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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, December 1, 2005

'Open burning' is illegal

By (Ukjent person)
Advertiser Staff Writer

Q. We have a problem with a neighbor down the street in Ka'a'wa who burns things outside his house. Recently, he appeared to be burning pieces of an old shed or some other kind of painted wood that created nasty fumes. We live downwind and end up getting all of his smoke upstairs. We have three houses on the end of our street and we're all being affected, especially those of us with allergies. It's just not a healthy environment. What can we do?

A. The best thing is to try to work it out with the neighbor. But you said you've tried and he puts out the fire and then lights another one on another day. So state and city officials said your next best solution is to call 911 to notify police and firefighters.

Fire Capt. Kenison Tejada said it's not legal to burn rubbish on O'ahu. "There's no open burning allowed," he said. When the department gets a report of unauthorized burning, "we'll put it out," Tejada said.

He said police can cite people for violating the law.

State Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said the Clean Air Branch also will conduct an investigation. But she said it's likely that police and firefighters will respond more quickly to such complaints.

She said the Health Department inspectors usually try to resolve the matter with the residents. But they "do have the power to fine."

She said the branch can be reached at 586-4200. But Okubo said inspectors are not likely to go out to investigate on the same day.

Q. Is it against the law to put those plastic covers over your license plates?

A. Police Capt. Frank Fujii said: "Covering the license plate even with a transparent or translucent cover is illegal."

Q. Why don't police monitor the high-occupancy vehicle lane on H-2 Freeway in the morning? It seems that 30 to 40 percent of the drivers are alone and in violation of the law. Shouldn't police be ticketing cars that don't have at least two occupants?

A. Officers do patrol the HOV lanes as staffing allows, police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said, and they do enforce the law when they see such violations.

If you have a question or a problem and need help getting to the right person, you can reach The Bureaucracy Buster one of three ways.


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The Honolulu Advertiser
605 Kapi'olani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96813

E-mail: buster@honoluluadvertiser.com

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