Minneapolis is now banning recreational fires during an air pollution public health advisory. The City Council strengthened its ordinance on the fires last week and officials said fires should be postponed any time the advisories about air pollution levels affecting public health are issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Citizens can sign up to receive air quality alerts at http://mn.enviroflash.info. The ordinance change was recommended by the Citizens Environmental Advisory Commission and the Public Health Advisory Committee.

City officials said that while there are many sources of particulate matter, “recreational fires are one source that can be limited during advisories without significant economic or social ramifications. This change is consistent with the Minneapolis city goals about an eco-focus, livable communities and healthy lives.” Officials said that levels of pollution particles just meet federal Clean Air Act standards in the region, but if the Twin Cities stopped meeting those standards additional regulations would likely be imposed on people and businesses.

Maya Rao