Environmental Law Blog
Wetland is a generic term for all the different kinds of wet habitats where the land is wet for some period of time each year but not necessarily permanently wet. Many wetlands occur in areas where surface water collects or where underground water discharges to the surface, making the area wet for extended periods of time. Wetlands are commonly referred to as bogs, marshes, or swamps.
Missouri protects wetlands as "waters of the State." Waters of the State are all rivers, streams, lakes and other bodies of surface and subsurface water lying within or forming a part of the boundaries of the State which are not entirely confined and located completely upon lands owned, leased or otherwise controlled by a single person or by two or more persons jointly.
Historically, agricultural activities, urbanization, and hydrologic modifications have caused sharp reductions in the amount of natural wetlands. The most recent survey shows that the annual net loss of wetlands nationwide is about 100,000 acres.
Wetlands assimilate chemicals that otherwise would pollute our rivers and lakes. Their protection and restoration is an integral component of clean water planning. They are areas of high biological productivity, critical to any effort to maintain or restore populations of fish and wildlife and maintain diversity of species.
Missouri will get more than $3.2 million in federal stimulus money to address leaking underground storage tanks (USTs), according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The federal grant money is part of $200 million to be used to address the problem, which often results in the contamination of groundwater supplies by petroleum products.
A UST is a tank and any underground piping connected to the tank that has at least ten percent of its combined volume underground. The UST regulations apply only to the USTs and piping storing either petroleum or certain hazardous substances.
Before Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in 1984, most USTs were made of bare steel, which is likely to corrode over time and allow UST contents to leak into the environment. Faulty installation or inadequate operating and maintenance procedures also can cause USTs to release their contents into the environment.
The greatest potential hazard from a leaking UST is that the petroleum or other hazardous substance can seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. A leaking UST can present other health and environmental risks, including the potential for fire and explosion.
For more information about EPA's stimulus program for USTs, please visit the EPA's web site.
Last March, the Taney County Circuit Court enjoined the operators of two wastewater treatment lagoons from discharging raw, untreated sewage into a receiving stream of Lake Taneycomo.
Both operators agreed to pump untreated sewage from the inoperable wastewater treatment lagoons into trucks and haul it to an authorized wastewater treatment facility. The Attorney General took swift action to protect the pristine waters of Lake Taneycomo and the White River Basin. The Missouri Clean Water Law makes it unlawful for owners and operators of wastewater treatment facilities to put or place water contaminants, like raw sewage, into waters of the State.
The United States Justice Department recently announced that it will not seek rehearing of a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit that invalidated the United States Environmental Protection Agency's rule exempting pesticide spray around waterways from Clean Water Act regulations.
In January, the 6th Circuit reversed an EPA decision that had exempted the spraying of pesticides into waters of the United States from the permitting requirements for water pollutants under the Clean Water Act. In reversing the EPA's decision, the Court held that pesticides are pollutants under the Clean Water Law and must be regulated to minimize impacts to human health and environment.
United States Department of Agriculture Director Tom Vilsack asked EPA to continue applying the exemption, but EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declined. Jackson did, however, agree to apply the exemption for two years in spite of the 6th Circuit's invalidation of the rule. Whether the 6th Circuit will approve EPA's decision to apply the exemption in spite of its ruling remains to be seen. Legal experts do not expect the 6th Circuit to grant EPA the authority to enforce an illegal rule.
On April 10, 2009, the Attorney General's Office filed suit in Franklin County Circuit Court seeking to compel Leo J. Peirick, Jr. to properly dispose of more than 175,000 scrap tires at three different properties owned by Mr. Peirick in Union, Missouri. If Mr. Peirick fails to properly dispose of the scrap tires within 60 days of the injunction, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will use funds available as a result of a tire surcharge to clean up the nuisance itself. Mr. Peirick will owe the Department the entire cost expended by the Department to abate the nuisance.
The accumulation of improperly stored scrap tires causes a serious threat to public health and safety due to increased risk of combustion and infestation by vectors, such as mosquitoes. Missouri's Scrap Tire Regulations require tires to be stored in accordance with the 2006 International Fire Code, which is incorporated into the Scrap Tire Regulations at 10 CSR 80-8.020(4)(A)1. Among other things, Mr. Peirick is storing thousands of tires too close to structures without adequate fire lanes that could ensure access to the tires if needed. If the tires caught fire, smoke, fumes, oil run-off, and particulates at the sites would be hazardous to public health, safety, and welfare. One passenger car tire may produce 2 gallons of oil when burned.
