County staff gets down and dirty on illegal dumping

KINGMAN - Kingman folks got a quick and dirty explanation of how the county and the state are trying to clean up illegal dumping in the area during a presentation from county staff on March 16.

Joining Supervisor Gary Watson for the presentation were County Environmental Health Division Manager Rachel Patterson, Zoning Inspector Terry Maxam, Chief Deputy County Attorney Jace Zack and Environmental Rural Area Clean-up Enforcement Program Coordinator Gary Sibble.

Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement Ranger Chuck Cone also discussed his work on dealing with the problem of illegal dumping. Cone is a multi-purpose ranger.

"I investigate illegal dumping, looting of artifacts, arson wild-land fires, marijuana fields, meth labs," he said. "Basically, I am a police officer for the BLM. I work for Arizona Game and Fish when they have violations on government land."

Patterson gave an overview of the county's Environmental Health Division's work with nuisance complaints.

The division responds to complaints to determine if a health nuisance exists, she said. "Most complaints are in regard to trash, animal feces and stagnant water.

"This picture outlines why we do what we do," she said, pointing to a photo of children's toys in a sewage puddle. "This is the kind of thing we respond to in order to prevent a crisis."

Sibble discussed the ERACE program.

"The ERACE program has been with the county for about six years. It is funded through fees generated from the Mohave County Landfill. This doesn't come from tax dollars," he said. "We investigate criminal littering and nuisance complaints. And we organize community cleanups."

In one recent cleanup event, "we gathered 24 tons of trash and 350 tires," he said.

Watson summed up the presentation with the announcement that his "Catch the Bug" program was adopted that morning by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors. "The program is to raise awareness of this problem and to get people involved in cleanup projects," he said.