Louisiana leader offers solution to tires being dumped
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - City governments in Louisiana have struggled to stop folks from throwing their old tires wherever they please. Now, state leaders are stepping in to offer a solution.
Rep. Beau Beaullieu, R-New Iberia, said he first heard of the problem happening out in rural areas during the night. But after being approached by several lawmakers, he learned the problem is everywhere.
“We didn’t realize it was affecting cities like Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport like they are,” said Beaullieu.
“This is something we hate to see in our community because of its impact on how we view our own community, how businesses view our community, I mean, there are so many significant impacts that these litterings and these illegal tire dumping issues have on our community,” said Councilman Rowdy Gaudet from District 3.
The current fine for tire dealers who fail to register as a tire generator is $300 to $400. Beaullieu’s legislation would increase the fine to $5,000. And, it would double the fines for people who dump those tires wherever they want. The penalty would start with an initial fine of $1,800.
“We wanted to send a sticker shock. So, we wanted the violators and the bad actors to know that this was not going to be acceptable in Louisiana and we wanted to make it harsh. So, hopefully, the message sinks in,” added Beaullieu.
“We’ve had issues with tires being dumped,” said Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Gissel. “And normally, you find that it’s not one or two tires. It may be a stack of 50 tires neatly piled up. So, we know that those tires coming from used tire stores or people who haul used tires.”
Gissel added he believes the tire stores that are behind this are trying to get out of paying the fees that are collected when you recycle tires. He also said the hardest part of tackling the problem is to find the ones breaking the law.
“I mean, penalties can help but the question is how do you do the enforcement. In order to collect the fine, you have to catch the person who’s doing it and that’s where the issue is,” continued Gissel.
The bill passed unanimously out of committee on Tuesday, May 17. It still needs to get full approval from the Senate floor before it makes it to the governor’s desk.
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