If you know of anyone who is unlawfully storing scrap tires in your area, please call the Department of Natural Resources regional office closest to you and file a formal complaint. You can also visit our Complaint page to file an online complaint with our Office.
Planting native Missouri gardens benefits the environment! Because native plants are adapted to Missouri's soil and climate, you will not need to water your native plants once they are established, add fertilizer or spray them with pesticides. If you plant native flowers and trees that do not require daily watering, you will also save hundreds of gallons of water each year. Furthermore, by eliminating the need for fertilizers and pesticides, you will prevent hazardous substances from entering the environment. Native plants are also best-suited to absorb runoff from roofs before it enters storm-water drainage systems, and native plants can aid in controlling stream-bank erosion, while acting as filters before polluted waters enter Missouri streams. Last, but not least, native plants provide food and shelter for several native wildlife species. With all of these environmental benefits, why not plant native Missouri gardens?
Do you have any experience with Missouri's native plants? Do you have any gardening tips? To learn more about native Missouri gardens, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Agriculture's "Grow Native!" web site.
Three types of wetland mitigation are available in Missouri. First, mitigation banks are sites or a suite of sites, where resources (such as wetlands, streams, and other riparian areas) are restored, established, enhanced, and/or preserved for the purpose of providing compensatory mitigation for environmental impacts authorized by 404 Nationwide permits. Developers can purchase credits from mitigation banks in order to satisfy their mitigation obligations. Conveniently, the mitigation is already completed, so the mitigation occurs instantly.
Second, in-lieu fee program credits are allowed where permitted environmental impacts are located within the service area of an approved in-lieu fee program, and the sponsors of those programs have the appropriate number of resource-type credits available. Similar to a mitigation bank, an in-lieu fee program sells compensatory mitigation credits to permittees whose obligation to provide compensatory mitigation is then transferred to the in-lieu program sponsor. Id. In Missouri, the only in-lieu fee program sponsor is the Stream Stewardship Trust Fund, which is managed by the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation.
Third, developers applying for Section 404 Nationwide permits can agree to take personal responsibility for mitigation projects. In so doing, the developer must propose a project that meets the approval of the Corps, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Currently, the Stream Stewardship Trust Fund ("SSTF") is the only in-lieu fee program authorized in the State of Missouri. The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation sponsors the SSTF, which mostly provides in-lieu fee credits for streams and other forms of continually flowing waters of the United States.
Costs associated with participating in the SSTF are based on market forces and the anticipated cost of stream mitigation projects in the area where stream impacts were permitted. Current SSTF credits are worth approximately $35 each. Compensatory mitigation payments are based on average cost estimates to correct activity-specific impacts to stream resources.
The Foundation holds mitigation resources collected in an interest-bearing escrow account, in an investment instrument, or banking institution. The Foundation must account for the funds held, subject to an audit by the Corps at any time. Annually, the Foundation must provide the Corps with an account statement that states the balance of the SSTF, investment instrument in which the SSTF invests, and a list of stream projects and associated costs supported by the SSTF.
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Under the Clean Water Act, a developer must obtain Section 401 Water Quality Certification ("401 Certification") before it can obtain a Section 404 Nationwide permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for "dredge and fill" activities if the activities will have environmental impacts on "waters of the United States." The Corps' regulations define "dredged material" as material that is excavated or dredged from waters of the United States. "Fill material" is any material used for the primary purpose of replacing an aquatic area with dry land or changing the bottom of the elevation of a waterbody. A developer will probably need a Section 404 Nationwide permit from the Corps if she, for example, builds a building or parking lot on or near a creek. As a delegated program under the Clean Water Act, the State of Missouri is responsible for issuing 401 Water Quality Certifications.
