SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Natural Resource Police Officers remind residents to take particular notice of three specific segments of natural resources law that are often violated in the fall and winter months – solid waste disposal, outdoor burning, and hunting laws and regulations. These are serious violations that can result in fines, jail time, and other consequences.
Chapter 22 of the West Virginia Code states that solid waste (and/or litter) includes, but is not limited to, newspapers, cans, bottles, garbage, trash, discarded household furniture, appliances, tires, animal carcasses, cigarette and cigar butts, shingles, construction and demolition waste, as well as many other waste materials.
Common offences (violations) include burning, burying, or dumping solid waste; placing solid waste in or near a stream; disposing of solid waste in a roadside dump; creating an open dump on your property; burning or accumulating waste tires; littering on public or private property; and dumping solid waste from a motor vehicle.
West Virginia State Law also requires that every business, residence, etc. do one of two things to legally dispose of their solid waste — either subscribe to and use a solid waste collection service, or transport the solid waste to a legal landfill or transfer station and maintain proof (keep receipts) of disposal.
Households and businesses not following the state’s requirements for legal solid waste disposal and any individual who violates any solid waste offence could be subject to the appropriate fines, court costs, civil penalties, community service, jail time, and/or clean-up expenses.
Changes are on the way for the state’s outdoor burning season laws. The restricted burning seasons will continue to exist during the following dates: March 1- May 31, and October 1- December 31. However, effective Oct. 1, 2011, during the dates of the restricted fire season, there will be no outdoor burning during the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., contrary to the former 4 p.m. burning law.
In addition, when doing any outdoor burning, year around, only natural, vegetative material can be burned outdoors. This includes debris from trees, shrubs, and gardens, and grass clippings. It is illegal to burn any household garbage or solid waste materials any time of the year.
During the outdoor burning season, fires used to clear brush and vegetative debris will only be permitted between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. All outdoor fires must be attended at all times.
The area must be cleared down to mineral soil for a minimum distance of 10 feet around the material being burned. If a fire escapes, the individual responsible for the fire will be liable for the cost of fighting the fire and any damage the fire may have caused to other individuals. Individuals, households, and businesses not following the state’s requirements for legal outdoor burning and/or has a fire to escape could be subject to the appropriate fines, court cost, civil penalties, and/or clean-up expenses.
Wildlife Laws and Regulations
Hunting season is here, and hunters should make themselves familiar with changes in the state’s hunting laws, regulations and seasons before going afield. Information about those changes and details about the fall hunting seasons can be found in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations brochure available at license agents, DNR offices and online at www.wvdnr.gov.
Hunters should be respectful of landowners and their wishes, conservation efforts/ natural resource (game) laws, and other hunters. Hunters are required to take a Hunter Safety Course if they were born after January 1, 1975. Please make every effort for you and everyone around you to have a safe hunting season.
If you have any questions or wish to report a violation, please contact the nearest West Virginia Natural Resource Police office at:
• District 1 Farmington 304-825-6787
• District 2 Romney 304-822-3551
• District 3 Elkins 304-637-0245
• District 4 Beckley 304-256-6947
• District 5 Nitro 304-759-0703
• District 6 Parkersburg 304-420-4550
• Main Office South Charleston 304-558-2784
You also can report a violation online at www.wvdnr.gov/LEnforce/Poachers.shtm. If you wish to report a violation in progress, call 911.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources
Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director
Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks
Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer 304-957-9365 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Lt. Col. Jerry Jenkins, Law Enforcement Section