Wilk’s illegal dumping legislation approved in Senate Public Safety Committee

Politics and government

News release 

Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced his measure to combat illegal dumping, by increasing penalties and closing a loophole which has enabled the problem for years, was approved in the Senate Public Safety Committee. 

“The High Desert has been treated as a dump for too long, but it’s not a dump. It is home to families and vibrant communities, who are routinely disrespected by outsiders destroying their neighborhoods all for a quick buck,” Wilk said in a news release. 

“This will bring much-needed relief to residents forced to deal with the consequences of this problem, and bring consequences to those who continue to skirt the law.”  

Senate Bill 1359 would require a permit for any private property dumping, with or without the owner’s permission. It would also increase mandatory fines for each violation and make illegal dumping a misdemeanor rather than just an infraction.  

Illegal waste dumping has been pervasive in the High Desert for decades, the release said. The problem persists due to a loophole, one that waste haulers and property owners take advantage of for financial gain. 

To avoid the permit fees required to dispose of waste properly, haulers work out deals with property owners to dump waste on their land. The landowner profits, and the waste hauler pays lesser fee. 

This under-the-table arrangement has led to high volumes of large trucks in residential areas creating loud noise, air pollution, damaged roads, toxic and dangerous substances contaminating the environment, and unsightly heaps of dangerous debris, the release said. 

“By closing this exploitative loophole and imposing stricter penalties, SB 1359 sends a clear message to those who continue to trash the High Desert: Enough is enough. You will be held accountable. Let’s clean up our communities, protect their health and wellbeing, and show people what a beautiful place this area truly is,” Wilk added. 

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