2013 Mississippi Code
Title 97 - CRIMES
Chapter 15 - OFFENSES AFFECTING HIGHWAYS, FERRIES AND WATERWAYS
§ 97-15-30 - Penalties for unauthorized dumping of solid wastes; "commercial purpose" defined


MS Code § 97-15-30 (2013) What's This?

(1) For purposes of this section the term "commercial purpose" means for the purpose of economic gain.

(2) (a) Except as authorized by law or permit, it is unlawful for any person to throw, scatter, spill or place, or cause to be thrown, scattered, spilled, or placed, or otherwise disposed of, any solid waste in any of the following manners or amounts:

(i) In or on any public highway, road, street, alley or thoroughfare, including any portion of the right-of-way thereof, or any other public lands, except in containers or areas lawfully provided therefor. When any solid waste is thrown or discarded from a motor vehicle, the operator or owner of the motor vehicle, or both, shall be deemed in violation of this section;

(ii) In or on any waters of the state. When any solid waste is thrown or discarded from a vessel, the operator or owner of the boat, or both, shall be deemed in violation of this section; or

(iii) In or on any private property, unless prior written consent of the owner has been given and the solid waste will not cause a public nuisance or be in violation of any other state or local law, rule or regulation;

(iv) Raw human waste from any train, aircraft, motor vehicle or vessel upon the public or private lands or waters of the state.

(b) Nothing in this section shall prohibit acts authorized pursuant to Section 17-17-13.

(3) (a) Any person who violates this section in an amount not exceeding fifteen (15) pounds in weight or twenty-seven (27) cubic feet in volume and not for commercial purposes is guilty of littering and subject to a fine as provided in Section 97-15-29.

(b) Any person who violates this section in an amount exceeding fifteen (15) pounds or twenty-seven (27) cubic feet in volume, but not exceeding five hundred (500) pounds in weight or one hundred (100) cubic feet in volume and not for commercial purposes is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($ 100.00), nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00), or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one (1) year, or both.

(c) Any person who violates this section in an amount exceeding five hundred (500) pounds in weight or one hundred (100) cubic feet in volume, or in any amount or volume of solid waste for commercial purposes, or in any amount or volume of hazardous waste is guilty of a felony and subject to a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), nor more than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($ 50,000.00) or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five (5) years, or both. For purposes of the fine, each day shall constitute a separate violation.

(d) In addition to any other fines, penalties or injunctive relief prescribed by law, a person convicted under subsections (3)(b) or (3)(c) of this section shall:

(i) Remove or render harmless, in accordance with written direction from the Department of Environmental Quality, the unlawfully discarded solid waste;

(ii) Repair or restore property damaged by, or pay damages for any damage arising out of the unlawfully discarded solid waste;

(iii) Perform community public service relating to the removal of any unlawfully discarded solid waste or to the restoration of an area polluted by unlawfully discarded solid waste; and

(iv) Pay all reasonable investigative and prosecutorial expenses and costs to the investigative and/or prosecutorial agency or agencies.

(e) If a conviction under subsection (3) of this section is for a violation committed after a first conviction of that person under this section, the maximum punishment under the respective paragraphs shall be doubled with respect to both fine and imprisonment.

(4) A court may enjoin a violation of subsection (2) of this section.

(5) Any motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, container, crane, winch, or machine used in a felony violation of this section may be seized with process or without process if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the property was used in violation of that section. The seized property shall be subject to an administrative and/or judicial forfeiture by the same standards and procedures provided under Sections 41-29-176 through 41-29-185.

(6) In the criminal trial of any person charged with violating subsection (2) of this section, the defendant must affirmatively show that he had authority to discard the solid waste.

(7) Any person who conspires to commit a violation of this section shall be punished in accordance with the underlying offense set forth in this section.

(8) It shall be the duty of all law enforcement officers to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

(9) All prosecutions for felony violations of this section shall be instituted only by the Attorney General, his designee, the district attorney of the district in which the violation occurred or his designee and shall be conducted in the name of the people of the State of Mississippi. In the prosecution of any criminal proceeding under this section by the Attorney General, or his designee, and in any proceeding before a grand jury in connection therewith, the Attorney General or his designee shall exercise all the powers and perform all the duties which the district attorney would otherwise be authorized or required to exercise or perform. The Attorney General shall have the authority to issue and serve subpoenas for any felony violation in the same manner as prescribed under Section 7-5-59.

(10) Jurisdiction for all felony violations shall be in the circuit court of the county in which the violation occurred.

(11) Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the department to enforce the provisions of the Solid Waste Disposal Law or shall limit the authority of any state or local agency to enforce any other laws, rules or ordinances.

(12) The Department of Transportation may erect warning signs along the roads and highways of this state advising the public of the existence of these sections and of the penalty for the violation thereof.

(13) This section shall not prohibit the storage of ties poles, other materials and machinery by a railroad or a public utility on its right-of-way. This section does not apply to any vehicle transporting agricultural products or supplies when the solid waste from that vehicle is a nontoxic, biodegradable agricultural product or supply.

(14) The Attorney General may pay an award, not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($ 10,000.00) to any person who furnishes information or services that lead to a felony criminal conviction for any violation of this section. The payment shall be subject to available appropriations for those purposes as provided in annual appropriation acts. Any officer or employee of the United States or any state or local government who furnishes information or renders service in the performance of an official duty is ineligible for payment under this subsection.

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