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Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

Your view: Burning opposition

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I feel that the air pollution levels that are occurring every autumn due to field stubble smoke are becoming intolerable. The smoke has become a nuisance and a vehicular hazard. I have nearly suffered a head-on collision, only averted at the very last second, due to this. The air is smoky and polluted most weekends in the autumn. Most people in Butler, Stoddard and Scott counties are tired of this but do not know what to do to get it stopped.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources open burning rules currently allow for burning of agricultural crop stubble. My biggest concern is the burning of cornfield stubble, due to the large volume of smoke that is produced by this particular type of burning.

Area farmers have burned wheat stubble for many years. Only after area farmers began to burn cornfield stubble about a decade ago, however, we have seen the dramatic increase in the pollution of the autumn air.

Many farmers do not practice cornfield stubble burning. They turn the stubble back into the soil to fertilize it. Cornfield stubble burning is not absolutely essential to farming operations.

Generally I am politically conservative and believe the less government interference in our lives, the better. However, this does not mean that an individual has the right to pollute the air, causing a nuisance and vehicular hazard, not to mention the stress it places on those with respiratory disorders and environmental sensitivities such as allergies.

If you wish to take action, here is what you must do. Write a letter that begins with the following paragraph:

"In accordance with Missouri Statute, Section 536.041 RSMo., I wish to petition the commission to change rule 10 CSR 10-3.030 regarding open burning of agricultural crop stubble. This practice is allowed at present. I wish to ask the Commission to stop allowing this practice."

Then write in your own words the problems field fire smoke has caused you, whether you are against all agricultural stubble burning or only cornfield stubble, or anything else that comes to mind. Send your letter to:

Missouri Air Conservation Commission

P.O. Box 176

Jefferson City, MO 65102

Do not sit around and wait for others to take action. Farmers who read this letter will most assuredly contact the Commission to urge them to continue to allow agricultural burning. You must let your voice be heard, speaking against this practice. If you run into a wall of smoke this autumn while driving, or if a weekend outdoor gathering gets "smoked out," you will be partially responsible yourself if you do not write and let your voice be heard now.

Sincerely,

Scott Coatney