Field burning ban bill squeaks out at end of Session

Field burning ban bill passes at tail end of Legislative Session.

The field burning ban (Senate Bill 528) was passed by both the Oregon House and Senate and is expecting a Governor’s veto soon.   The measure outlaws field burning by 2010. This will have a direct impact on grass seed growing industry for which Oregon is one of the largest growers in the nation for cool-season grass seed. Governor Kulongoski’s office stated support for the bill for environmental reasons.  Yet Roger Beyer, Executive Director of the Grass Seed Council, says that  field burning is a most environmentally friendly process.  The new field burning ban will create more pesticide use, more soil erosion and more dust.   In addition, this field burning ban is expected to put several Southern Valley growers out of business at a time when Oregon has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation.

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