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UPDATE: Illegal Dumping Persists in Part of Kanawha County

UPDATE 3/12/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Along Smith Creek Road and County Route 12, trash of all sorts piles up in an illegal dumping zone.

TV sets, printers, potato chip wrappers and even dead animals are included in the trash, but the area is not considered a dumping zone. It’s an illegal dumping zone.

At least four signs warn that dumping at the site is illegal, but people like Kermit Hannan who live near the site say the signs aren’t stopping anyone.

“At different times there are people stopping here at all hours of the morning and night,” Hannan said.

The Department of Environmental Protection monitors the site. When WSAZ.com first learned about the dumping site about a month ago, we asked the DEP what they were doing to clean up the site.

Back then the DEP told us because of funding limitations it could take several weeks for the site to be cleaned up.

On Tuesday we checked back at the site and noticed the trash had been untouched and even the dead horse remained.

“We try to limit it as much as we can, but we also try to clean as much as we can, too,” said Greg Rote, a program manager at the DEP.

When WSAZ.com asked how long the trash would stay at the site, Rote said likely another few weeks because even sites as large as the ones along Smith Creek Road and County Route 12 are only cleaned twice a year -- once in the fall and once in the spring.

The sites are one of several problem areas for the DEP.

“There are probably two or three that I would call the chronic ones,” Rote said. “Smith Creek being one of them, there's a site on Hampshire Road that we do a lot, Ventura Road ... and then we find little dumps everywhere.”

The DEP uses cameras and looks for mail in the dumps to lead them to their culprits, but they say enforcement is difficult. According to Rote, the last time someone was charged with littering at the site was several years ago.

For those looking to dump legally, the DEP encourages people to visit the Kanawha County Cleanup from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 16. The DEP is participating, and the event will take place at the Rehab Center in Institute.



ORIGINAL STORY 2/11/13
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Trash dumped along Smith Creek Road and County Route 12 has people who travel the path asking for help.

Food wrappers, beer bottles -- even dead animal remains -- that's what can be seen on the road near MacCorkle Avenue .

Signs in the area warn dumping is illegal, and violators could be fined as much as $25,000. Despite the signs, the Department of Environmental Protection said the area has been a problem spot for years, and they are well aware of the complaints.

Ricky Price of Sod is just one of those who have complained. He noticed the dump Friday while taking a drive with his children.

"You know we're standing out here, we're breathing this stuff and you know ... there's diseases, ya know, germs ," Price said.

Since Friday, Price said he has been calling different agencies to clean up that eyesore.

"Everybody says it's not their responsibility," Price said. "That it's the landowners, that I got to check with the landowner. I'm out in the woods. I don't know who the landowner is."

DEP spokeswoman Kathy Cosco said the clean-up process can be lengthy. In fact, it may take three to four weeks to clean up the site at Smith Creek Road and County Route 12 .

For Price, the cleanup can't happen fast enough.

"It's a shame that people throw garbage, but when it comes to an animal, you know that's ridiculous," Price said. "Something has got to be done about it."


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