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LAND

Louisiana citizens create a model litter ordinance template for communities

Jul 30, 2015

Baton Rouge - Citizens of Louisiana, environmental groups and government representatives have created a turnkey solution that can address litter control and develop accompanying infrastructure to enable enforcement mechanisms. The Louisiana Local Government Litter Ordinance Template and Handbook will be introduced at the Louisiana Municipal Association Convention in Lafayette.

The process of creating the template ordinance began in July 2014, under the auspices of the EPA’s National Trash Free Waters Program. DEQ hosted a series of stakeholder discussions to address the overwhelming problem of litter in our communities and waterways. One of the key components to preventing litter was to develop an enforceable litter ordinance template that can be easily adapted and adopted by local governments and municipalities. The stakeholder group, which became the Louisiana Aquatic Litter Alliance (LALA), produced the Litter Ordinance Template Handbook. It serves as a start-to-finish tool that details how to start a litter abatement program, provides a template for a model litter ordinance and how to enforce and adjudicate violations.

On July 30 to Aug, 1, representatives from DEQ and LALA will be present at the LMA Convention in the Cajun Dome. They will have some hard copies of the handbook as well as electronic copies on thumb drives available for interested communities, parishes and municipalities.

“EPA has identified trash in waters as a major water quality issue nationwide,” said Bill Honker, water quality protection division director for EPA Region 6. “This approach will allow communities to address the problem with local action. We applaud DEQ and the citizen groups that worked on this model.”

“Working with the citizens and the groups that are on the ground fighting the battle of excessive litter has been the driving force for creating this template,” said Gwen Berthelot, manager of DEQ’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Group. “Their hard work and dedication has produced a tool that will help reduce litter in Louisiana and our waters.”

For more information on the ordinance, please contact Gwen Berthelot at gwendolyn.berthelot@la.gov or Jean Kelly at jean.kelly@la.gov. For information on the National Trash Free Waters Program, please contact the Team Leader, Laura Johnson, at johnson.laura-s@epa.gov.