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Despite Hurricane, Illegal Dumping is still a Crime


Constable Urges Area Residents to be Alert

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – Illegal dumping is still just that – illegal.

“People may have the idea, I live down here and I’m going to take all this stuff up to my property in the country and get rid of it,” Pct. 1 Constable Morris Luker said about disposing of trash and debris from Hurricane Harvey.

“You can’t do it,” he continued. “It’s a felony.”

Luker said anyone who wants to leave the East Texas area and go towards the Houston area to assist in the recovery efforts should be knowledgeable about the laws regarding trash hauling.

“If you want to go down to Houston and work as a commercial hauler, they will have to legally dispose of it (garbage/refuse). If a person gets paid money to remove the stuff, they are considered a commercial hauler. Anything they illegally dump is an automatic felony,” Luker said.

“I need people to be vigilant. If you see pick-up trucks with trailers going down the road, turning around and coming back, try and get me a license plate number. It would be a great help,” he added.

The constable said he realized this could become a problem when he ran across some water-logged mattresses at a landfill last week.

“There was a pickup load of mattresses and box springs which looked like they had been water damaged, he explained.

He said it got him to thinking some of the storm survivors who live in Houston, but have property in Houston County. It occurred to him that some people might just decide to transport the rubbish and debris back to the oldest county in Texas and just dump it on their property.

“The state of Texas said no,” Luker indicated. “The EPA said no.”

While Luker stressed the storm damage was minimal in Houston County, neighboring counties were not quite so lucky and those affected might be looking to get rid of damaged items.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.