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Local officials upset over new ban on brush burning

"This new regulation will run our fire companies ragged," he said. "This is ridiculous."

The town of Warrensburg now burns brush on Fridays and Saturdays at their landfill.

While DEC is encouraging towns to grind up the brush rather than burn it, a commercial grade chipper that towns would need would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and likely add payroll costs to man the equipment, Moses said.

She also said that more people on the edge of hamlets would likely seek permits and burn brush on their property, bothering neighbors with breathing conditions.

She and Geraghty also said that that the boosted unsupervised burning by individuals might increase burning of household trash, which routinely creates hazardous smoke, including dioxins when plastic is burned.

"The DEC has created themselves a nightmare," Moses said.

Geraghty said that DEC rangers -- cut in number in recent years -- wouldn't be able to properly process the permits and monitor the open burning.

Geraghty and Moses also said that a ban on municipal burning might mean more brush deposited on roadsides, which would mean more work and higher expenses for taxpayers who would be footing the bill for cleanup.

"The towns and local taxpayers shouldn't have to deal with this," Moses said.

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