New Law Increases Penalties Against Illegal Dumping

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

                      Governor Pat Quinn signed

                      House Bill 2001 - an additional tool that can be used

                      by state and local law enforcement to fight the

                      scourge of illegal dumping.

                      “Illegal dump sites can pose serious hazards to

                      neighborhoods and entire communities,” said Governor

                      Quinn. “We need the help of Illinois residents to

                      prevent illegal dumping, and I encourage people

                      throughout the state to participate in keeping their

                      communities safe.”

                      The new law provides for increased penalties for 250

                      cubic feet of waste or 50 waste tires, and makes it a

                      Class 4 felony. It also increases the felony penalty

                      for open dumping from $5,000 to $25,000.  Currently,

                      the penalty for a first violation of the open dumping

                      prohibition is a Class A misdemeanor, regardless of

                      the quantity of waste dumped.

                      “The Agency is grateful to the Governor and to the

                      General Assembly for enhancing our ability to prevent

                      illegal dumping and protect the environment from the

                      harm it causes,” said Illinois EPA Interim Director

                      Lisa Bonnett.  The bill was sponsored by Rep. Ann

                      Williams, Chicago, and by Sen. John Millner, West


                      Illegal dumping affects all Illinois citizens’

                      quality of life. Abandoned furniture, appliances and

                      garbage can be an eyesore and pose a potentially

                      negative impact to property values. Illegally

                      disposed chemicals, tires and construction debris can

                      pose a health and safety risk to nearby citizens,

                      especially children who may play on the disposal


                      As part of the overall effort, the Illinois EPA is

                      partnering with the Illinois Departments of Public

                      Health and Natural Resources and the Office of the

                      Attorney General in a state-wide effort to prevent

                      illegal dumping.  The idea is to stop each small

                      dumping event from becoming a larger, potential

                      threat to public health and the environment and a

                      costly mess that must be cleaned up with taxpayer’s


                      An example of the consequences of unchecked open

                      dumping occurred at Markham.  Illinois EPA was

                      alerted by the City of Markham to a tire fire at a

                      nearby illegal dump in April 2010 site. An Agency

                      inspection revealed discarded mobile homes,

                      automobile parts, boats, tires, drums and totes of

                      unknown liquids and solids, construction material

                      residue, gas cylinders, spills on the ground,

                      swimming pool chemicals and various other debris.  It

                      was apparent that dumping activities had been going

                      on for many years.  The Illinois EPA arranged for the

                      site to be cleaned up, at a cost of over $1 million

                      and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removed

                      the various hazardous wastes, at additional costs.

                      Catching and punishing illegal dumpers saves

                      taxpayers money, and protects the public against the

                      environmental and health risk that the dumps can