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In the News

Regional Environmental Task Force focuses on dumping

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Capital Area Regional Environmental Task Force (RETF) rallies its efforts to mitigate and prevent illegal dumping and public nuisance sites throughout the region as Burnet County shows its full support, a new tool launches to track dumpsites and deterrents, and the group offers enforcement and abatement training.

The Burnet County Commissioners’ Court and other county officials joined the RETF at its first meeting of the year to discuss the county’s illegal dumping and public nuisance campaign and abatement process. Illegal dumping occurs when someone dumps garbage on public property while public nuisances take place on an individual’s property; both can negatively impact public health and safety as well as the environment. Burnet County emphasized using a teamwork approach that includes county constables, the district attorney’s office and county commissioners to better enforce regulations. Such asserted enforcement efforts lead to more restitution for illegal dumping cases.

A new interactive mapping tool, developed by CAPCOG, will further aid Burnet and the other nine counties in the region to mitigate illegal dumping. The map pinpoints dumping sites throughout the region and shows county-level hotspots for dumpsites. It also shows the placement of “No Dumping” signs that warn of penalties and tell residents how to report illegal dumping. Correlating such data can determine where additional warning signs may be needed and help counties and cities target special enforcement programs in trouble areas. Bastrop and Caldwell counties have submitted their initial data for the map, and Burnet County is nearly complete in submitting its information. Other counties have portions of their information completed; however, if a county needs help geo-locating dumpsites or “No Dumping” signs, they can contact Christiane Alepuz.

> View the map.

The RETF also will hold its first Basic Environmental Law Training Course of the year from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, March 15 in Austin. The course, which is held twice a year, attracts peace officers, sanitation workers and code enforcement officials from around the state to learn about environmental crimes. It focuses on regulations in Texas Health and Safety Code and the Water Code to help enforce public nuisance, illegal dumping and water pollution issues.

> Register for the course.
> Read more about the RETF.
 

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