May 28, 2002


S.3772-A (Maziarz, et al)

A.7202 (Koon, et al)


Full Senate

Passed Assembly


AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to open burning of solid waste

New York Farm Bureau, an over 32,000 member general farm organization, opposes S.3772-A/A. 7202, a bill that seeks to further regulate open burning in New York State. Farmers could be impacted by this legislation as it could restrict waste disposal options within the rural agricultural community.

In addition to low commodity prices, burdensome taxes and disastrous weather-related crop losses, farmers are increasingly facing pressures and criticisms involving normal farming practices, including agricultural waste disposal. While this legislation provides exemptions for burning yard waste, land clearing debris and some agricultural materials in municipalities with under 20,000 residents, the bill would preclude the burning of other farm-related items that do not fall under the exemptions in the legislation. As a result, an additional cost and burden would be placed upon the farmer, as he or she would need to search out and obtain an additional waste disposal alternative in a rural region without many options.

Further, under this legislation, any municipality with under 20,000 residents (whether village, town, county) would have the option of crafting their own local laws that further restricts farm waste disposal — even to the point of an a blanket prohibition. This could also leave farmers located in two or three separate municipalities having to comply with differing sets of regulations for farm waste disposal. As a municipality is not defined in the legislation, it is fully conceivable that a county with less than 20,000 residents could completely ban open burning within its borders, while a town within the county could enact a local law allowing open burning of land clearing debris or agricultural materials. This arrangement would certainly cause a great deal of confusion and bring about many questions and concerns regarding municipal compliance.

For these reasons, we respectfully urge you to oppose this legislation.

Respectfully Submitted,


Jeff Williams, Associate Director of Public Policy