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Update on Illegal Dumping in DFW Area--Garland Officials Highly Responsive

 

Garland Officials take illegal dumping as a serious matter to be dealt with.

Doug Athas (mayor of Garland), members of our city council, our police department and the Garland Stormwater management team are addressing this incident in the most thorough and professional way.

I would like to report that Mayor Athas responded to my email almost immediately.  Then a member of our city council to whom I copied on my email to the mayor also called our Garland Police.  Within 24 hours I got a phone call from Lt. St. Clair of the Garland police department requesting details regarding the incident and also the names and contact information for the other four Garland residents who witnessed the dumping of 12 tires on the afternoon of December 31, 2013 into the creek that passes through the area at 4022 Naaman School Road.

Since his initial contact with us, Lt. St. Clair has contacted several of the witnesses with additional questions more than once. When I talked to him yesterday, the first workday after the incident, he informed me that members of the Garland Stormwater management team had already removed half of the illegally dumped tires from the creek.

Note:  Since these two men dumped material weighing more than 5 pounds into the creek, they committed a Class B Misdeameanor according to the law here in Texas.  A class B type of misdemeanor in Texas is an offense that is punishable by a fine that does not exceed  ($2000), confinement in a county jail for a specific term not exceeding 180 days or even both at the same time. Persons convicted under this type of crime may also be placed on probation instead of a jail time.

A Class A misdemeanor comes with a fine of up to $4,000 and up to a year in jail.  If a person has a prior conviction of a Class B misdemeanor for dumping and is caught again, the offense is automatically bumped up to a Class A offense.  All dumping offenses committed by a commerical entity begin as a Class A offense.

Your Community and Local Officials Depend on You to Care about What Happens Locally

Illegal dumping regulations must be enforced.  However, in order for them to be enforced, violations must be reported. The Dallas County Illegal Dumping Hotline (1-888-335-DUMP) is a 24-hour hotline for citizens to report illegal dumping in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwell, Somervell, Tarrant, and Wise counties. Citizens are asked to leave as much information as possible, city and county of the incident, specific street location, license plate number and description of vehicle, personal description of violator, type of waste dumped, caller's name and telephone number, date of violation.

As an incentive to report illegal dumping, a $50 reward is given to reporting individuals if their information leads to an arrest (the City Web, 1998). Earthwater Stencils, Inc., supports stormwater pollution prevention by providing materials such as posters, stencils, and brochures to community-based storm drain stenciling and related programs in local watersheds. The (EarthWater-Stencils ) website offers information on how and where to stencil and how to obtain stenciling materials.

Here in Texas, we are governed by a law called the Texas Litter Abatement Act.  Under this law any illegal dumping of units less than 5 pounds is a Class C misdemeanor;  more than five pounds is a Class B misdemeanor; if person dumping has prior conviction for dumping, it is a Class A misdemeanor and for repeaters it becomes a felony.  However for any commerical entity it is classed as a felony here in Texas.

Frankly, I think we need initiate a public awareness campaign regarding illegal dumping as it is costly to the people who live in the community.  

Help Prevent Illegal Dumping in Dallas County!

Here is a link to a poster to share with your friends:http://www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/documents/IllegalDumpingFlier2011.pdf

Friday, January 3, 2014