Act 62 Helps Strengthen PA Anti-Litter Laws

Signed into law in June 2018, Act 62 adds increased fines for roads designated for stronger litter enforcement along with adding community service to monetary fines for first time-offender penalties.  The act also creates Litter Enforcement Corridors, a new tool to help Pennsylvania crack down on litter and illegal dumping. Learn more here about PA anti-litter laws and enforcement agencies.

 

Signing of Senate Bill 431, now Act 62 of 2018 on January 30, 2019.
From Left to Right: Alex Charlton (Former Rep.), Chris Barrett (President/CEO, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau), Christine Zubeck (Office of Senator Scavello), Rep. Marcia Hahn, Dave McCorkle (Keep PA Beautiful Board Member), Senator Mario Scavello, Governor Tom Wolf, Shannon Reiter (President, Keep PA Beautiful)
Courtesy of http://www.senatorscavello.com/2019/02/08/bill-signing-ceremony-held-for-scavellos-anti-littering-bill/

 

Stronger penalties under Title 18 (crimes code) section 6501

For the first offense, in addition to paying a fine, offenders are court-ordered to pick up litter or trash from 5 – 30 hours. For second and subsequent offenses, the community service increases to 30 – 100 hours as an optional addition to the monetary fine.

 

Litter enforcement corridors

Act 62 denotes certain segments of roads as Litter Enforcement Corridors as a way to increase focus on litter and illegal dumping. These road segments are ones that have a high aesthetic or historic value worth preserving and will be marked with signs to notify motorists.

 

Doubled fines
The act adds section 3329 to Title 75 (vehicle code) which doubles fines for depositing waste in a litter enforcement corridor.  These offenses are defined under the following 3 sections:

  • Section 3709 of the vehicle code for scattering rubbish from a vehicle or not removing all debris following an accident,

  • Section 4903 of the vehicle code for allowing a load that is not properly secured to escape from a vehicle,

  • Section 6501 of the crimes code for scattering rubbish onto any road, land of another, or body of water.

 

Tripled fines
Often, fines levied against commercial dumpers are less than the fees for proper disposal.  Act 62 helps remedy this by tripling the fine when waste or litter (as defined in the crimes code section 6501) that originated from a commercial business is deposited in a litter enforcement corridor.

 

Increased safety for cleanups

Act 62 also added a safety measure for workers or volunteers who are picking up trash in a litter enforcement corridor, under section 3329(a). When drivers are in these areas and see traffic control devices, they must yield the right of way, like in a construction work zone. For this reason, it’s important to plan a cleanup event with local or state authorities involved when possible.

 

How corridors are designated

Scenic highways, as defined under Title 74 chapter 83, are now designated Litter Enforcement Corridors. There are 3 additional ways roads can be designated (section 6105.2 of the vehicle code):

  • PennDOT can designate a state route,

  • Counties or municipalities can petition PennDOT to designate a state route,

  • Counties or municipalities can designate a local route within their borders. Contact your regional PennDOT district office for more details.

Pennsylvania communities are already putting the new bill into action. The city of Philadelphia recently designated more than 50 blocks of roadway as litter enforcement corridors. Among other penalties, a contractor found guilty of dumping in one of these corridors could now be penalized three times the maximum $5000 fine.