Following three reports of illegal sewage dumping by RV operators in Venice last month the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works on Friday issued a warning stating that such activity could put suspects in jail for up to six months.
Public Works director Gail Farber also said those convicted of dumping could see a $1,000 fine. The issue has been contentious in Venice, where factions have been battling over what to do about the community's "mobile homeless."
Those who want the RV dwellers out of Venice are suing the California Coastal Commission in a bid to overturn its denial of resident-only parking districts. Many of those who have defended the homeless have gotten behind a plan by Westside city Councilman Bill Rosendahl that is creating special overnight parking lots for the RVs.
Opponents of the RVs seized upon the dumping incidents as an example of what happens when people are allowed to camp out in such an urban environment.
A woman arrested in what appeared to be the most egregious case was soon released and authorities declined to press charges.
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County officials noted that there are plenty of places where RV operators can legally empty their sewage tanks.
"With more than 20 permitted waste disposal sites located throughout Los Angeles County alone, there is no excuse for this practice,'' said Farber. "The bacteria from sewage waste can eventually pollute our waters, posing a threat not only to our environment but also to the health of residents as well as marine life.''
The closest county dumping site to Venice appears to be in Playa del Rey. More info can be found at www.CleanLA.com.