A bill sponsored by state Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Phila., that would increase the maximum fines for illegally dumping trash in the commonwealth passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 122-79.
The legislation would increase the maximum fine for a first offense of misdemeanor of the third degree to $2,000; second and subsequent offenses of misdemeanor of the third degree to $5,000; a first offense of misdemeanor of the second degree to $10,000; and $20,000 for second and subsequent offenses of misdemeanor of the second degree, as well as potential imprisonment.
“Some of these offending companies treat fines for illegally dumping trash as the cost of doing business. We cannot allow that to continue to be the case,” Bullock said. “More than just being an eyesore, illegal dumping does long term damage to the environment and health of community ecosystems and costs taxpayers money with the strain it puts on municipalities.”
Cleaner blocks are safer blocks, Bullock said. According to a 2015 report from The World Bank, removing garbage from streets has a positive impact on communities and leads to lower rates of crime.
The bill will go to the Pennsylvania Senate for consideration.