In an effort to help prevent water and land dump sites from popping up, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are joining forces to host three Environmental Law Enforcement Officer Training workshops. The first training will take place June 14 at the Rogers County Building in Claremore from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This session is limited to 40 participants. A second training is scheduled for July 1 in Oklahoma City and a third will take place at Lake Arcadia July 2. Michael Freeman, a criminal investigator for the ODEQ, will lead all three trainings.
Lynn Malley, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension assistant state specialist, solid waste management programs, said the trainings are open to all citizens and recommended for anyone interested in environmental law or those with a responsibility for preventing illegal dumping in water or land in their county.
Everyone who attends will receive a certificate of attendance and law enforcement officers may receive CLEET credit.
“We encourage law enforcement officers, tribal environmental representatives, county commissioners, city officials and local citizens to attend,” Malley said. “Illegal water and land dump sites have been an increasing problem across the state for several years and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars to clean up.”
In addition, illegal dump sites can cause contamination of soil, ground water, drinking water wells, streams and rivers. Other side effects include possible injury to children playing on or around the dump site, damage to plant and wildlife habitats and decrease in the quality of life to nearby residents and the local community.
The trainings all are free of charge, but preregistration for the Claremore location is due June 3. Preregistration for the July 1 and 2 trainings is due by June 24. For registration information please contact Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Links to the downloadable registration forms are available at www.agecon.okstate.edu/waste.