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Norfolk councilman voices concern over open burning issue

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NORFOLK - Some potentially unwarranted open burning in the town of Norfolk has drawn the ire of one town official.

Councilman Donald I. Purvis said Monday that he had run into the problem on Crab Street. just the day before.

“They were burning some trash and (the smell) was so bad. The smell was horrible,” Mr. Purvis said. “So I went around town and I found it on Crab Street. So I very nicely said ‘Hey, you’re killing us! You’re killing us!’ He said ‘Close your window!’ ... Whatever he was burning - it was terrible. I mean it was really toxic. I just wanted to know if there’s anything that we have or that code has about burning just about anything you want to burn.”

Town Supervisor Charles A. Pernice said that Department of Environmental Conservation regulations do not permit burning garbage.

“All you’re allowed to burn is twigs and sticks and brush,” he said.

“The DEC is usually very good about monitoring this,” Code Enforcement Officer Leonard “Max” Halpern said.

A code change that would have regulated recreational fires in the village of Massena was discussed at board meetings in February.

The law was tabled for further review by the village’s fire department and code office after a resident had complaints about the possible law.

Mr. Pernice said that he has also noticed the presence of open burning in areas of Norfolk.

“That is a problem with a rural community that they’ve been allowed to do this stuff for years and the DEC issued a new law - I don’t know how many years ago. But they’re not supposed to burn most of the stuff that they are doing. But nobody complains and nobody bothers with it. We’re a small town in America,” he said.

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