ANNISTON, Ala. (WIAT) — The City of Anniston is set to be fined $5,000 by state officials for illegally burning materials on three separate occasions.

In a proposed order, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management has said it will assess the city a $5,000 “civil penalty” for the incidents. The city has agreed to pay the penalty.

ADEM officials said that on May 26, they investigated a city-run site on Old Gadsden Highway because they received a complaint about unauthorized, open burning at the location.

“The inspector observed a pile of smoldering and smoking wood waste and noted that the City of Anniston was responsible for this action,” agency officials wrote in the proposed order.

City representatives admitted the violation to the environmental regulator but told the state agency “that it did not know there were restrictions on open burning.”

ADEM said that it had been previously provided the city with notices of violations in 2007 and 2010 and had sent a letter of warning to local officials in August 2016. The agency called the violation “serious” and said it “is not aware of any efforts made by [the City of Anniston] to minimize or mitigate effects upon the environment due to its non-compliance.”

The public can comment on the agency’s proposed order until Oct. 24 by writing to the following address:

Ronald W. Gore, Chief
ADEM-Air Division
1400 Coliseum Blvd.
[Mailing address: PO Box 301463; Zip 36130-1463]
Montgomery, Alabama 36110-2400