Ban on outdoor burning to take effect across Georgia

Atlanta - ATLANTA, GA (AP) - Rules meant to clear Georgia's air by stopping residents from burning backyard waste soon go into effect.

The ban will be enforced starting May 1 across 54 counties at the outset of what's considered smog season. It covers metro Atlanta, Athens, Augusta and other areas. The restrictions end September 30.

State environmental regulators say burning yard waste releases small particles and nitrogen oxide into the air, which contribute to smog and cause other health problems. The ban began in 1996 around Atlanta and has expanded since then.

Georgia's chief air protection official, Jac Capp, says composting yard waste is better than burning.

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