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Gaughran Calls For Tougher Penalties For Illegal Dumping

Jim Gaughran
Press Release

Gaughran Calls For Tougher Penalties For Illegal Dumping

Proposal will Create Stiff Penalties for People or Companies whose Illegal Dumping leads to Environmental Degradation

(Huntington, NY) Jim Gaughran unveiled a major criminal justice proposal to address the crisis of illegal dumping on Long Island, a recent example of which occurred at the West Hills County Park. Under Gaughran’s plan, individuals or businesses who illegally dump hazardous waste on private or public properties which can lead to environmental, water quality and health problems will be charged with a C felony. This reform will help local law enforcement crack down on this crisis and dissuade illegal dumpers from continuing to destroy Long Island’s environment and single-source aquifer.

“It is clear after the recent wave of illegal dumping that we must toughen penalties and give more tools to law enforcement to crack down on these serious crimes which threaten our health and environment,” Jim Gaughran said. “Prosecutors shouldn’t have to cobble together various sections of state law to punish illegal dumpers who harm our environment and threaten the health of thousands. That is why I am calling for common sense legislation to recognize these corrupt and illegal actions as the serious crimes that they truly are, and punish those responsible accordingly.”

Jim Gaughran’s innovative response to the crisis of illegal dumping on Long Island will help curb these practices and enable law enforcement personnel to truly punish offenders appropriately. In addition to increasing the penalties on illegal dumpers whose actions can lead to environmental and natural resource destruction, Jim’s proposal will enable judges to levy higher fines in addition to longer prison sentences. Under current statute, judges are bound to issuing sentences of up to four years, but with Jim’s reforms judges would be able to hand out sentences of up to fifteen years. The underlying purpose for Jim’s initiative is to convince illegal dumpers that the risks for continuing to commit these crimes are simply too high.

Dick Amper, Chairman of the Long Island Environmental Voters Forum, said, “Anyone who cares about water quality knows that allowing dumping is unacceptable. Jim Gaughran’s proposed enforcement legislation demonstrates his life-long, personal and professional commitment to clean water. That’s why the Long Island Environmental Voters Forum endorses him for state Senate.”

Jim Gaughran is running for State Senate and was born and raised on Long Island and has deep roots in the community, both as a former elected official and a private businessman. Jim represented a substantial part of the 5th Senate District, when he served as a Huntington Town Councilman and later as a Suffolk County Legislator. As a councilman, Jim authored one of New York’s first full-disclosure laws requiring local officials to disclose all sources of outside income. Jim’s innovative ethics reforms are now seen as models for what Albany should do to end the corruption crisis that has eroded trust in state government.