Air Quality

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City Ordinance Limits Wood and Debris Burning to Protect Air Quality

In order to ensure clean air for residents and continued compliance with the Federal Clean Air Act, the Hillsboro City Council passed an ordinance in 2015 that limits wood burning within the City limits. The rules went into effect November 20, 2015.

For a summary of the ordinance and answers to frequently asked questions, please read the new "Air Quality in Our Community" brochure

What does the ordinance mean?

Because of geography and weather conditions, the quality of the air we breathe in the City of Hillsboro does not always meet health-based Federal standards, particularly in the winter. Air quality monitoring shows that up to 80% of emissions of very fine particulates (known as PM 2.5) in Washington County during the fall and winter season is produced by wood and debris burning. This problem increases in winter, from November 1 to March 1, since air inversions impact concentrations of pollution and more people burn wood and debris for heat and disposal.

Visit the EPA website to learn more about particulate matter and why it is a health concern.

The daily levels of particulates are regulated to ensure that allowable levels are not exceeded so that the community is not at risk of health impacts such as asthma, respiratory and pulmonary conditions.

The ordinance is similar to one passed October 6, 2015 by the Washington County Commission that covers unincorporated areas of Washington County that are within the Metro Service District boundary. This map tool can help you determine whether the County ordinance applies to you.

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