By issuing a 401 Certification, the State of Missouri verifies that a proposed development project will not violate water quality standards. As part of the 401 Certification, Missouri may require project developers to take specific actions to ensure the protection of the quality of the waters surrounding the development site. These required actions are called conditions. One of the more common conditions required of project developers is compensatory mitigation. Compensatory mitigation means "the restoration (re-establishment or rehabilitation), establishment (creation), enhancement, and/or, in certain circumstances, preservation of aquatic resources for the purposes of offsetting unavoidable adverse impacts which remain after all appropriate and practicable avoidance and minimization has been achieved." 33 CFR § 332.2 (2008).
Before Missouri can require compensatory mitigation for jurisdictional wetlands as a condition in a 401 Certification, the Corps must first determine that the wetland in question constitutes a jurisdictional wetland, or "waters of the United States," under the Clean Water Act. If the wetland constitutes waters of the United States, then the Corps must determine the wetland's jurisdictional classification.
Depending on the classification of the wetland and the degree of proposed environmental impact, the State then must determine how much compensatory wetland mitigation must be required of the project developer. Some examples of jurisdictional classifications and accompanying mitigation ratios are: (1) farmed wetlands with a 1-1.5 mitigation ratio, (2) wooded wetlands with a 2-4 mitigation ratio, and (3) open water with a 1-1 mitigation ratio.
Once the Department assigns a mitigation ratio to the development project, the project developer must submit an application to the Department for 401 Certification that details how the developer will achieve the mitigation ratio in a way that least impacts the environment. The portion of the 401 Certification detailing the mitigation plan is conveniently called the Mitigation Plan. The Mitigation Plan must be submitted and approved before work can begin on the project.
Missouri prefers that developers conduct or arrange for mitigation to occur on-site and in-kind. In other words, developers should arrange for mitigation to occur in the same watershed as their development and the mitigation project should restore the same type of waters that were impacted by the project. For example, if a developer fills in a stream, then Missouri could require the developer to create another stream in the same watershed as the development project.
The State of Missouri depends on the Missouri River for many uses. The River serves as the water supply for approximately one-half of Missouri's 5.6 million citizens. More than half of the water delivered by public water supplies to Missourians is for domestic use. Thousands of acres of Missouri farm land are adjacent to or otherwise directly affected by the flow of the Missouri River, particularly when the river rises. A number of large Missouri metropolitan areas-including the two largest, St. Louis and Kansas City-are located on the Missouri River.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (the "Corps") operates six dams and reservoirs on the main stem of the Missouri River. Those dams and reservoirs are located in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Pursuant to the Flood Control Act of 1944, the Corps adopted and published a Master Water Control Manual in 1979, later revised in 2004, for the purpose of systematically operating the main stem Missouri River reservoirs.
During the process leading up to adoption of the 2004 Master Manual, the Corps considered alternatives to managing the River's water resources, ranging from no change from the prior manual to allowing the river to run its course as if the dams did not exist. The Corps, however, did not study the environmental effect of a bimodal spring rise intended to stimulate the spawning activities of the pallid sturgeon, an endangered fish species native to the Missouri River. Despite the Corps' failure to study the environmental effect of a bimodal spring rise, the Corps adopted the bimodal spring rise as part of the Master Manual in 2004. In so doing, the Corps rejected the various alternatives to the bimodal spring rise that were formally studied.
To effectuate the spring rise, the Corps releases extra water from the northern dams twice each year in order to alert the pallid sturgeon that it is spawning season. According to the Corps, the rise is necessary for the survival of the fish, but the Corps has never presented any evidence to support that assertion.
The process leading to the adoption of the 2004 Master Manual has been the subject of much litigation. The Flood Control Act of 1944 charges the Corps with the dominant functions of maintaining both flood control and navigation along the Missouri River System. The State of Missouri often finds itself at odds with its upstream neighbors over the relationship between these two functions. Navigation and flood control along the Missouri River are essential to commercial shipping and agricultural activities up and down the Missouri River throughout central Missouri. Therefore, the State of Missouri needs the Corps to release water from the northern dams at strategic times throughout each year, while withholding water during periods of heavy rainfall.
On the other hand, northern states experience droughts and other, less severe periods of regular water shortages throughout each year. Those states need the water from the Missouri reservoirs to support their recreation industry. The resulting conflicts often lead to litigation among the State of Missouri, the Corps, and various northern states. This litigation usually attracts the attention of both the local and national media, which is how you have traditionally been informed about Missouri River issues. If you have any questions about the general policies behind the State of Missouri's position or specific cases you've read about in the past, feel free to ask away.
