SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District, announced Thursday that the Assembly Committee on Public Safety passed Senate Bill 409 (SB 409), a measure Senator Wilk authored to crack down on illegal dumping.
“The High Desert is not a dump and shouldn’t be treated as such. This time last year I met with iHeart Lake Los Angeles and they provided me with some jaw dropping photos of the debris left in the High Desert,” Wilk said. “I think these photos had a tremendous impact on the Committee’s decision. They clearly show the extent of the problem and the disproportional impact it has on rural and disadvantaged areas.”
Between January of 2017 and March, 89 Antelope Valley properties had a Notice of Building Code Violation recorded by the Department of Public Works. Each of these properties had dumping of waste exceeding 50 cubic yards.
SB 409 seeks to reduce unlawful dumping by requiring that property owners obtain state and local permits prior to allowing dumping on their property. The bill also expands the agencies authorized to declare a property a nuisance with unlawfully dumped waste. Putting tools in the tool belt of the men and women who prosecute unlawful dumpers and dumpsites is the main goal.
“A healthy and prosperous community starts with each and every one of us. Holding land owners accountable for the potentially dangerous impact of unlawful dumping of hazardous waste is not restrictive, it’s protective. We owe it to ourselves, our children, and our planet to deal with our waste wisely and protect the beauty of the land we inhabit,” Wilk said.
The measure received support from CA Association of Professional Scientists, the State’s employed scientists responsible for protecting the public, wildlife, and natural resources from waste and pollution. SB 409 moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee, where it will be assessed for its fiscal costs to the State and localities.
[Information via news release from the office of Senator Scott Wilk. The 21st district includes the Antelope Valley, Victor Valley, and most of the Santa Clarita Valley.]