By: Korie Marshall
Two weeks ago residents discovered boxes of fresh meat bones dumped illegally near the start of Swift Creek Trail, just outside of Village boundaries. This past weekend resident discovered piles of fish heads, fins and debris close to another popular outdoor recreation area and homes.
Residents have expressed concerns about attracting bears and other predators, as well as the smell of the rotting meat and fish. A local resident has already cleaned up the meat bones.
Greig Bethel, spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations says people can be ticketed $115 for littering, or fined up to $2,000 and/or six months in jail under the Environmental Management Act. Depending on the type and amount of material involved, a ticket of $575 or a penalty of $1 million could also be levied.
Bethel says the Land Act also provides fines of up to $20,000 or a jail term of up to 60 days for anyone found guilty of illegal dumping.
Littering within the village could be met with a fine of $150 under the Good Neighbour bylaw, says Valemount’s bylaw officer Dean Schneider.
Renee McCloskey, spokesperson for the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, says they have no authority to impose fines, but they have produced a video about illegal dumping, available on their website. She says all acts of illegal dumping should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service. You can check out the video on YouTube as well at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sip2MSzkcHs.
The ministry says anyone who discovers an illegal dump site, or witnesses illegal dumping, can submit a report by contacting the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1 877 952-7277 or online at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cos/rapp/rapp.html