State officials are backing off a plan to institute a statewide ban on backyard burning. The State Environmental Protection Commission was set to vote Tuesday on a rule that would’ve gradually forced a ban on backyard garbage and yard waste burning across the state. The vote on the rule has now been pulled from the commission’s agenda. Environmental Protection Division Administrator Michael Valde says they’re going to start over from scratch after hearing from several people concerned over the ban.Valde doesn’t think the rule was made clear enough during the comment period. He says it’s time to go back and have “full and fair” input from all sides of the issue.Valde says they’ll restart the hearing process and the Air Quality Bureau will put together a meeting for initial input on the ban within the next month. It could be six months before they finish the process to come up with a new proposal for changing the rule regarding backyard burning. Department of Natural Resources staff recommended the ban, saying they get two-thousand complaints every year about backyard burning. The head of the Air Quality Bureau told Radio Iowa the number one reason to ban burning is because the smoke from leaf and rubbish fires causes some folks to have asthma attacks.
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