EPA Signs Off On Idaho Field Burning Plan

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has signed off on Idaho’s field burning plan, clearing the way for bluegrass farmers in northern Idaho to resume the practice of torching fields as early as this fall.

The EPA will publish its new rule governing Idaho field burning in the Federal Register Friday.

The rule’s approval is effective Aug. 31.

For decades, northern Idaho bluegrass growers have used fire after the harvest season to clear debris and recharge the soil for the next growing season.

But burning was outlawed last season after a federal court sided with public health activists who argued the smoke posed a public health risk, especially to children and those with respiratory problems.

In response, the state crafted a new set of rules designed to meet federal air quality standards.