By SCOTT PESZNECKER
Calaveras County supervisors will not seek exemption from a statewide ban on burn barrels that begins Jan. 1.
In a study session yesterday afternoon, supervisors agreed it would be too complicated to seek exemptions from the state-mandated ban.
Burn barrels are used throughout the county to burn yard debris and garbage.
However, the state Air Pollution Control Board decided to outlaw them because of concerns that materials that can produce hazardous fumes are being burned.
Only parts of the county with three or fewer people per square mile would be eligible for exemptions, Calaveras County Agricultural Commissioner Jearl Howard told supervisors.
But he said approving or denying such exemptions could be tricky because the mandate doesn't specify the size of the area to exempt.
"We feel that exemptions in some areas, even in the most remote areas of the county, would create more confusion among the public," Howard said.
Counties have until Aug. 1 to ask the state Air Pollution Control Board for an exemption to the barrel ban.
Any zip code area with fewer than 11 people per square mile may qualify for an exemption.
As for picking and choosing exemption areas in Calaveras County, "it would be a nightmare," District 4 Supervisor Tom Tryon said.