Air Quality

Frequently Asked Questions

In accordance with Wyoming Air Quality Standards and Regulations (WAQSR) Chapter 6, Section 2(a)(i): “Any person who plans to construct any new facility or source, modify any existing facility or source, or to engage in the use of which may cause the issuance of or an increase in the issuance of air contaminants into the air of this state shall obtain a construction permit from the State of Wyoming, Department of Environmental Quality before any actual work is begun on the facility.” 

A Smoke Management Program Guidance Document was developed by the agency in November 2004 to assist burners to ensure that they are in compliance with state regulations Chapter 10, Section 4. The document reviews and explains the requirements, and provides an accessible, easy-to-read guide. All burners are encouraged to read it before undertaking a burn of any size.

Agricultural Cropland Burning Overview (updated 8/6/15)

The following is an overview of the State of Wyoming regulations concerning the burning of vegetative materials related to agricultural croplands such as barley and wheat stubble after the crop has been harvested.  For more detailed information concerning agricultural cropland burning please click here for the Guidance document (the yellow highlighted sections pertain specifically to agricultural burning), or send an e-mail to  

Chapter 10 (Ch. 10), Section 4 (Sec. 4) of the WAQSR became effective as an Emergency Rule on December 29, 2003.  The Emergency Rule became a Permanent Rule on May 14, 2004.  The Permanent Rule was then modified due to a petition, and the Modified Rule became effective April 5, 2005.  Since the April 5, 2005, effective date, the Smoke Management Requirements in Ch. 10, Sec. 4 of the WAQSR have remained the same.

Ch. 10, Sec. 4(b)(xv) defines “Vegetative Material” to include agricultural plant residue.  Smoke Management regulations state the provisions of Ch. 10, Sec. 4(c)(i) are applicable to “planned burn projections of vegetative material that exceeds 0.25 tons of PM10 emissions per day … on a contiguous land area and will be burned on the same day and by the same burner for the same management objectives.  …” 

Ch. 10, Sec. 4(f) states that an SMP-I burn project exceeds the thresholds in subsection (c)(i) {a burn that is projected to generate at least 0.25 tons per day of PM10 emissions} and is projected to generate less than 2.00 tons per day of PM10 emissions.  Ch. 10, Sec. 4(g) states that an SMP-II burn project exceeds the thresholds in subsection (c)(i) {a burn that is projected to generate at least 0.25 tons per day of PM10 emissions} and is projected to generate greater than or equal to 2.00 tons per day of PM10 emissions.  Table A on page 77 of the SMP Guidance indicates that burning 16 acres of field crops will generate 0.25 tons of PM10 emissions {SMP-I}, while burning 130 acres of field crops will generate 2.00 tons of PM10 emissions {SMP-II}.

In accordance with Ch. 10, Sec. 4(j)(i)(C) of the WAQSR, agricultural cropland burning is not subject to subsections 4(e)(ii), 4(f)(i), 4(f)(ii)(B), and 4(f)(v).  Subsection 4(e)(ii) covers the permissions for Division staff to enter and inspect a property prior to or after a proposed burn.  Subsection 4(f)(i) covers the requirement to notify the Division prior to the ignition of an SMP-I burn.  Subsection 4(f)(ii)(B) covers the public notification requirements for an SMP-I burn.  Subsection 4(f)(v) covers the submission of an SMP-I post burn report to the Division.  It should be noted that these are the only agricultural cropland burning exemptions.  Despite the exemptions listed above, Ag burners must comply with all other requirements of Ch. 10, Sec 4., including all SMP-II burn requirements, if burning 130 acres or more on a single day, and providing vegetative burn data in response to periodic surveys conducted by the Wyoming DEQ.

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