Air Quality Issues Associated with Illegal Dumping

Open burning of illegally dumped solid waste is an issue that presents environmental and public health concerns. Open burning produces significant quantities of dioxins and “dioxin like” compounds. Dioxins are highly toxic chlorinated organic chemicals that can have damaging impacts to public health, wildlife and to the environment. More information is available at on U.S. EPA’s Open Burning web page.

In addition, open burning activities can also have potential economic impacts. The ambient air quality of many Mississippi communities is monitored to confirm that the quality meets federal Ambient Air Quality Standards. When the air quality in a community does not meet those standards, the community can be designated as having “non-attainment air quality” status. When placed into a “non-attainment” status, permitting for sources of air quality emissions and for projects that have potential air quality impacts can be significantly restricted. These restrictions can affect the commercial and industrial development and growth in an area affecting the economy and new job development.

Improperly disposed asbestos containing materials also presents public health concerns at some illegal dump sites. Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material that is illegally dumped after demolition work, or repair, and remodeling work at residential or commercial buildings. Exposure may occur when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in a manner that releases particles and fibers into the air. More information is available at this following link: MDEQ Asbestos web resources