitions). Wastes normally resulting from the
function of life within a residence that can be burned include such things as
kitchen garbage, untreated lumber, cardboard boxes, packaging (including
plastics and rubber), clothing, grass, leaves, and branch trimmings.
Examples of wastes not considered domestic waste that cannot be burned,
include such things as tires, non-wood construction debris, furniture, carpet,
electrical wire, and appliances;How do you classify "Domestic Waste"? It says Includes Such things as.... But how would you classify something to be included? That lists is leading to believe that it is not complete and open for addition. I was burning Trash, Old Untreated Lumber, Some clothes and shoes, and trash from around the yard. The Sheriff extinguished my fire and said it was illegal due to the lumber. They dug thru the ashes and found a small piece of wire, a short piece of metal about 2in wide and 12in long and a small hinge for a door or gate of some kind. These were just every day trash. but the Deputy made a big deal out of it and declared my back yard a crime scene, Made us wait for a Crime scene photographer to come take pictures. The ordered the FD to put out the fire. They tell me It is a class C misdemeanor but I could be receiving a citation in the mail and could face a fine of upto $250K. Now the Piece of wire may have been from a broken kids toy. The strip of metal I have no idea. But the hinge I do believe was attached to the rotten gate we took down. It rotted because we built it out of untreated lumber. One of there biggest issues was the lumber. They claim that NO lumber can be burnt at all, but that is not what the law says. I was not burning Untreated lumber. I need clarification on this Please.
Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 7 hours by:
9/25/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,273
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

The key to anything that is household waste or Domestic Waste is that it is something that can be burned and burns completely to ash. So anything with wires or metal that would not burn to ash, is not proper to burn. If you burned anything with wire or metal or nails, then those items are not allowed to be burned under the description of domestic waste. As far as treated v. untreated lumber, you can burn untreated lumber, but because of the chemicals in treated lumber it is prohibited.

If they found anything in the fire that would not burn, like the wire or hinge, they could cite you for the improper burning, even if those items were thrown in the fire by accident.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
The untreated lumber had the nails in it. Any wire would have come from something that was in the trash bags. Where is it written that the trash has to be something that burns completely to ash? All I was able to find is that it has to be generated from the residence and everyday living.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
some shoes have metal in them. Some clothes have metal in them, But they are in the list of items that are ok to burn.
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

The person conducting the burning has the duty to make sure no items get in the fire that should not be burned though. So you are still liable for those items slipping in there. While you focus on "generated from the residence and every day living" it also excludes some things that could be generated from every day living, which are those things that will not burn, metal (you cannot throw in glass or soda cans or metal tops, those are from every day living and if shoes have metal they cannot be burned) and this is up to the owner conducting the burn to separate.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
It does not say no metal, and it does not say no wire. It says no electrical wire. It does also say that I can burn NON Decay-able waste.
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

Their list is not exclusive, but it does specify as some items "non-wood construction debris" which would cover a door hinge and it does mention wires. So your statement is not true. Also, even though something does not decay, does not mean it cannot be burned completely to ash, metal will never be burned in such a fire to ash and that is certainly not included in permissible items to burn.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
It just seems un-reasonable to remove every nail from a piece of untreated lumber. Especially when the nail will still be there after the fire. I do not believe the definition was meant for nails and such but more for plastic pipe or foam sheeting that would deliver large amounts of pollutants into the air when burned. A nail or small piece of metal just gets hot or melts and does not get released into the air. It stays where it is. Things that a person would place in their kitchen trash can would be considered general trash, Garbage, Rubbish, Refuse. Such as a broken childs toy with wire in it or a broken computer keyboard. I believe the Electrical wire is a broad description meant for the electrical wiring in a home. Not something that is a part of an object. Which is why I believe the term is followed by Construction Debris. Or to deter people from burning the covering off of wire to salvage the copper.
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

The law states it above I am afraid, wires, pieces of metal are mentioned in the law. No fire in a yard gets hot enough to burn metal, it takes a much hotter fire than you could generate in your yard. The law is not an all inclusive list of what can or cannot be burned and you also could argue that the amount of prohibited items were "de minimus" and could have been missed by any reasonable person burning permissible items, but that is not to argue with the investigators, it is something you would need to argue in court.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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