Many of you have never heard of mountaintop removal mining operations, but the United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that this type of mining will account for the clearing of 2,200 square miles of Appalachian forests by the year 2012. Mountaintop removal mining is a form of surface mining that involves using explosives to remove up to 1,000 vertical feet of overburden (the rock, soil and ecosystem that lie above the coal seam in a mountain) to gain access to underlying seams of coal.
Mountaintop removal mining, as a form of surface mining, is governed by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). The Office of Surface Mining, an agency within the Department of the Interior, administers the SMCRA, which regulates the environmental effects of all coal mining in the United States.
Currently, mining companies are not allowed to dispose of the removed overburden within 100 feet of an intermittent or perennial stream, unless the company can prove the mining activity won't hurt water quality or quantity. This 100-feet buffer zone is commonly referred to as the Stream Buffer Zone Rule.
Citing a need to clarify the Stream Buffer Zone Rule, EPA proposed a rule change in 2004. Due to environmental groups' protests, EPA conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment in 2005 and 2006 and issued the resulting Environmental Impact Statement this November. Under the proposed rule, the Stream Buffer Zone would not apply to "permanent excess spoil fills and coal waste disposal facilities." In other words, the Rule would exempt giant valley fills and sludge-filled lagoons, which are illegal under the current rule if the valleys and lagoons are within 100 feet of an intermittent or perennial stream.
Like every difficult environmental problem, EPA has encountered both opposition and support for the change to the Stream Buffer Zone Rule. Opponents worry that relaxing the Stream Buffer Zone Rule will result in extreme deterioration in water quality and quantity in and around the Appalachian Mountains. Opponents also worry that relaxing the Rule will encourage more mountaintop removal mining, which is environmentally destructive in and of itself.
On the other hand, supporters point to the fact that more than half of the electricity generated in the United States is produced by coal-fired power plants, and that electricity has to come from somewhere. Moreover, mountaintop removal mine is two and one half times as efficient as underground, or traditional, mining and much more cost-effective.
EPA is trying to pass the proposed changes to the Stream Buffer Zone Rule before the executive administration changes on January 20, 2008. Do you think EPA is doing the right thing? What alternatives to amending the Stream Buffer Zone Rule could entice both proponents and opponents to reach a compromise?
In Missouri, developers of residential housing subdivisions are required to follow strict guidelines for the treatment of wastewater generated by the homes constructed within the subdivision's boundaries. According to the Missouri Clean Water Law, if a subdivision is platted into seven or more lots that are smaller than 40,000 square feet (.92 acres), then the developer must provide that the subdivision will be served by a centralized wastewater treatment and collection system. If the subdivision is platted into seven or fewer lots, then the developer is free to install individual on-site wastewater treatment systems, such as septic tanks.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services ("MDHSS") regulates the installation, maintenance and permitting of on-site wastewater collection systems. However, according to MDHSS regulations, developers of subdivisions must first contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources ("MDNR") in order to determine whether their subdivision will require a centralized wastewater treatment system before applying for any approvals for permits from the MDHSS for on-site wastewater treatment systems. This safeguard is designed to assist developers in making appropriate planning decisions about which method of wastewater treatment must be provided to their subdivisions, according to Missouri law.
Several methods for the centralized collection and treatment of wastewater are available to residential housing subdivision developers, including but not limited to, wastewater treatment lagoons, connection to existing wastewater treatment systems, individual wastewater treatment plants, and no-discharge/land application systems. Developers should contact an engineer to determine which method of wastewater treatment would be serve their subdivision based on the soil, groundwater, and geologic conditions of the land surrounding the subdivision, and the applicable regulatory standards.
If you are a subdivision developer, consult the DNR's Residential Housing Subdivision Rule, 10 CSR 20-6.030, for all of the regulatory testing, monitoring and permitting requirements for centralized wastewater treatment systems. If your subdivision is exempt from the rule, contact your local county health department official for the regulatory and permitting requirements for on-site wastewater treatment systems.
Ethanol has rapidly become one of the most important fuel extenders and alternative fuel blends in America (think "E-85" pick up trucks). According to the Soy Daily, an online web magazine located at http://thesoydailyclub.com, 95% of the United States' ethanol is produced from corn, and as of August of 2007, there were 124 ethanol plants in operation throughout the United States. More than 200 additional plants have been proposed.
