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Daily Press File Photo: Americorps crews and U.S. Forest Service workers carry tires up a hill, removing a commercial dump site from Forest Service lands. An ordinance will go before the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors that will add illega

Ordinance would increase penalties for illegal dumping

Convictions could lead to $10,000 fine, six months in jail

SAN BERNARDINO - A proposed county ordinance would increase penalties for illegal dumping up to a maximum of $10,000 and a possible six months in jail for a third offense.

The proposal would also raise the minimum fine of $100 for illegal dumping. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors considered the ordinance on Tuesday.

Currently, county code enforcement agents cannot arrest or even cite an illegal dumper if they catch him in the act, said David Zook, spokesman for Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, who called for the ordinance.

The ordinance will add illegal dumping to the county code. Now it is only in the penal code, which only allows a peace officer to make an arrest. The tougher law will provide many of the code enforcement agents with the title of "illegal dumping enforcement agent" and allow them to make arrests and issue citations.

"This is just kind of giving us some teeth," said Randy Rogers, director of county code enforcement.

He said there are enforcement officers out working on illegal dumping complaints all day every day, but this ordinance will give them more power and discretion.

The First District, which encompasses the entire Victor Valley, has the most illegal dumping in the county.

"It's the worst place because of our wide-open space," Zook said.

The ordinance has received support from communities throughout the county, Rogers said. Dumping takes place in every district in the county, Zook said.

If the ordinance passes, a second reading will take place on March 20 before it is adopted.

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