Florida’s Pinellas County Warns Residents To Keep BBQ Smoke In Their Own Yard, Video Claims

Dawn Papple - Author

Feb. 20 2017, Updated 10:58 p.m. ET

A YouTube video is circulating on social media that seems to show a Pinellas County environmental specialist, allegedly named Joe Graham, warning Florida residents that their BBQ smoke is a nuisance odor in violation of the county’s environmental air quality regulations. Homeowner Scotty Jordan first posted the video of the alleged Pinellas County environmental specialist, warning a couple of men to keep their BBQ smoke in their own yard, to his Facebook account. Jordan’s video has already been shared over 48,000 times from his Facebook post in just three days. The video has over two million views on Facebook.

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A man, claimed by Jordan to be Joe Graham of Pinellas County’s environmental team, warns the men that their BBQ smoke has crossed over Jordan’s property line, and that is against the county’s air quality rule, Graham claims.

“I can smell it again right now, but I’m on your property,” Graham tells the men in the video. “You’re allowed to have it smell on your property, so that doesn’t count, but when I’m on the street, that’s when it counts.”

You can hear the flabbergasted emotions in the men’s voices, stunned that anyone would suggest that odors from a BBQ should or even could be contained behind a property line.

“So we’re supposed to control the smoke and the wind and where it’s blowing it?” he asks.

The men are further amazed as the alleged environmental specialist from Pinellas County suggests that the men try aligning the BBQ only after analyzing the wind patterns. Likewise, the men could toss their current BBQ, most likely recycling it as scrap metal would be the most preferred route, and upgrade to a new special version of a BBQ grill that is specifically designed to create less smoke and odors.

“I saw smoke… leaving your property,” Graham says to the men who are audibly dumbfounded and laughing at the man’s accusations. The video below shows the incident, but viewers should be warned that there is some mild cursing in the video that some viewers may find offensive and that may be NSFW.

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Pinellas County does have an air quality rule, and advises residents to call a 24 hour emergency air quality complaint line.

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“Commercial barbecue cookers are not exempt from causing a nuisance odor. If a sufficient number of complaints, representing different households, are reported and an Inspector witnesses the problem, they can issue a Warning Letter.”

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Presumably though, the men were not cooking on a commercial BBQ, but just a standard BBQ grill… the kind you see in backyards across the nation. Nevertheless, the environmental specialist seems to feel that the homeowner’s BBQ odors were also not exempt from the nuisance odor rule in Pinellas County.

Now, social media users have found the Pinellas County’s Facebook page and are dying to know if this really happened. People assume it has to be some kind of joke video Jordan and his pals videotaped just for fun. As of this report, the Pinellas County social media team has not responded to the messages left on the page to confirm the “BBQ outlaws” video’s authenticity, but according to an employee newsletter from March of 2014, a man name Joe Graham was listed in the Welcome Aboard section as “Envir Spec 1.”

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[Photo/video credit: Scotty Jordan]


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