Hidalgo County Precinct 1 established a Solid Waste Enforcement Program under a grant received from the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission that is now fully funded by Hidalgo County Precinct One. Our department has rapidly grown and is now operating under Environmental Crimes. We have employed Litter Abatement Officers with duties that include:
- Investigating citizen complaints regarding illegal dumping;
- Conducting surveillance of sites for possible violations;
- Issuing civil and criminal citations;
- Preparing criminal cases for prosecution.
The citizens of Hidalgo County Precinct One will no longer tolerate illegal dumping. Litter Abatement Officers will vigorously investigate illegal dumping and prosecute violators to the fullest extent of the law. The Commissioner strongly advocates to keep our precinct clean.
TO REPORT ILLEGAL DUMPING CALL:
Hidalgo County Environmental Crimes Division 956-565-6900 or 956-968-8733.
Illegal dumping is a major problem that raises significant concerns with regard to safety, property values and quality of life in our communities.
- Affects drinking water quality especially in areas with private wells;
- Causes flooding by debris and wastes that clog storm water management systems, drainage ditches and waterways;
- Creates habitat and breeding grounds for disease-carrying vectors such as rodents and insects;
- Is a direct contact exposure risk for sharp objects, medical wastes, and Hazardous Wastes;
- Is a fire hazard with indirect exposure to toxic chemicals and possible hazardous wastes by inhalation of pollutants carried by smoke from dump fires.
It is illegal to dump trash anywhere other than a licensed landfill. Dumping garbage along the roadside, in a ditch, or in a resaca is against the law and punishable by large fines. Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, the following are Violations:
- Dumping litter in a place other than an approved solid waste site;
- Transporting litter to a place other than an approved waste site for the purpose of disposal;
- Receiving litter for the purpose of disposal in a place other than an approved solid waste site;
- Unauthorized dumping in a dumpster or similar receptacle.
- Class C Misdemeanor - Solid waste or litter that weighs 5 pounds or less. Penalty: Up to $500.00 fine
- Class B Misdemeanor - Solid waste or litter that weighs more than 5 pounds but less than 500 pounds.
Penalty: Up to 180 days in jail and/or $2,000.00 fine.
- Class A Misdemeanor - Solid waste or litter that weighs more than 500 pounds.
Up to 1 year in jail and/or $4,000.00 fine.
On a subsequent conviction of this offense:
- The punishment is increased to the next highest category.
- The vehicle used by the violator may be forfeited.