U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
In 2013, the BLM’s California Desert District (CDD) received directed one-time funds for a solid waste cleanup at the Bellflower Mine. The project resulted in over 300 yards of solid waste removed from the site in early November.
According to Sterling White, Abandoned Mines and Hazmat Program Specialist, CDD, the mine site is located several miles outside of Ridgecrest and is a popular area to visit.
A high percentage of these types of cleanups are a result of illegal dumping. It is also referred to as "open dumping," "fly dumping," and "midnight dumping" because materials are often dumped in open areas, from vehicles along roadsides, and late at night. Illegally dumped wastes are primarily nonhazardous materials that are dumped to avoid either disposal fees or the time and effort required for proper disposal. These materials typically include:
In 2012 BLM removed approximately 10 tons of solid waste, 1 boat, and 30-yards of contaminated oil soaked soil from public lands in the Ridgecrest resource area.
Sterling states that illegal dumping is a problem in part due to the easy accessibility of open areas. There are also numerous negative impacts illegal dumping causes such as:
“We plan to continue desert cleanup operations well into 2014 and beyond however the public can be of great assistance by reporting any illegal dumping,” says White. “If you see anyone dumping trash on public lands, BLM encourages you to write down a license number, a description of the vehicle, the date, time and location, and report this information to the nearest BLM Field Office.”
-- Sterling White, Abandoned Mines and Hazmat Program Specialist, Ridgecrest Field Office (November 2013)
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