(WXYZ) — Lawmakers are announcing a new initiative to increase penalties for illegal dumping.
Stete Rep. Cynthia Johnson said illegal dumping, which occurs when contractors and developers leave waste and refuse in neighborhoods and other areas without permission, has become a growing problem within the city of Detroit and across Michigan.
"For too long, contractors and developers have come into our communities with the express purpose to better them, but instead have disrespected our residents by treating our neighborhoods as trash cans," Johnson said. “Not only does the amount and type of trash pose a significant health danger to community members, but it sends the message that our neighborhoods are dumping grounds. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and it’s time to put a stop to this.”
Currently, illegal dumping is a misdemeanor of 90 days or a $500 penalty. House Bills 4192 and 4193 will maintain the current misdemeanor and will enhance the penalty for illegal dumping over 5 cubic yards to a one-year misdemeanor or $2,500 fine.
The bill will also create a five-year felony penalty or $7,500 fine for a second offense.
Johnson and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will hold a news conference about illegal dumping on Tuesday at 11 a.m. You can watch it here.