ALBANY In an effort to expand opportunities for public input, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has scheduled additional hearings on the proposed changes to extend the ban on open burning statewide. The proposed rule would ban most open burning statewide. Currently, it is only banned in cities, villages and in towns with population greater than 20,000. In addition, the revised rule will limit agricultural burning to naturally grown products such as vines, branches, leaves and stubble. It will also specifically allow such things as fire training, small cooking and camp fires, and ceremonial fires (e.g., proper disposal of U.S. flags by open burning). DEC will provide interpreter services for deaf persons at no charge. Written requests for interpreter services are required and should be submitted by July 21, 2008, to Laura Stevens, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-3250, 518- 402-8451; email, email@example.com . DEC will conduct a public information session for one hour prior to each of the public hearings listed below. During these sessions, DEC staff will entertain questions from the public concerning the proposed rulemaking. Each public information session will commence at 4 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. These sessions are intended to be informal and will not be part of the official hearing record. Any comments that the public wishes to be included in the record should be submitted during the official public hearing, or by email at the address listed below. Monday, Aug. 4, 2008, Public Hearing: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.; Information Session: 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. at Herkimer County Community College, Robert McLaughlin College Center, Hummel Corporate Center, 100 Reservoir Road, Herkimer NY 13350. Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008, Public Hearing: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.; Information Session: 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. at SUNY Canton, Richard W. Miller Campus Center, Kingston Theater and Lobby, Canton, NY 13927. Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008, Public Hearing: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.; Information Session: 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. at Jamestown Community College, Training Center, Room 117, 10785 Bennett Road (Route 60), Dunkirk, NY 14048. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008, Public Hearing: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.; Information Session: 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. at Allegany County Office Building, Legislative Board Chambers, 7 Court Street, Belmont, NY 14813. At each hearing, persons who wish to make a statement will be invited to speak. It is requested that oral statements also be submitted in writing. DEC will give equal weight to written and oral statements, and since a cumulative record will be compiled it is not necessary for interested parties to attend each hearing. Information may be obtained from Robert Stanton, P.E., NYSDEC Division of Air Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233-3254, telephone, 518 402-8403; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submitting written statements regarding the proposed amendments, which originally was July 10, 2008, has been extended due to the additional hearings. All public comments must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m., Aug, 14, 2008.