One bushel of corn can produce at least 2.8 gallons of ethanol, and one acre of corn can produce approximately 500 gallons of ethanol, which is enough to fuel six cars for one year with a 10% ethanol-blend. Missouri law mandates a 10% ethanol-blend in all of the gas sold in this State for that very reason.
The United States' increasing reliance on ethanol has, however, sparked some controversy. On the up side, ethanol production creates a higher-yielding market for farmers throughout the corn belt; it creates jobs, reduces our foreign dependency on oil, and may be the key to saving family farms. In fact, increased production and use of renewable fuels, like ethanol, could create an additional $91.5 billion in family income over the next 15 years. Furthermore, consumers could save approximately $7.8 billion between 2002 and 2016 in the form of reduced government farm subsidies by expanding their purchases of renewable fuels. For more pro-ethanol facts and consumer information, check out www.iowacorn.org.
Some scientists have pointed out, however, that for each gallon of ethanol produced, typical ethanol plants consume 3.5 to 6 gallons of water and produce 12 gallons of a sewage-like effluent as a result of the fermentation and distillation process. The sewage-like effluents threaten fish and plants because they contain chemicals that deprive the water of oxygen as they decompose. Moreover, the corn belt has lost more than 70 percent of its wetlands as farmers seek out more land to meet the increasing demand for corn. Wetlands serve a vital function in the fish and wildlife ecosystems of every state in the country. And, last but not least, ethanol production is extremely energy intensive; most ethanol plants burn natural gas or coal to meet energy needs.
Environmental threats aside, farmers cannot produce more corn than their fields will allow them to grow. As demand for corn increases, supplies have largely remained the same. As a result, food costs may rise as the demand for ethanol increases. For more information on the potentially negative side to over reliance on ethanol, check out the Soy Daily's website at http://thesoydailyclub.com.
What do you think Missouri should do when it comes to ethanol production and policy? Is ethanol the key to future energy independence or should we keep searching for a more environmentally-friendly solution, such as using switch-grass for ethanol production?
Missouri has joined eight other states in suing the Environmental Protection Agency because they believe EPA created a loophole in the federal Clean Water Act that threatens waterways and drinking water. This new loophole also threatens the Missouri River by making it easier for upstream states to divert water outside the Missouri River basin. Any water that is pumped outside the Missouri River basin in upstream states will never flow through Missouri. More than half of all Missourians rely on the River for drinking water.
EPA's "Water Transfer Rule" exempts the transfer of polluted water from one body of water to another. Formerly, a permit was requried for such transfers. Under the new rule, an entire class of water polluters will be exempt from Clean Water Act permitting requirements. The new rule allows contaminants to be dumped into drinking water sources, lakes and streams by water transfer operations--without any permit or regulatory oversight by the states.
Transfer operations include an ocean ship dumping salt water into the Great Lakes or a contaminated lake's water being pumped into a pristine river. Water transfers routinely occur throughout the country for irrigation projects, city drinking water, dams and ecological restoration. More often than not, these transfer waters are polluted with various contaminants that are not present in the waters in which the polluted waters are dumped.
Moreover, transfer waters often include invasive species. Invasive, or non-native, species have not evolved alongside native species and are not subject to the same ecological checks and balances as native species. For example, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation, sericea lespedeza, an Asian plant purposefully planted along roadsides in Missouri to prevent erosion, has no natural predators here and spreads aggressively, often displacing native plants.
The lawsuit leading up to the implementation of EPA's Water Transfer Rule marked the first time in EPA's 24-year history that EPA sided with a water polluter in a case. In that case, EPA joined the sugar industry and a water district in defending against claims by Florida Wildlife Federation, Friends of the Everglades and the Miccosukee Tribe that pumping massive quantities of polluted urban and agricultural wastes into Lake Okeechobee violated the Clean Water Act. EPA enacted the Water Transfer Rule on June 9 in an effort to "beat" the federal court's decision.
We'll keep you posted as this lawsuit progresses. In the meantime, do you agree with EPA? Should one be able to dump polluted waters from one water body into a clean water body? Or, is water just water?
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Open burning is illegal in Missouri, but many people don't know what it means. Open burning is the burning of any material in which air contaminants are emitted directly into the air without first passing through a stack or chimney, according to the Missouri Air Conservation Law and Regulations.
Some open burning is permitted under the Missouri Air Conservation Law, but much to the surprise of many Missouri residents, most open burning is illegal and subject to a fine of up to $10,000. The open burning of most trade, construction, and demolition waste, as well as petroleum-based products, and waste tires is prohibited because toxins that are released into the atmosphere as a result of the burning activity are harmful to human health.
In fact, studies show that the open burning of a single household's trash could release pollutants in higher levels than the burning of the trash of thousands of homes by a municipal waste incinerator because the lower combustion temperatures of the incinerator are designed to prevent complete incineration. These pollutants can include dioxins, volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, hydrogen chloride and naphthalene.
As a result, any waste generated by business, trade, industry, salvage or demolition operation cannot be burned without a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources. Even then, permits will only be issued for untreated wood. Wastes that can never be burned include tires, rubber, hazardous materials, styrofoam, plastic, petroleum-based products, demolition waste, treated wood, and any asbestos containing material.
So, what can you safely burn in Missouri? Missouri allows the open burning of household refuse from four dwelling units or less provided it originates on the same premises. However, this exemption does not apply to mobile home parks or apartment complexes and only includes materials from routine household activities, such as paper waste and food waste. Open burning is allowed, with zoning restrictions, in the Kansas City, St. Joseph, and Springfield metropolitan areas. Open burning is strictly prohibited in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
Missouri also allows the open burning of yard waste provided that the waste originates and is burned on the same premises. Yard waste includes trees, tree leaves, brush or other vegetation. Check with your local city ordinances for time and date restrictions on the open burning of yard waste.
Missouri residents can burn for fire training purposes, agricultural purposes, land clearing operations, wood processing facility operations, and for recreational purposes. However, these permitted fires should not include anything except vegetative woody materials or untreated wood products where possible.
If you aren't sure whether you can burn something without a permit, contact your local fire department or natural resources office. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
Litter is both an eyesore and a health hazard because it attracts diseases, provides a home for pests and serves as a breeding ground for their young. As a result, whether you refer to it as trash, litter, garbage, solid waste, or refuse, litter cannot be dumped onto our private or public land in Missouri.
Three laws make littering a crime in Missouri. First, under the Solid Waste Management Law, no one can dump waste in any place except a licensed solid-waste disposal area. There are a few exceptions to the general rule that bans dumping. For example, a homeowner may dump residential waste generated in his home on his own property so long as it does not cause a nuisance. And a farmer may store solid waste on his property for use in normal farming operations. The Law gives state and local officials the authority to compel an illegal dumper to clean up the unauthorized solid waste disposal area, no matter what the cost. In addition, the violator may face a fine of up to $100.00 per day until the garbage is removed. For more on the Solid Waste Management Law, check out our earlier post on Landfill operations.
Second, the Litter Laws of 1979 make it illegal to throw rubbish of any kind onto any land or water owned by the state or federal government, as well as, the private property of another without his or her consent. Under the Litter Laws, consent is a defense to littering on private property, but anyone dumping refuse onto another person's land is probably violating the Solid Waste Management Law anyway unless the other persons' land is a licensed solid waste disposal facility. Littering is a Class A misdemeanor, so anyone convicted of littering may be imprisoned in the county jail for up to one year and fined up to $1,000.00.
Third, the county commission in each county may choose to use the County Option Dumping Ground Law to further punish litterers. Under this law, individuals who want to operate an open dump in counties that have adopted the law must apply to the county for a license. Anyone who dumps garbage on land that is not licensed may be fined up to $1,000.00 or imprisoned up to one year in the county jail.
In addition to criminal sanctions, persons adversely affected by littering can sue the illegal dumper in civil court for trespass (if the dumping occurred on the person's property) or public or private nuisance (if the dumping occurred on adjacent property).
To report illegal dumping in your area, simply contact your local sheriff's department, highway patrol office, or conservation agent. Have the following information ready to relay to the authorities: description of the violator's vehicle, license number of the vehicle, location of illegal dumping, and description of offenders. Or, you can submit an online complaint to the Attorney General's Office here. Let's work together to clean up illegal dumps.